The Wider World of Nursing

A reflection: RCNi Nursing Careers & Jobs Fair 2019

I went to my first job fair as a third year a couple of days ago and although I was excited at the prospect of meeting prospective employers, the anxiety of meeting prospective employers proved an equal match!

Do I look smart? Is my makeup ok? Is my hair in place? WILL THEY LIKE ME?

I went with my sister who is also a third year, although she qualifies in January 2020 whereas I qualify in September 2019, but it was nonetheless beneficial to her too. We have tried to support each they through our studies and while it’s been difficult when the pressure mounts, having a loved one know what you’re going through it a comfort.

As we entered the hall, we were greeted by our first three stands of nurses in uniform beaming at us as we approached. One was an agency that dealt with forensics in police custody such as collecting DNA samples which I found fascinating! Unfortunately they required 4 years of clinical experience before you could apply with them so we moved on. We found a few nursing agencies around the hall, all of which required that you had at least finished your preceptorship before going onto their books so we just avoided them.

I approached one trust based in the West Midlands where I know some people work. In fact, their chief nurse was once a chief nurse somewhere I’ve worked so I’ve followed her progress on twitter since her move there. I chatted with their recruitment advisors about which areas interested me and then a question came out of the blue:

“Would you like to apply and we can interview you today?”

I was completely thrown but managed to splutter out a ‘Yes! Absolutely!’ I was instructed to fill out a form and given a time slot to go back for, and meanwhile I wandered around the other stands. The variety of nursing and trusts was great to see and I ended up chatting with one trust about mental health and dual registrations for a good half an hour!

I also attended a seminar on preceptorship where I also met up with fellow Student Nurse Project team member, Claire which was lovely!

When it was time for my interview I went back over to the stand where they led me to a private booth to begin. I was absolutely terrified! I’ve never felt very good at interviews because I can’t stop talking and then I come out thinking I’ve had verbal diarrhoea! The two nurses were senior nurses on the area I’d be working so I knew it was important that they felt confident in me. So I tried my best to put my calm head on (easier said than done).

They asked a series of scenario based questions, like what would be first action be on discovering an unconscious patient in a side room. Once I’d answered that, the following question was what would be my first action after that event. Then we chatted about leadership. It was one of those situations where I suddenly felt like I knew nothing at all.

Once the interview was over they asked me to step outside and they’d call me back in a few minutes. So not only, had I had an unexpected interview, they were actually going to tell me the outcome too! Crikey, I wasn’t expecting all of this today!

They offered me the job. Blimey! I’d walked into this jobs fair to have a look to see what sort of opportunities were open to me and I was leaving with a job at a totally new trust, with fantastic opportunities to start my nursing career with.

Written by Aimie Morgan (@AimieLMorgan)

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