Clinicals and Your First Job
I was recently speaking with a group of students who will be
graduating this year about their current clinical rotations and how things are
going. Many of the students had been at at least one of their clinical sites
since beginning their programs and were now feeling quite comfortable. Some students
even stated that a nurse or two had asked if they would be staying after
graduation. "So, would you like to work there?" I asked. "Oh yes, I love it
there!" was the overwhelming response. Naturally, I asked if they had made any
inquiries or taken any steps to pursue future employment at their clinical
They looked at each other, looked at me and after a few
seconds of silence they admitted to feeling uncomfortable broaching the subject
of potential employment at their clinical sites. They shared that they felt
some hesitation because they were worried that asking about future work might
be viewed as overstepping boundaries or considered to be too "pushy" or "forward."
Let's talk about that perception.
Networking is still the number one way that NPs and PAs find
jobs. I can't say or stress that often enough. This is especially true for the
coveted family practice and primary care positions. It's as true for the new
grad as it is for the seasoned clinician: Employers like to hire individuals
that have some connection to their current employees.
In this day and age when the scope of what a former employer
or colleague is allowed to disclose when giving references is limited by law, many
employers don't feel entirely comfortable depending primarily on "outside"
recommendations. In other words, a
reference or referral from a trusted employee, who values the organization and
with whom the employer knows well, is worth its weight in gold. I mean, would
you stick your neck out to recommend someone to your boss if you weren't
completely sure about the skills and character of that clinician? Not if you
value your job!
What does this mean? It means that your clinical host would
more than likely welcome your statement of interest in their clinic. It's not
pushy to express interest or inquire about job opportunities. It's actually rather
flattering if you think about it. Now, I am not saying you have to ask on a daily
basis, but it's ok to state your interest and ask if you can submit your resume.
Bottom line: Don't sit around waiting to be asked
to apply. Be proactive and make
the most of the connections you are establishing during your clinical
rotations. After you graduate, these will ultimately be the connections that