July 13, 2011

Get A Hospital Nursing Job Fast (With Email)

Updated: December 21, 2016

Whether you're an experienced or graduate nurse looking for employment, these tips will help you to get your resume to the real people who do the hiring at hospitals. Now, I'm not an expert on obtaining a job, but this method has worked in my favor and others who have tried it. I've had three nursing positions, and all three positions were obtained using this method.

1. Obtain position specifics.

By that statement, I mean know the job objectives and expectations. You can't discuss a position intelligently if you are not familiar with the job objectives. It's obvious now, but you'd be surprised by how many people don't research job positions before they call or write the unit manager. Why the research, you ask? If you do make direct contact (with management) on the first try, you need to be able to show you're prepared and can talk about what you can bring to the unit. If you're attempting to get hired on a fracture unit, you should be familiar with common fractures and what nursing interventions will be needed. If you want to be seen as an asset, you must know what the expectations will be.

2. Locate who does the hiring.

Once you have your research completed, it's time to locate the individuals who do the real hiring, and this is usually not the human resource department. The human resource department typically deals with the document and verification aspects of recruitment. You want to communicate with the team that determines candidate selection. Human resource associates usually conduct preliminary interviews, but they don't manage candidate selection (if there are no criminal, ethical, or institutional concerns). This decision tends to be carried out by nursing management. Hospital interviews are completed either by the unit manager, educator, clinical nurse specialist, charge nurse, and/or the assistant nurse manager. Nursing administration is patient-care focused and they determine unit-based needs. Nursing administration wants to know if you're up for the job and they want to have the opportunity to see what you're made of through scenario-based questions. Yes, human resource is the gatekeeper, but there are levels to this game with each department having specific roles and objectives.

3. Use professional communication.

How do you get in touch with the decision makers? Go to the hospital of interest (online), click on the careers section, any section will work (even billing). You're just looking for an e-mail template. An example of an e-mail template is johnsmith@abchospital.org. If you see an e-mail format like this, you know this organization's email format (xxxxx@abchospital.org) for the entire facility. Now, this is where we go all matrix. You saw the position online, which means you now have the unit information. Call the hospital and ask to be transferred to the relevant unit. Once transferred, ask for the unit manager or the assistant nurse manager's full name. Administrative assistants are asked this regularly and there is no confidentiality broken by this request. The goal is to avoid the re-routing of information and the corporate runaround.

Once you have the full name, you're done. Understand that this strategy might work, as some e-mail accounts could contain nicknames and/or modified name configurations. I employ this tactic as it provides direct results. No answer = not interested! You've made contact with the right person, you're not in limbo and now you can move on. This strategy is bold, yet professional. You're simply utilizing available resources. You are sending nothing more than an e-mail. I love this strategy because it leaves the ball in management's court. If you don't get an answer, that is your answer. Interest is the name of the game and not everyone plays. Some individuals will read it and some won't. Looking for a job can be stressful and time consuming. This strategy will help you to be seen by nursing professionals. Education, experience, and potential are components of employment. But, networking and luck can be contributing factors.

This process seems lengthy, but it works because it streamlines employment (in my opinion). I've experienced both of these methods - the traditional course and the process mentioned above. The traditional route can have unexpected complications. For example, I've applied for employment at various institutions, and on some occasions, I've received no response. It's only until after I've gained employment that I found out that my resume was in a pile somewhere. I've even had managers tell me, "Don't go through HR, they take forever. Just e-mail me your resume, and I'll get the ball rolling quicker." With this game plan, the nursing dream team has their eyes on you and work in your favor from the inside out. Nothing motivates a human resource associate better and faster than a nurse manager calling about a particular applicant.

Oh, and here are some e-mail tips:

  • Obtain a professional email. Booty69@hotmail.com is problematic and tacky. When some random person sends me a message, I immediately judge their email name. 
  • Create an email template and get someone to proofread it for you. Spelling and grammar errors aren't cute and distract the reader from the message.
  • Don't harass the recipient. If you get no response, you could send a short follow-up message. But, understand that the more you initiate unsolicited contact, the stranger you seem.