Tag Archives: newly qualified nurse

How to arrange your CV as a newly qualified Nurse applying for your first nursing job

I get asked this question a lot, so I thought I’d try and put together a few short instructions about how your CV should look as a newly qualified nurse.

You first need to decide which type of CV you will need, and there are two types of NQ nurse CV – those whose first career is nursing, and those who are changing career to nursing. Your CV should be presented according to which of the two options above you are. If nursing is your first career, then you can probably check out my other post on how to put together a nursing cv.

If you’re changing career to nursing, then a slightly different layout is required. The best way to think of the order of priority is to remember that the CV you’re about to create is for a nursing position, so it should be primarily focused around the skills, education and experience you have in that industry. You will undoubtedly have skills from your previous career that can be applied in nursing, and it’s those that you should include with a greater priority than those which won’t be of any use. Eg knowledge of accounting procedure might not be so valuable but attention to detail and a logical approach definitely are.

So my advice is to start with (after your contact details obviously, which should always be at the top) your nursing qualification, information about the placements completed with particular reference to those that are relevant to the position you are applying for, and information about the practical and personal skills you have acquired. Make sure you highlight any previous healthcare experience in this section. You should then include your personal statement, which should be focused towards why you are suitable for the position, a summary of your learning outcomes achieved during your course and your goals for the future if you were to be offered the position.

Once you’ve got everything that’s related to nursing and healthcare included, you can then move on to your previous employment experience and qualifications. Make sure you tailor as much of it as possible towards your new career and explain how your background has given you the ideal grounding to be a nurse. It doesn’t matter what your previous experience is, as long as you can show why you’re committed to being a nurse and how your past experience makes you ideal for the role, you’ll be in with a good chance.

If you prefer a visual description of a nursing CV, click this link to take you to a previous post showing an example CV.

Good Luck!

Interview with newly qualified Nurse about her new nursing job

1.       What is the job title of the position you were interviewed for?
Band 5 Nurse – Care of the Elderly
2.       Where is the position based?
Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon
3.       Will this be your first staff nurse job after qualifying?
Yes
4.       Where did you train and what qualification have you got?
I have studied for the entire DipHE Nursing (Adult) course at the University of Plymouth
5.       Are you automatically registered with the NMC when you qualify?
As far as I am aware it is the responsibility of the University to send a “Letter of Good Character” to the NMC for consideration prior to registration and issue of a PIN number.  Have been told this takes upwards of 6 weeks.
6.       What preparation did you do for the interview?
Was advised by current Mentor (who happens to undertake interviews as part of another job she holds) that it would be a good idea to arrange to meet with the Ward Manager and spend some time on the ward, ask questions about what they do, become familiar with the Ward Philosophy and generally give them a good, lasting first impression prior to meeting you in an interview setting.
I made a point of researching all current strategies with regards Care of the Elderly as well as more general revision on policies for the hospital and Clinical Governance (came in very handy as this was one of the questions !)  For added bonus points I looked into some national and local statistics based on care of the elderly, life expectancy etc.
I even went so far as to ask my friend who works on the ward to put a good word in for me!
7.       What questions did you get asked?
There were seven questions in total and unfortunately I cannot remember the exact wording but it was along the lines of:
1. Why was I drawn to working on a care of the elderly ward?
2. What would I consider to by my strengths and weaknesses?
3. How would I respond if asked by a senior member of staff to carry out a duty I was not qualified/competent to do?
4. In my own words, briefly explain my understanding of the “Governance Strategy”
5. How would I ensure the best interests of my patients?
6. How did I personally prepare for the interview?
8.       What did you wear?
Black linen trousers, plain white blouse, black boots and a hot pink raincoat style jacket!
9.       Did you feel you got the chance to expand on areas that you were confident in?
I think I was lucky as I was given the chance to expand and when I apologised for “waffling” I was told not to worry as they liked waffle, “it gives more away about a person”.
10.   Do you feel like you answered their questions fully?
See above re: waffle!! I think I gave quite comprehensive answers to their questions and surprised them by throwing in a few statistics.  I made reference to relevant parts of past placements e.g. community nursing of elderly people in their own homes/care homes, orthopaedic trauma (elderly people at risk of falls and fractured hips), Oncology ward (end of life care) community and neurological rehabilitation units (multidisciplinary working).  Also my current placement within skin and woundcare with a secondment to the Infection Control team would prove useful to their team.
11.   What will the position entail if you get it?
Initially, until PIN number comes through, I will work as a Band 4 Nurse which, as I understand will entail all duties expected of a Registered Nurse but medications will need to be supervised (pretty much as it is as a student).  Once I recieve my PIN number I will be made up to a Band 5 Registered Nurse.
Care of the Elderly involves as much social care as it does health care and I will be expected to work closely with the Discharge Co-Ordinator in this respect to ensure that when a patient leaves hospital they are going to an appropriate environment to deal with their needs.
As the post offers a Preceptership (?spelling) I will be sent on various courses such as IV drugs, male catheterisation, venopuncture etc.
12.   What attracted you to the job you were interviewed for?
I have had a great deal of contact with elderly patients throughout my training so felt natural to follow this through.  Initially (honestly) the fact a friend I had met through training who qualified the year prior to me worked on the ward I was applying for was a big initiative as the thought of a familiar face made the prospect of going into my first qualified post less daunting.
The fact the position comes with a Preceptorship also attracted me as this will give me a much needed transitional period rather than going straight into a registered position without additional support.
13.   Did you always want to be a nurse?
No.  Again honestly it came about when my husband and I were looking to move to Plymouth and I became restless for a change from secretarial work.  At the time (2004) the NHS were promoting a huge recruitment drive and after hearing an advert on a local radio station I decided “I can do that”.
14.   Have you enjoying studying to be a nurse?
The course has been fraught with difficulties as a lot of the modules I have undertaken have been new, never before run modules which the University have been “trying out” on my cohort.  Whilst away from the University environment and in clinical placement I have loved my training.  It has had ups and downs as expected but ultimately I still, even after 3 years training, want to be a Nurse and do the best I can for the vulnerable people I will be responsible for.
Joanne Whittaker
DipHE Nursing (Adult)
University of Plymouth ‘09

1.       What is the job title of the position you were interviewed for?

Band 5 Nurse – Care of the Elderly

2.       Where is the position based?

Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon

3.       Will this be your first staff nurse job after qualifying?

Yes

4.       Where did you train and what qualification have you got?

I have studied for the entire DipHE Nursing (Adult) course at the University of Plymouth

5.       Are you automatically registered with the NMC when you qualify?

As far as I am aware it is the responsibility of the University to send a “Letter of Good Character” to the NMC for consideration prior to registration and issue of a PIN number.  Have been told this takes upwards of 6 weeks.

6.       What preparation did you do for the interview?

Was advised by current mentor (who happens to undertake interviews as part of another job she holds) that it would be a good idea to arrange to meet with the Ward Manager and spend some time on the ward, ask questions about what they do, become familiar with the ward philosophy and generally give them a good, lasting first impression prior to meeting you in an interview setting.

I made a point of researching all current strategies with regards care of the elderly as well as more general revision on policies for the hospital and Clinical Governance (came in very handy as this was one of the questions !)  For added bonus points I looked into some national and local statistics based on care of the elderly, life expectancy etc.

I even went so far as to ask my friend who works on the ward to put a good word in for me!

7.       What questions did you get asked?

There were seven questions in total and unfortunately I cannot remember the exact wording but it was along the lines of:

1. Why was I drawn to working on a care of the elderly ward?

2. What would I consider to by my strengths and weaknesses?

3. How would I respond if asked by a senior member of staff to carry out a duty I was not qualified/competent to do?

4. In my own words, briefly explain my understanding of the “Governance Strategy”

5. How would I ensure the best interests of my patients?

6. How did I personally prepare for the interview?

8.       What did you wear?

Black linen trousers, plain white blouse, black boots and a hot pink raincoat style jacket!

9.       Did you feel you got the chance to expand on areas that you were confident in?

I think I was lucky as I was given the chance to expand and when I apologised for “waffling” I was told not to worry as they liked waffle, “it gives more away about a person”.

10.   Do you feel like you answered their questions fully?

See above re: waffle!! I think I gave quite comprehensive answers to their questions and surprised them by throwing in a few statistics.  I made reference to relevant parts of past placements e.g. community nursing of elderly people in their own homes/care homes, orthopaedic trauma (elderly people at risk of falls and fractured hips), Oncology ward (end of life care) community and neurological rehabilitation units (multidisciplinary working).  Also my current placement within skin and woundcare with a secondment to the Infection Control team would prove useful to their team.

11.   What will the position entail if you get it?

Initially, until PIN number comes through, I will work as a Band 4 Nurse which, as I understand will entail all duties expected of a Registered Nurse but medications will need to be supervised (pretty much as it is as a student).  Once I recieve my PIN number I will be made up to a Band 5 Registered Nurse.

Care of the Elderly involves as much social care as it does health care and I will be expected to work closely with the Discharge Co-Ordinator in this respect to ensure that when a patient leaves hospital they are going to an appropriate environment to deal with their needs.

As the post offers a preceptorship I will be sent on various courses such as IV drugs, male catheterisation, venopuncture etc.

12.   What attracted you to the job you were interviewed for?

I have had a great deal of contact with elderly patients throughout my training so felt natural to follow this through.  Initially (honestly) the fact a friend I had met through training who qualified the year prior to me worked on the ward I was applying for was a big initiative as the thought of a familiar face made the prospect of going into my first qualified post less daunting.

The fact the position comes with a preceptorship also attracted me as this will give me a much needed transitional period rather than going straight into a registered position without additional support.

13.   Did you always want to be a nurse?

No.  Again honestly it came about when my husband and I were looking to move to Plymouth and I became restless for a change from secretarial work.  At the time (2004) the NHS were promoting a huge recruitment drive and after hearing an advert on a local radio station I decided “I can do that”.

14.   Have you enjoying studying to be a nurse?

The course has been fraught with difficulties as a lot of the modules I have undertaken have been new, never before run modules which the University have been “trying out” on my cohort.  Whilst away from the University environment and in clinical placement I have loved my training.  It has had ups and downs as expected but ultimately I still, even after 3 years training, want to be a Nurse and do the best I can for the vulnerable people I will be responsible for.

JW

DipHE Nursing (Adult)

University of Plymouth ‘09

Newly Qualified Nurses To Feedback On Patient Safety

Newly-qualified nurses should be used to provide a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ on patient safety within trusts, according to NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh.

NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keyoh is keen to encourage newly qualified nurses to have an input into patient safety. In an interview with the Nursing Times, he said “When you have been working in the system you can get used to things. One thing I am trying to do is get people who are coming into organisations, who have a fresh pair of eyes, to offer their opinions.”

He has also suggested a series of suggestion boxes that patients could contribute to with their feedback.

“RCN Student Advisor Gill Robertson welcomed the proposals although she warned that they would need ‘robust’ implementation.”

Source - Nursing Times Website 28/04/09