10 Career Tips for Nursing Students
Even if you just started your first week of nursing school, it’s an excellent good time to start thinking about how to prepare for your eventual job search. It’s not that far down the road, after all, especially if you’ve enrolled in an accelerated program. We’ve put together some tips to make sure that you start out your LVN career on the best foot.
1. Keep a List of Contacts
Keep a separate list of contacts either in a spreadsheet or your contact list on your phone or laptop of students and teachers as soon as you can. Update it and add to it as frequently as you can with all your new colleagues you meet along the way. Maintain this list forever. No matter where you go, you’ll always want to have it handy, especially when you’re on the hunt for a new gig.
2. Start Your LVN Nursing Job Referral Base Now
New employers always want to see a list of solid references when you apply. If you’ve just gotten your LVN certification, you may not have many professional references, so keep a list of your fellow students, counselors, and teachers updated with emails and contact numbers.
3. Update Your Resume
The second that your LVN program starts, find a resume template that you like, download it, and update it with your name and contact information. As soon as you start a new internship, or doing your practicums, set aside the 5-10 minutes you need to get that info listed on your resume. Maintaining a current resume is good career practice that you should start today.
4. Meet with the Your Counselor Regularly
You’re only going to be in your LVN nursing program once. Take advantage of all the resources at your fingertips while you’re there, especially the career counselors. Ask about developing your interview and communication skills. Stay engaged with them as much as possible and help them to help you.
5. Network Online
If you don’t already have a professional profile on a networking site like LinkedIn, you’re going to need one. Ask your friends and colleagues about which ones they use. Have someone take a professional-looking picture of you (no selfies please) to look as job-ready as possible.
6. Read Professional Nursing and Medical Journals
You are about to embark on a new job journey. You should know as much about the industry, and the changes happening to it, as you can. Make time in your study schedule to stay up to date with various websites, journals, and magazines and become an authority in your new field.
7. Attend Nursing Seminars
Yes, your schedule is grueling. It is time-consuming. It is demanding. Still, do this: pay attention to professional networking opportunities at seminars and workshops outside of school. Attend 2-3 while you’re still enrolled in your LVN program. You never know what you’ll learn or who you’ll meet.
8. Start Looking for an LVN Job…Now
Start the job search before you graduate. You should be sending out resumes while you’re studying for the NCLEX. Make a system for yourself to stay organized, follow up regularly, and get alerted to new opportunities.
9. Stay Healthy
It’s easy to let the stress of attaining an LVN degree get the better of you. Even while you’re going through the rigors of school, internships, making new friends, and learning new skills, by all means, take care of yourself. The minute you step into an interview, you want to feel like your best self. Take all the steps you need to prevent burn out.
10. Apply for Internships
Your LVN program should connect you with various internship opportunities to get you plenty of hands-on experience in the field. Sit down with the job placement staff and ask about opportunities as soon as you can. You may even have a moment to discuss internships during orientation. It’s important that you exploit every chance you have to expand your skill set while you’re a student. Internships are the best way to meet contacts and gain real-world experience before you get certified.