NP Jobs

Is Applying For NP Jobs Before Graduation A Smart Idea?

Doctors putting out employment feelers at the start of their residencies is pretty common. A year or more before they actually start working as fully credentialed and independent physicians, they start looking for jobs. But what about nurse practitioners (NPs)? Is it smart for them to start applying for jobs before graduation?

Yes and no. Yes in the sense that recruiters want applicant information soon enough to make a decision that will allow them to meet their hiring requirements on time. But no in the sense that NP students should not be sending out resumes and CVs a year or more out.

Both NPs and physicians (internists) perform similar tasks on the job. The big difference between the two is that physicians accumulate more clinical hours during training. Just the fact that doctors do a residency for a year or more offers them many more clinical hours. This is why it is appropriate for them to start looking for work so early.

NPs at One Year Out

Beginning to apply for NP jobs one year prior to graduation essentially means sending prospective employers information about your grades, completed projects, presentations, etc. Those sorts of things may be all that is necessary in other types of jobs, but they mean very little to NP jobs.

Employers assume that graduating from an NP program means you have done all of the classroom work to satisfaction. It is a nonissue for them. What they care about are clinical hours. Most applicants do not have enough clinical hours at one year out. So rather than applying for jobs that early, NP students should be focusing on gaining as many clinical hours as possible during that final year. These will be the ticket to employment.

Three Months Out

Health Jobs Nationwide says that future NPs should get serious about applying for jobs three months prior to graduation. At three months out, most NPs are coming to the end of their clinical training. As an NP student, you now have the necessary hours under your belt to let employers know you are ready to be hired.

This is the point at which to begin compiling your resume and CV. If there are some particular positions you are interested in, it doesn’t hurt to begin putting out feelers at this point. But don’t forget your certification exam. Do not be so focused on applying for NP jobs that you don’t put any time into study. None of your feelers will be of any value if you fail the exam.

One Month Out

Health Jobs Nationwide says this is the time to really start focusing on the jobs available in whatever area you want to work in. Perhaps you want to return to your hometown. Are there jobs available to apply for? If not, you might consider working in the same city where you got your education. Or maybe an entirely different city is more to your liking.

At one month to go, it is time to begin searching job postings and getting a feel for what is available. It’s a good idea to begin sending resumes and CVs to those facilities you think you might want to work for. They will see your educational experience and your clinical hours. If they want you, it is a simple matter of you passing your certification exam.

It’s important to take the exam as soon as you possibly can. You will not be able to get a job without it. Hopefully you have attracted the attention of enough potential employers that you’ll have job offers waiting as soon as you have your certification.