Nursing schools are the first step in anyone’s journey towards becoming employed in the healthcare field. However, that part of the process only scratches the surface. After earning their degrees, it is entirely up to graduates how they’ll plan on getting into their occupation of choice.
It goes without saying that no employer wants to hire a nurse that doesn’t have the proper training and educational background. But there is more to being considered an ideal candidate than what was learned in school. With more and more people coming out of nursing programs, the competition continues to be steep. This means making the extra effort to stand out among the crowd. How does one do that in an effective and practical way?
The actual training a new nurse has received is definitely the bare bones of what is appealing to potential employers. The “soft skills,” however, are what adds to the meat and potatoes. These skill sets are referred to as “soft” because while not a priority, they operate in a more supplemental capacity that really speaks to a person’s strengths and how they would be on the job.
Examples of soft skills that relate to nursing candidates could include punctuality, strong problem solving skills, leadership abilities, dependability and analytical skills.
Punctuality seems like common sense but there are people who, for whatever reason, are notorious for being late. Nurses rely on other people’s abilities to be on time for their shifts so that things on the floor and in the units runs smoothly. Nursing isn’t always routine and when dilemmas occur, it is important that employers feel confident that their nurses have the expertise to identify issues and come up with solutions in a timely manner, which is why having strong problem solving skills is so essential.
Although nurses work as a team, there are times when leadership is needed and anyone who isn’t afraid to take charge is certain to be a vital asset in the workplace. Similar to being punctual, people have to be able to depend on nurses to get the job done, plus go the extra mile when necessary. The most effective nurses are those who understand how to use analytical skills to tackle situations of any nature. Seeing things from all angles and looking at all possibilities is the best way to resolve anything that may come up during a shift unexpectedly.
Non-Degree Related Credentials
Holding a degree in nursing is definitely impressive but to secure quality employment, it isn’t enough anymore. Employers are looking for well-rounded candidates who are passionate about their work and have the ability to prove it. Certification is always a surefire way to catch the eye of employers, as is active membership in any nursing or healthcare related professional organization.
Add more credibility to a resume by participating in events, holding a position on a committee or taking on a leadership role in a healthcare program, organization or other local group where you can showcase your skills and abilities in a way that demonstrates professionalism, dedication and motivation to make a difference in the field.