By Lucy Osborn MACN (ENL)
This column, The Scrubs that Fit, is all about the highs and lows of being a junior nurse, from the perspective of an ACN Emerging Nurse Leader. The aim of these blog posts is to help ease the transition from university to grad years and beyond. Find Lucy on ACN’s neo and on Instagram @aussie_nurses.
I can’t believe its August, this crazy year has absolutely flown by. For me, it’s a good thing; hopefully if the year continues on this fast, I can see my family who I’m missing due to COVID-19restrictions. For others, it means graduate applications are due. This year applications are looking very different to other years, especially for those applying in Melbourne. I’m fortunate enough to be teaching third-year students this year, so I’m involved in the process. Today’s article highlights my advice and encouragement for all those currently going through the application process. Before we get started, here are some key tips to remember while you are completing your application.
- The system is new for everyone, there may be a few kinks to iron out, be patient, be calm.
- Do not stress. Think calmly and clearly about what you are doing and what you need to say. You’d be surprised about how much emotion can be carried through your application if you write it whilst tense.
- Take your time and be thorough.
- Allow time for IT errors and unexpected problems
- Send your most up-to-date transcript. Remember that most applicants won’t have a complete one either and the panel will understand that you are still finishing off your final year of education.
- Have the confidence to know you don’t know everything. This is extremely important in your interview as employers want to see you have the capacity to learn. They do not want graduate nurses who ’already know everything’.
- If you have an interest in a certain area, apply there and show how keen you are. However, one of the best parts of my graduate year was working in the place I thought I’d never want to work and I’m still using what I learnt in my practice today, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the area first go.
- Be yourself! You’ve got this.
I understand that it is a particularly challenging time, but the concerns of each of the students I have spoken to around Australia have been similar to that I have observed over the years. Getting your application right is extremely important, that’s why it is imperative that you complete it when you are in a good frame of mind. When I was writing my applications, I sometimes found myself getting wound up in certain aspects and doing last minute changes. These changes were often where I made minor errors. Once you have drafted your application and are happy with it, I encourage you not to continue to re-read and change it. The overall tone is lost in over-editing and you don’t want to sound like a robot. Your application needs to be a representation of YOU and the best way to do this is to get your personality across through your writing.
There is no is better time than now to be submitting as many applications as you can produce well. It is an extremely unpredictable world at the moment and, in my opinion, securing a position by opening up your applications to a range of places is the best way to increase your chances of securing a position. It also makes for a really great experience to be applying for different settings, such as public and private or community and acute. There is something to learn in every aspect of nursing and rarely will you learn something that is not applicable to other areas. What you are feeling is totally normal, however, it is likely intensified by the current climate. Seek support! Contact me or others at the Australian College of Nursing! Our Next Generation Community of Interest is a supportive place for early-career nurses to connect with each other. We are here to support you.
See my previous article for advice on how to write a graduate program application! Remember, not receiving an offer is in not a failure, there are other pathways you can take and you can always reapply. A graduate year is fantastic, but it is not the end of the world if you don’t get an offer this year. Make sure you ask for feedback, reflect and use the information to grow.