How to Find New Grad Nursing Jobs

Written by
Jenna Elizabeth
January 15, 2023

Earning your degree from an accredited nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a huge feat, so give yourself a pat on the back. Now, it’s time to take the next step in your nursing career and begin scouting out some promising new-grad nursing jobs. Being freshly out of nursing school is both exciting and intimidating. After all, the first new grad nursing job you land will kick off your future as a professional nurse. That’s why it’s important to figure out your nursing specialty,  where you want to work, and the type of work-life balance you wish to create.  

Ready to start a successful nursing career? Then check out the following tips for landing your first nursing job and gaining experience as a new nurse. 

How to Get a Nursing Job with No Experience

new grads smiling

Many nursing students choose to work in a nursing-related area while in nursing school. That’s because working in the healthcare sector as a nursing student can help you gain valuable experience and help you stand out to employers. But this isn’t always the case, and some nursing students will work full-time or part-time jobs unrelated to their nursing career while in school. In any case, whether you worked as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) while studying to become a nurse or worked in a restaurant to help cover the cost of your nursing degree, there are plenty of ways to land a great nursing job with little to no experience. First, let’s look at the good news. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that more than 194,500 annual job openings will be available for nurses between 2020 and 2030. Furthermore, due to rising nursing shortages, registered nurses are in demand more than ever before. In other words, if you are a new grad nurse, your chances of finding a job are pretty good. So, sit back and let out a sigh of relief, knowing that you will eventually find a job as a new nurse grad. 

Next, you should figure out what type of healthcare facility you want to work at according to your nursing specialty. Healthcare facilities that hire new grads for both bedside and nonbedside nursing jobs can include the following: 

  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental health and addiction treatment centers
  • Memory care facilities
  • Imaging and radiology facilities
  • Dialysis facilities

Once you have a good idea of what type of medical facility you wish to work at, you can begin your job search. In other words, it’s time to start sending out your resume to potential employers and wait for a callback and the interview. Keep reading for some common new grad nurse interview questions and how to impress a prospective new employer on the first go around. 

Top New Grad Nursing Interview Questions

Now that you have done the leg work of researching and applying to a variety of new grad nursing jobs, it’s a good idea to prepare for your new grad nurse interview. With this in mind, below is a list of the most common interview questions for new grad registered nurses: 

  1. What do you like most about being a nurse? What motivates you?
  2. What do you find most challenging about being a nurse?
  3. Why do you work in your current nursing specialty?
  4. Why do you want to work here?
  5. Describe a situation in which you had to work with a difficult colleague.
  6. Describe a situation in which you had to deal with a difficult patient.
  7. How would you handle (example situation) under pressure?
  8. Where do you see yourself as a nurse in five years?

While interview questions for new grad nursing jobs are likely to vary, this list can give you a headstart. Moreover, practicing your responses to common new grad interview questions will help you feel confident and ready to ace your next big nursing job interview. 

New Grad Nurse Salary 

New grad nurse salaries will fluctuate depending on the location and type of medical facility where a nurse finds employment. That said, since nurses are in high demand throughout the country, new grad nurses can expect a competitive entry-level salary. In some cities, such as San Jose, Sunnyvale, and Santa Clara, California, registered nurses make an average of $155,230 a year! Other cities offer RNs significantly lower average salaries but make up for it with much lower living costs. For example, in Houston, which has the second lowest living costs compared to other populous metro areas across the country, registered nurses can expect to make an annual mean wage of around $79,120 and upwards. All in all, it is safe to say that new nurse grads can anticipate making a competitive nursing wage. Moreover, new grad nurses will have the opportunity to apply to one of the fastest-growing job markets in the United States. 

Nursing Jobs for New Grads

new grads

The job outlook for a new nursing grad is promising. Likewise, there are plenty of ways to add experience to your new grad nurse resume, such as including your clinical rotations on your resume or listing any previous experience working in a medical facility. Once again, keep in mind that a new nurse grad with minimal nursing experience can also qualify for a great nursing gig. All things considered, the best way you can prepare as a new nurse is to show prospective employers that you are confident and can handle difficult scenarios under stress. 

Ultimately, if you let your nurse qualities shine through and show interest in a nursing job interview, you are on the right path to finding the best nursing job for you. 

Blog published on:
January 15, 2023

Meet Jenna, a contributing copywriter at Nursa who writes about healthcare news and updates, empathy and compassion for nurses, how to show staff appreciation and increase retention, and guides that help nurses navigate career pathways.

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