“Most health care services involve some form of care by nurses. Although 62.2 percent of all employed RNs work in hospitals, many are employed in a wide range of other settings, including private practices, public health agencies, primary care clinics, home health care, outpatient surgical centers, health maintenance organizations, nursing school-operated nursing centers, insurance and managed care companies, nursing homes, schools, mental health agencies, hospices, the military, and industry. Other nurses work in careers as college and university educators preparing future nurses or as scientists developing advances in many areas of health care and health promotion. Though often working collaboratively, nurses do not simply “assist” physicians and other health care providers. Instead, they practice independently within their own defined scope of practice. Nursing roles range from direct patient care to case management, establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality assurance procedures, and directing complex nursing care systems.”
Read more about choosing a nursing career, including the changing job market (an expected shortage for the next 10-plus years), BSN and BS nursing degree titles, and more on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) website.
Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular websites in your industry area. Places to start include Nurse.com’s blog, Kaiser Health News, and Science Daily’s Health and Medicine News. NurseZone Online Magazine gives tips to new graduates. Sign up for the American Nursing Association’s blog to receive nursing resources and nurse career support. Join relevant email lists, follow industry insiders on social media, and research the types of positions that are available in those fields.
- To learn more about nursing specialties, visit Johnson & Johnson’s nursing page (96 specialties to explore and 200-plus videos of nurse profiles) and Top Nursing’s page on careers and specialties.
- Vault Guides (create a free account with your Georgetown email) have comprehensive information on a variety careers, including Nursing Jobs, Allied Health Care Careers, and Alternative Health Care Jobs.
- Check out this YouTube playlist with recordings from Georgetown nursing alumni sharing insights into their nursing specialities as well as nurse recruiters sharing job search tips.
- To choose a master’s program, review AACN’s Directory of Nursing Education Programs and get program rankings from U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of best master’s programs in nursing
- Jobs in Demand: 10 Most Promising Nursing Careers You Might Consider, 31 Best Specialty Career Choices for Nurses, 15 Highest Paying Nursing Jobs in 2021
- This guide provides information on scholarships and grants to help support your college years, academic and career resources, and online communities to network.
Attend industry events — on and off-campus — and connect with popular professional organizations regionally and nationally. There are numerous professional associations in the nursing field. Nurse.org provides a full list of professional associations by specialty, state, and country.
The most relevant associations include:
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- American Nursing Association
- American Society of Registered Nurses
- National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
- National Council on State Boards of Nursing (licensure information)
- Nurse Practitioner Association of D.C.
- National Student Nurses Association
Professional associations host a variety of professional development, educational and networking events. If the cost of membership is prohibitive, contact leadership and ask if there are sliding scale prices for students. Volunteering for a conference, educational or social event is another great way to connect with leaders in the industry.
Develop a LinkedIn profile that communicates your personal and professional brand. For help building your profile, use LinkedIn’s profile checklist (PDF). Joining groups on LinkedIn related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask questions. Also, reach out to alumni through Hoya Gateway and Georgetown’s alumni page on LinkedIn. Our website provides helpful guidelines on networking and informational interviewing.
Making Connections at Georgetown
Georgetown offers a number of opportunities for Hoyas to get involved. Joining a school club is an excellent way to learn more about the industry, develop your skills, and get hands-on experience. Nursing-related clubs and councils include the Georgetown chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing (Tau Chapter), and other NHS student organizations. Gain hands-on experience on campus with the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service (GERMS) or the Center for Social Justice’s Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Outreach Team. Give back to the D.C. and campus communities by volunteering with groups such as Project Sunshine Georgetown, Caring for Children with Cancer, Oncology Patient Support, and St. Elizabeth’s Outreach.
Travel outside the U.S. with GlobeMed or Center for Social Justice Alternative breaks (such as JUHAN Oaxaca) or in the D.C. area with GU Students for Health and Medical Equity to serve communities that lack adequate access to healthcare and more. For more student club information, visit Campus Groups. Participate in research and get published in the peer-reviewed Georgetown University Journal of Health Sciences or present at the Undergraduate Research Conference. On and off-campus jobs are another excellent way to build skills valued by employers.
To better understand what skills you need to highlight on your resume, check out internships, fellowships, and entry-level positions in the nursing industry. A great place to start is this how-to guide with resume and cover letter examples for those applying to nursing careers. Kyle Schmidt also shares resume advice from healthcare recruiters in this article. Last, check out “3 Ways to Make Your NP Resume Shine” and “Top 5 NP Resume Writing Mistakes.” See Cawley’s resume section and cover letter tips for more tips and advice.
For nursing interview tips, read 31 Sample Nursing Interview Questions & Answer Guide, Top 16 Nursing Interview Questions, Answers and Tips, and Top 15 Nursing Interview Questions (Sample Answers Included). Take note of the best and worst states to work.
- The 34 best hospitals and health systems for diversity (most advanced in their diversity and inclusion strategy).
- General medical and surgical hospitals
- Offices of physicians
- Home health care services and community organizations
- Extended care and nursing home facilities
- Health insurance companies
- Ambulatory care services
- Government agencies (e.g., Veterans Affairs)