When submitting an application for nursing roles many hospitals, trusts and other employers will emphasise common skills or experience and by highlighting these on your application you may significantly improve your chances.
Level, qualifications and training
It is essential that you specify your level of seniority, qualifications and your formal training. This includes your NMC Pin number, whether you have UK registration, have applied for it, or are a student. Have you undertaken training in infection control, adult resuscitation, safeguarding children, K2 computerised cardiotocograph packages etc.?
Vacancies call for different areas of specialisation and you should include all relevant aspects of your clinical experience, across your career – antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal care, paediatric metabolic diseases, intensive care, acquired brain injuries etc.
Include any experience of supervising or mentoring staff, even if this is in an informal capacity. Clinical teams usually rely on the contribution of all members and employers value those who have shown they can take on responsibility and help others by directly supporting or by helping them to seek advice and solutions to problems.
Review your career experience and think of relevant examples of risk management. This can include identifying deviations from the “norm” and taking appropriate actions, whether this was in reporting incidents or hazards or communicating to junior or more senior healthcare professionals, as appropriate.
This has become an increasingly important area for frontline staff and a requirement for many nursing roles. Relevant experience that you can draw upon includes activities such as collating and reporting on data, audits and benchmarking. If you have used data to help develop and implement best practices it may very well set you apart from other candidates. Similarly, including any research involvement will be beneficial to include.
Nursing jobs involve interaction with a great range of other professionals, from clinicians to service managers to individuals in external organisations. Consider the professional relationships you have developed and maintained, such as those within your immediate teams as well as other staff and then broaden this to individuals in external organisations, such as universities. Some roles call for the ability to successfully develop just these types of relationships and therefore it is well worth highlighting your experience.
If you are bi- or multilingual it can be helpful for some roles. Nursing jobs based in catchment areas where several languages are spoken or where English is not the primary language spoken will benefit from professionals who can communicate effectively. Similarly, if you have knowledge or experience of diverse communities and varying cultural norms and standards, it is worth including this information in your application.
You may need to provide reference details at the application stage and therefore you should organise these at the outset. Your referees should ideally be employers who can speak confidently about the quality of your work. If you have never been employed or have been out of work for a while then someone in a position of responsibility who knows you well may be sufficient.