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Your First CRNA Job

Your first CRNA job out of school can really define your career. I truly believe your first year shapes your confidence, your habits and sets the stage for the kind of anesthesia provider you will become. Although you just finished a very rigorous program and you might feel like you’ve learned a lot (and of course you have) most of your actual learning is about to begin. The first year is really challenging and extremely rewarding. My suggestion is to make your first job count. You might end up taking a job at a hospital that you rotated through as a student, reiterating my point about how to behave in clinicals as though you’re on a daily job interview. You might want a challenging position at a major teaching hospital where you may sacrifice some autonomy for doing complicated, exciting procedures. You may choose to join a small rural practice where you practice completely on your own, providing anesthesia for a variety of patient populations and getting great experience in all locations of the hospital. Whatever your choice is, I highly suggest looking for a job several months before graduation. It could be as simple as sending out some emails to see what’s out there. Make a few phone calls and inquiries. The worst that you’ll hear is that it’s too early and to contact them when you’re closer to graduation. I think it’s never too early to get your name out there. I graduated in December but had a job offer and papers signed in June. For the last 6 months of school, I wasn’t worried about where I was going to work. Instead, I was able to focus on finishing strong and studying for boards. Decide what kind of practice you want to join and go for it. Keep in mind, your first job doesn’t have to be your dream job (I’m very lucky that mine was), sometimes it’s good to just get your foot in the door. But with a little extra work and motivation, you can come out of school with the job you actually want, and not just one you had to take out of desperation because you waited for the last minute.

Résumé/ Interviews- The way to get a job is to have a kick ass résumé and nail your interview. Your résumé needs to be updated to look professional. Don’t focus too much on your experiences as an SRNA. Everyone went through a CRNA program, and although some are definitely better than others, most teach you basically the same stuff. Your résumé should highlight your nursing career and experiences. Basically, if an employer has to choose between two new grads to hire, they are more likely to choose the one with more years of ICU experience. Also, nailing your interview is key. Your résumé gets you in the door, but your interview gets you a job offer when you walk out. Look the part on interview day. How you look says a lot about you, and that first impression is crucial. When I went in for my job interview, the first thing the chief CRNA said to me was “wow, great suit.” Click here to see how we can help make your résumé ready to send out to employers, and help you nail that job interview.

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