For nurses interested in new opportunities, the fall is an excellent time to get back into the market. Not only are the prospects for nurse jobs and wages looking up, but the cooler weather and the current state of the pandemic will also bring about a new wave of seasonal (and urgent) hiring needs.
“As we focus our efforts on combatting COVID-19, we must also prepare for the start of a new school year as well as the beginning of flu season,” says Amanda Cruse, a Senior Managing Director within ES Healthcare, a division of The Execu|Search Group. “Even before the pandemic, school and immunization nurses were in high demand at this time. But today, the demand for these types of nurse jobs is unprecedented. The uncertainty of the new school year and the new flu season have led schools and healthcare facilities to ramp up their coverage to ensure they are doing their part to prepare and protect their communities.” Read also: 3 Reasons To Become A School Nurse
If you are looking for ways to answer the call during COVID-19, becoming a school or immunization nurse will provide you with plenty of opportunities to do this. With per diem, part-time, and full-time job opportunities available, both of these positions offer the flexibility to work as little or as often as you would like. They can also help you diversify your skills, and get your foot in the door with a new employer such as a hospital, and gain experience working in different settings with new patient populations. The key to landing one? Proactivity
“While these nurse jobs are available throughout the fall and winter, the strongest hiring surge is taking place now,” explains Amanda. “There is typically a more diverse range of available opportunities during this time, so being proactive gives you the ability to identify a role that aligns with your goals and lifestyle.”
Since employers are looking for nurses to start as soon as possible, the hiring process moves quickly for these positions. To ensure you are prepared for this hiring surge, here is Amanda’s checklist for success:
Update your resume
Employers want to see that your clinical skills are up-to-date. Make sure the beginning of your resume highlights all your renewed certifications and any continuing education classes you have taken. If you are applying to be a flu shot nurse, you’ll want to highlight any prior immunization experience to show you are qualified for this role.
Ensure you have all your credentials
When applying to nurse jobs, you must be prepared with copies of your nursing registration, your license, diploma, and CPR certification. This will show any prospective employers that all your bases are covered.
Get medical clearance
It’s also important to see your physician for a physical (with blood work), get a PPD test, tetanus shot and flu shot, and go for a chest x ray. All healthcare employers require their employees to be clear in all these areas, so make sure that you are proactive about scheduling your appointments. You will not be able to start your assignment without being cleared.
Be flexible + responsive
If you are truly serious about taking advantage of this hot hiring period, it’s important that you remain flexible with your ability to interview. Since employers are often on a tight timetable to fill these nurse jobs, a delayed response or lack of availability could mean a missed opportunity. In a similar vein, you should be prepared with at least two references. To ensure they can speak to your most current skills, you should have worked with these references within the last two years.