Nursing Industry Resources
“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 surgicenters, 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 website.
Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular websites in your industry area. Places to start include Nurse.com’s blog, NurseZone Online Magazine, Kaiser Health News, and Science Daily. Join relevant email lists; follow industry insiders on social media, and research the types of positions that are available in those fields. Vault, available to Georgetown students for free through the career center’s website, is a good place to start your search. Among the relevant guides at Vault, you’ll find Nursing Jobs, Allied Health Care Careers, Alternative Health Care Jobs, and more.
To learn more about careers in nursing, check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook description for registered nurses, Johnson & Johnson’s nursing page (they have a list of 104 specialties to explore and more than 200 videos of nurse profiles) and Career Cornerstone Center.
To choose a master’s program, review the Directory of Nursing Education Programs and get program rankings from the U.S. News & World Report’s of best master’s programs in nursing
Attend employer information sessions, 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:
- National Student Nurses Association
- Nurse Practitioner Association of D.C.
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
- American Society of Registered Nurses
- American Nursing Association
- National League For Nursing
- National Council on State Boards of Nursing (licensure information)
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. Joining groups related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask questions.
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 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 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, CU Oncology Patient Support, Breast Cancer Outreach, St. Elizabeth’s Outreach, and Hoya Blood Donors.
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. 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. Kyle Schmidt shares resume advice from healthcare recruiters in this article. Also, check out “3 Ways to Make Your NP Resume Shine” and “Top 5 NP Resume Writing Mistakes” (which includes a sample).
Your resume should be one page. Use strong action verbs and focus on your skills and accomplishments to show (not just tell) an employer that you have the required abilities. Be concise. See our resume section for more tips and advice.
Be energetic, intelligent and aware when writing cover letters. Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities. The purpose of a cover letter is to convince someone to interview you. For more on cover letters, see our cover letter tips.
For nursing interview tips, read New Grad Interviewing Tips, and 31 Sample Nursing Interview Questions & Answer Guide.
Read the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner’s guide to negotiating contract positions for nurse practitioners (PDF). Use the Health eCareers Salary Center to look up nursing salaries by state and specialty and obtain average salary based on experience. Take note of the best and worst states to work.
- Minority Nurse’s ranking of the top 25 nursing employers
- 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)