GETTING AHEAD: Practical Ways to Boost Your Employability

Statistics reveal that there are more than 200,000 registered nurses and counting who are currently unemployed in the Philippines.  With a very small number of employment possibilities for RNs in clinical and health-related settings, how will you ensure employability?  And considering the 200,000+ also job hunting, where and how will you position or market yourself to be ahead?

  1. TRAINING.  Although not all hospitals require the applicant to have undergone post-bachelor’s trainings, it will be of great advantage to obtain them.  Some of these trainings include: Basic Intravenous Therapy Course (IVT), Basic Life Support (BLS), and First Aid among others.
  2. ADVANCE YOUR EDUCATION.  While awaiting for your job prospects to respond, and considering that all RNs in the Philippines are grounded on the same academic program, BSN, you may consider advancing your educational preparation through enrolment in graduate programs.  Not many nurses in the country are educated at the graduate-level, and thus this is surely an advantage.  To become a faculty/ clinical instructor, a master’s degree is required similarly if one is occupying a managerial position in the hospital/ clinical settings.
  3. NETWORK AND LINKAGES.  Who are the people you know?  It pays to know key people in nursing organizations or even nurses you meet everywhere.  The people you know may provide you with referrals to prospective job openings or who knows, they might already be the employer.  Lesson, get to know the Registered Nurses around you and establish a good relationship with them.
  4. “FREEZE HIRING!”, THINK AGAIN.  There may not be available posts at the moment but you can still submit an application.  Submit even if it’s just for manpower pooling purposes only.  Do not rely mainly on the job posts that see in the print or in job search engines.  Hospitals and its administrators know that there are thousands of nurses awaiting to be employed and advertising their need would cause thousands to flock in their human resources office or nursing service office.  So gear up and visit as many hospitals as you can to submit your resume.  Who knows, the hiring may be tomorrow and your application is already on the line.
  5. SPEAK ENGLISH, GO GLOBAL.  English is used globally for communication and it is important that any applicant can speak the language.  Besides, interviews are conducted in English therefore applicants should be able to express themselves well in English.  During interviews of simple conversations, be articulate in the manner of expressing yourself.  Practical tips on improving your English speaking and listening: read, watch, listen, and talk English.
  6. COMPUTER KNOW HOW.  To put it simply, no one submits a bio-data filled-in with information that are handwritten.  Creating an impressive resume also counts on your ability to use the computer.  And with the advent of nursing informatics and hospitals are starting to utilize computer-based hospital information systems, nurses must be knowledgeable and skillful with the use of computers.  Those who intend to work in the academe must also possess the skills as most of the time, multimedia equipment and computers are used as part of the teaching strategies.
  7. MAXIMIZE THE USE OF THE INTERNET.  Job search engines such as Jobstreet, JobsDB and WorkAbroad allow you to create your resume for employers to search and for you to search employers and submit your application online.  Free advertising websites such as Sulit and OLX may be helpful.  Just make sure that the information you provide are accurate and verifiable.
  8. UPDATE YOURSELF.  Almost everything if not all information can be found in the Internet.  New trends in practice can sometimes be asked during interviews.  This creates an impression that you are updating yourself.  Website such as NursingCrib and other reliable sites provide up-to-date information for the use of nurses and student nurses.
  9. UPGRADE YOUR QUALIFICATIONS.  Aside from a considerable work experience, if you are considering a prospective job abroad such as in the US, Canada, Singapore or elsewhere that requires for licensure, make sure that you have them.  English proficiency examinations may sometimes be required as well.
  10. DO NOT WAIT FOR THE JOB TO FIND YOU, FIND IT!  There’s always an available job for a person who is perseverant.  Avoid the thinking that there are thousands of unemployed and so you look for a job unrelated to what you have finished.  You haven’t tried hunting for one yet and there is no harm in trying.
Photo Credits:

Byron Webb Romero, RN, MSN

Finished BSN at Lyceum of the Philippines University, and Master of Science in Nursing Major in Adult Health Nursing at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. Currently working at Manila Doctors College of Nursing as a Team Leader for Level I and II, Lecturer for Professional Nursing Subjects, and also a Clinical Instructor.

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