19 December 2017 1:31 PM
So you’ve just graduated, or are graduating next year, and wondering what your next steps are to securing work as a new enrolled nurse.
One option is applying for enrolled nurse graduate program, where you’ll receive more hands on assistance as you transition from student to nurse. You’ll need to research online as to which health services offer a graduate program for ENs. Contact the hospitals directly about their application process; ask for the graduate program educator/coordinator. Speaking with them will give you an opportunity to make a positive impression and demonstrate your enthusiasm.
Unfortunately, only a few hospitals offer a graduate program for enrolled nurses (see below for examples), but the good news is there’s no mandatory requirement by AHPRA to undertake a program. You can apply for a position based on merit, just any other nurse or midwife would. You can find these jobs on health services websites and job seeker websites such as Seek.
Consider widening your job search to rural/regional opportunities and interstate opportunities where there is a greater need to recruit nurses. The benefits can include a wide variety in clinical practice and more support and attention. Again, check their websites or phone them.
Joining a nurse bank may also be appealing, as you’ll have a chance to work as a nurse while getting to know key nursing staff. This consistent presence can be favourable when applying for a permanent position or knowing when a maternity leave replacement position or permanent position is coming up.
How can I increase my chances of getting noticed?
ANMF runs an enrolled nurse student study day on 20 July 2018 assisting final year students with information on graduate programs, developing an effective Curriculum Vitae (CV) and interview skills. The most common tips presenters and former successful graduates have shared are:
- Be aware that you are being assessed from your first contact with the facility. Whether it’s a phone call or an email, how you communicate will be noticed. Be professional and courteous. Remember, spelling and punctuation matter.
- Make sure your CV is well presented and represents your strengths. Ensure you address all of the selection criteria and demonstrate you have researched the health facility. Include workshops, seminars or online courses in your area of interest. Check out the ANMF CPD Portal – student members receive $80 credit, while full members receive $400 credit each year.
- Focus on what sets you apart, why you are a great nurse and how you will benefit the organisation in your application. Prospective employers will notice job applications that display an understanding of the health services they provide.
- Use a professional email address. You’d be surprised how many students will use email addresses with inappropriate usernames. Set up another email specifically for your job applications. Your ISP should allow you extra email accounts, or use a free service such as Outlook or Yahoo.
- Prepare your interview techniques with preceptors and colleagues. Think about potential questions you’ll get asked and what answers you’ll give. This will make you more relaxed and confident when it comes time for your interview.
- If you are offered an interview, take advantage of the opportunity to sell yourself and try not to be too stressed.
- If you are unsuccessful, use the experience to prepare you for the next time.
Need further advice and support?
The ANMF Graduate and Final Year Student Support Officer is here to assist you via 03 9273 9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Health services that offered enrolled nurse graduate programs in 2017
This is list is by no means exhaustive and you will still need to contact each facility directly or search their website for information about 2018 intake.
- Bendigo Health
- Eastern Health
- Epworth Healthcare
- Ramsay Health
- St John of God
- Western District Health Service
Health services that offered pilot study programs in 2017
In 2017, a number of health services offered a pilot study program for ENs. You’ll need to contact each facility directly to find out if the pilot is continuing in 2018.
- Austin Health
- Echuca Health
- Goulburn Valley Health
- Maryborough District Health Service
- Monash Health
- North West Mental Health Service
- South West Healthcare
- St Vincent's Health
- Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
- Wimmera Healthcare Group