This month’s seminar was especially interesting because it gave us a lot of insight into what the job search and application process for a nursing position would be like.  Three employees from Children’s Hospital, Earlene Avalon, director of nursing diversity initiatives; Dina Juhasz, senior nurse recruiter; and José Vega, nurse, talked to us about various topics related to the job search for nursing positions.

The seminar began with Dr. Avalon speaking about some diversity initiatives at Children’s Hospital such as the Diversity and Cultural Competency Council (DCCC), a committee that discusses and addresses diversity issues at the hospital. It is helpful to know that hospitals have programs to ensure culturally competent care to a diverse patient population. Such resources are important to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and to keep in mind when considering prospective employers. Dina Juhasz was the second guest speaker and discussed what hospital hiring departments were looking for in a candidate. She covered various topics including resume, cover letters, interview process, and ways to present oneself. Dina mentioned that the cover letter, which is completely new to me, does not necessarily need to be very long or personal, just succinct and direct. Seeing sample cover letters and resumes were extremely helpful in understanding what is appropriate when applying for a nursing job and what is not. It was shocking to hear that a resume could be longer than one page and putting the GPA on was not necessary. Dina also covered many specifics about the interview that were intriguing, such as having a one-bag limit, dressing conservatively and simply, not bringing beverages, and not speaking negatively about anyone during the interview.  Dina’s presentation was very beneficial as she addressed aspects about the nursing job application process I would not have otherwise known about.

Also, listening to José, a recently hired nurse, talk about his experience working his way up from being a clinical assistant to being a nurse at a hospital was inspiring and informative. This story motivated me to reach out to local hospitals to volunteer and build a good relationship with them to pave the way for future opportunities such as working as a clinical assistant and eventually as a nurse. José made the point that going the extra mile at work and making sure you have a good reputation is very important during this process, and even after one has been hired. These all seem to be things that we automatically assume when going into a job, but seeing how a good reputation goes a long way makes me more wary of the way I will act in a professional setting.

Overall, this monthly seminar was extremely valuable, teaching me about professional tips, job application process specific to the nursing profession, and the importance of diversity initiatives in healthcare facilities. It is great that I am learning this early on in my career, so I am able to plan ahead and practice these skills. I am grateful for another great, enriching KILN monthly meeting.