A nurse sits at a desk writing up notes.The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates more than 433,000 available nursing jobs for registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) between 2018 and 2021.1 Recruiters in all areas of healthcare will have their hands full sifting through applications and interviewing candidates, trying to find the right fit for their organization and helping to close the gap on the nursing shortage.

Successful candidates not only look good on paper but also deliver a stellar interview. Recruiters sift through résumés to look for certain in-demand skills, including bilingualism, experience with specialized equipment, and relevant computer proficiency.2 Recruiters seek additional qualities—here are the top five:

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  1. Initiative: Nurses aren’t given leadership responsibilities unless they’ve already demonstrated they can lead. Volunteering to help others, leading an initiative, or increasing collaboration among and across teams are great examples. Candidates should make sure their résumé and interview convey their leadership abilities.3
  2. Zeal: A career in nursing is demanding and can be stressful regardless of the work setting. Having a positive attitude is important for patient outcomes as well as harmonious interaction among colleagues. Unable to glean positivity from a résumé, recruiters will pay attention to a candidate’s upbeat personality during the interview.3
  3. Passion and Compassion: Recruiters can identify a nurse’s passion and compassion in a résumé and in an interview. Nursing job candidates’ passion for the industry and helping others can be indicated on a résumé or included in a cover letter.4 Candidates can also share with recruiters what is most rewarding about being a nurse and how they strive to make a difference within and outside of the workplace.
  4. Commitment: A strong work ethic is a critical competency that recruiters look for in a nursing job candidate. Employers want nurses who care about what they do and are willing to work with others to ensure delivery of proper patient care for successful patient outcomes. Being a member of a team and knowing how to address conflict are also beneficial. Reliable nurses who demonstrate professionalism and dedicate themselves to becoming better nurses will catch the attention of recruiters.4
  5. Quality Nursing Degree From an Accredited University: In 2010, the Institute of Medicine called for eight out of every 10 nurses to hold at least a bachelor’s degree by 2020. As of February, 2019 the percentage was at an all-time high of 56%, up 49% from 2010.5 Recruiters especially look for nurses who graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which is a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs.

Nursing is so much more than a job; it’s a passion. Recruiters will look for candidates with a desire to grow and deliver the best patient care possible. AACN reports there are 777 RN-to-BSN and 219 RN-to-MSN programs that build on the education provided in diploma and associate degree programs and prepare graduates for a broader scope of practice.5 Many of Walden University’s online nursing programs, including its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program, are accredited by CCNE. They allow nurses to continue working while studying, as well as implement what is learned immediately to improve the health of their communities and the reputation of their healthcare environment.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN) Completion Program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-6%20and%20www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6 and www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6
2Source: www.nursingworld.org/WhatRecruitersLookFor
3Source: www.monster.com/career-advice/article/nursing-skills-employers-want
4Source: http://plum.io/blog/5-vital-qualities-to-look-for-when-hiring-a-nurse/#.WUrEOxPyufU
5Source: https://www.aacnnursing.org/Portals/42/News/Factsheets/Education-Impact-Fact-Sheet.pdf

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Walden University’s DNP, MSN, and BSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K St. NW, Suite 750, Washington, D.C. 20001, 1-202-887-6791. CCNE is a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs. For students, accreditation signifies program innovation and continuous self-assessment.

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