Getting into nursing without experience can seem impossible if you have not done any research. However, everyone starts from the bottom at some point in their career, and there is no reason you cannot get into nursing in the future, regardless of your nursing experience or how old you are. As such, here are some top tips that will allow you to get into nursing even if you have little experience right now.
Take a Qualification
There are two essentials when you are looking to start your career: experience and education. If you do not have the prior, it can often be the best choice to start with the latter first, as this will allow you to have the qualifications needed to get experience at a top level. As such, you should look around for nursing and healthcare qualifications that appeal to you. It is likely that you will already have qualifications of some sort, even if these are not at a higher educational level. You should look at nursing courses that look as if they might be able to get you where you want to go and whose requirements match the qualifications that you already hold. This will then allow you to take a nursing qualification even if none of your other qualifications are associated with healthcare or nursing. For instance, a qualification like an online ABSN program can allow you to get into nursing or change your career to nursing even if you have no prior experience in the subject.
Although you might not often associate nursing with online degrees, doing an online degree will allow you to study in your own time and can take the pressure away from learning. This can then mean that you can get a career in nursing without any of the factors that may have previously held you back, such as the fear of being a mature student. This is a route that is becoming more popular as technology develops and studying online becomes easier. Once you have this qualification, you will then be able to start on your nursing career ladder and get all the experience that you need gradually. Not only this, but many courses allow you to perform practical assessments, even if these are virtual, in which you will be able to experience a simulated professional environment and get ready for the settings that you may work within if you decide to pursue nursing further.
Look at Internships
Just because you do not have experience, this does not mean that you will never be able to get any. Instead of looking straight for a job in nursing, you should consider doing an internship that can allow you to get an insight into the world of nursing while also being able to learn on the job and collecting experience of the many different parts of nursing. Many internships do not require you to have experience, although they may ask for a certain level of qualification and you may need to go through an application process to be accepted into the internship in question. These can then set you up for success, and many last for a few weeks or months. Once you have completed your internship, it is much more likely that you will be able to get the job that you are vying for.
Volunteer in Healthcare
Although you do not get paid for volunteering, one of the great advantages is that anyone can volunteer in any sector and there are fewer restrictions and barriers to this than there are if you would like a permanent and paid job in the sector. As such, you can start looking for voluntary jobs in healthcare today through volunteering websites that allow you to filter through the available positions that are on offer. You might even look at the webpages of companies and clinics as they may advertise for volunteers on these and you might even be able to apply directly for the position on this website. Sometimes, you may have to find the contact details for the company that you have in mind and ask them whether they take on volunteers and whether they would be willing to take you on. However, once you have done this, voluntary experience is often just as good as paid experience on CVs.
Start From the Bottom
Some people want to get their dream job straight away and without working up to it. However, unless your dream job is a graduate or starter position, this is unlikely to be the case, and you may find that you must start from the bottom if you have little experience in healthcare. However, by doing this, you will be able to get all the experience that you need before your dream position comes up and this will ensure that you can do your dream job better when you finally get it. As such, you should apply for starter and graduate positions that appeal to you and that have progression opportunities. You should also look for positions with companies that you like and that you would do anything to get through the door with, as well as companies that have a great company culture. This will help you to work harder and more productively, which can help others to respect you and ensure that you are always the first in line for a promotion when the time comes.
Get a Mentor
To be successful in the world of nursing if you have little experience and have not made a name for yourself yet, it is often useful to get a mentor who will be able to put a good word in for you and who will be able to guide you through the biggest steps of your career. They will be able to encourage you when you are struggling and will be able to instruct you as to how to get all the nursing experience and qualifications that you need to succeed. As such, rather than trying to get into the healthcare sector alone and panicking about how you are going to do this, you should instead look for a mentor who will be able to support you throughout your biggest career experiences. However, no mentor is the same and you might not click with everyone who offers to be your mentor. As such, you should join networking groups and professional networks where you might be able to find a mentor who is willing to help you out. You might also find a mentor through volunteer opportunities and your job, so you should not dismiss any way that you might be able to find a mentor who can help you out with your goals. Not only this, but some medical settings run mentorship schemes that will allow you to get the mentorship that you need without the hassle of having to find this mentor yourself. However, you should never stay with a mentor who makes you feel bad about your progress and who is not allowing you to be the best that you can be.
Work on Yourself
Although you might not always be able to get the exact experience that you need, you do not need to find any opportunities to work on yourself, and you can start to work on yourself now. For instance, many soft skills come in handy when you are a nurse, and many of these are skills that employers want to see, and that is why they ask for a certain amount of experience. As such, instead of simply believing that you need more formal experience to brush up on your skills, this is not the case. Instead, you can work on these soft skills at home. For instance, you might start up your own projects, join social groups near you and take up leadership positions in them, and isolate and analyze your skills and the weaknesses that you have. You can get experience from anywhere, if only you know where to look, and, by utilizing every single opportunity that is available and putting yourself forward for these, you will be able to thrive once you get into a work environment. This will then ensure that you are an asset to any team that you decide to work on in the future. are
Get an Apprenticeship
As well as internships, there is also the possibility of nursing apprenticeships in the United States, which will allow you to work and study at the same time, and will ensure that, once you complete your apprenticeship, you will have the exact skills and experience that you need to excel in a permanent job. You might even be offered a job with the company that you apprentice for, and you might think about taking this if you like the company that you have apprenticed for. As such, you should look online for apprenticeships that you think will be valuable for you and that have alumni that have had great careers in nursing. If you are still in college or school, you might even consider speaking to a careers advisor about these apprenticeships to ensure that you choose the right one and to make sure that you can find out all about the best nursing apprenticeships that are available to you. This will then ensure that you do not miss out on an opportunity that could potentially change your life.
Use Your Connections
It can sometimes be hard to get into nursing if you have no connections and if you have focused all your career efforts online. However, having connections and using them is vital if you want to succeed in any career, especially if you have no experience. As such, you should make sure that you attend networking events and talks, and conferences in the nursing world. You should also harness the help of any friends or relatives who work in the healthcare field. Using your connections will allow you to find out opportunities that will allow you to succeed in nursing and get all the experience that you need, and you may even be able to find open positions using these connections that require you to have less experience than the ones that you have previously found on the internet. These will then ensure that you can succeed without any of the issues that might have previously plagued you, and these connections can also take some of the burden of the job and experience search away from you.
Try Job Shadowing
Sometimes, it can be difficult to work out what experience and skills you need without first working in healthcare as you will not have the insight that you need first-hand. As such, instead of simply sticking to reading the ‘day in the life’ blogs that are sprinkled around career websites, you should instead try job shadowing, as this will allow you to get a look into healthcare without needing a permanent position to do this. You might even decide to shadow a higher position in your company once you have started working in healthcare. This will allow you to know what will be expected of you when you get into healthcare, and this is an opportunity that you can put on your resumé and which can show your dedication to learning and to gaining experience. As such, instead of simply sitting back and filling in application forms from home, you need to get stuck in and try the job that you want out, even if this is only for a week or two. Although you will not usually be able to be very hands-on when you are job shadowing, you will be able to know what you need to work on for the future and you will have experience working in specific environments.
As such, if you are desperate for a little bit of experience in nursing but do not believe that this is possible for a variety of reasons, such as your inability to succeed during recruitment campaigns, you should look for alternative ways to get experience and become a nurse. From focusing on the academic side of nursing to shadowing someone who already has a job in healthcare, by following some of the tips in this guide, your entry into healthcare will be quicker and smoother than you may previously have expected.