Graduate Nurse Residencies

Early Opening ...
August 1 - September 15

Apply for the February 2015 Start Date!
 

Designed for the new graduate nurse who is licensed as an RN before the start date, this year-long program facilitates the transition from student nurse to professional nurse using a myriad of educational techniques.  The length of the orientation period will vary between 12 and 20 weeks, depending on the unit and/or specialty.  During this time, an RN preceptor provides support, encouragement, and expertise, and shares in the daily rewards and challenges of nursing at Penn State Hershey.  Once orientation is complete, the Residency continues with required monthly seminars, educational opportunities, and activities that provide an atmosphere of camaraderie where participants celebrate their personal growth, skill development, and burgeoning self confidence with one another. These four-hour seminars provide the opportunity for residents to build a supportive network with other nurses who are just beginning their careers at Penn State Hershey.

The residency is a full-time position that transitions seamlessly into a full-time staff nurse position.  Full pay and benefits are effective the first day of hire. Graduate Nurse Residents are expected to remain full-time on one unit for the entire year of the program, as well as actively participate in all generalized and specialty learning opportunities that are offered.

Quote from a recent Graduate Nurse Resident: "After going to several other facilities for clinicals, I was amazed at the contrast between other nurses and the Penn State Hershey nurses.  Not once did I have a preceptor who was anything less than receptive, engaged, supportive, and empowering.  From my very first day on the unit, I was regarded as a valuable member of the team, and everyone has had a stake in my training.  That's the kind of nurse I want to be!"

To speak with a Nurse Recruiter, please call Lynn McCleary at 717-531-1118 or email lmccleary1@hmc.psu.edu.

General Nurse Residency Questions
What is a Graduate Nurse Residency?
Is this a paid Nurse Residency?
What shift will I be working?
What uniforms will I need?
I already have my license.  Must I complete a Nurse Residency in order to be hired at Penn State Hershey?
Do I need to already be license when the Residency begins?
Is there a minimum GPA for acceptance?
Is a BSN required in order to be hired as a Graduate Nurse Resident?

Unit Questions
Should I apply to staff nurse jobs on the units that interest me?
If I am offered and accept a position, may I transfer to another unit when another position opens up?
Will I know which units are hiring and how many positions they will have?
To how many units will my Portfolio be sent?
How will I know what type of patients the different units specialize in, and which units interest me most?

Application Questions
How difficult is the application process?
When can I apply for a Graduate Nurse Residency at Penn State Hershey?
Once I apply, when will I know whether I am chosen for an interview?
If I graduated in Summer 2013, am I eligible for the February 2014 Residency?
Which email address should I provide?
I was an Extern last year.  Do I need to reapply?
Besides completing the online application, what else do I need to do?
What is the difference between Unofficial and Official transcripts?
If I submit my Portfolio immediately, do I have a better chance of being hired?
May I send all my information by US Postal Service?
Do I need written references from my professors?

Interview Questions
Am I guaranteed an interview if I apply?
Will I be granted an interview wherever I want to work?
When will interviews be conducted?
Is preference given to Penn State or to other local college students?
If I am not local, might I be reimbursed for my travel expenses if I come to interview?  Do you provide relocation assistance if I am hired?
On what criteria is the hiring decision made?
What can I do to prepare for the interview?
Do you have any advice for the interview?

After the Interview Questions
When will selections be made?
Will I be contacted whether I get the position or not?
If I am not chosen, will I be offered feedback as to why and on how I can improve my interview skills?

 

General Nurse Residency Questions

What is a Graduate Nurse Residency?

The Graduate Nurse Residency is a structured twelve-month program that facilitates the transition from student nurse to fully functioning and competent staff nurse on the unit. The program is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and ongoing support, utilizing such strategies as classroom learning, seminars, case studies, small group discussion, simulation, precepted clinical practice, evidence-based practice exploration/projects, and personal interactions with expert facilitators.

Is this a paid Nurse Residency?

Yes. In fact, this is not at all like a medical student's residency where you put in time for educational purposes and then leave.  At Penn State Hershey, all Graduate Nurse Residents are selected to fill permanent staff nurse positions on the hiring unit. You will receive a full RN salary and comprehensive benefits beginning the day you start New Employee Orientation.

What shift will I be working?

As a Graduate Nurse Resident, your offer letter will indicate a varied shift, and you will be assigned to a full-time day-night rotation. Once the orientation period is complete, you will have the opportunity to apply to other available full-time shifts on your unit, as they become available. Your full-time status must be maintained for the entire year of the Nurse Residency.

What uniforms will I need?

Uniform colors are specific to the various units, and will be discussed during your interview. While a few units provide scrubs, for most areas you will be responsible for the purchase and care of uniforms and/or scrubs.

I already have my license.  Must I complete a Nurse Residency in order to be hired at Penn State Hershey?

Yes, all new graduates are required to be licensed and complete our Graduate Nurse Residency program. If you have a minimum six months of acute care (hospital) RN experience, you may apply for a staff nurse position and potentially be hired without the Residency. However, more experienced nurses will present strong competition for those positions. 

Do I need to already be licensed when the Residency begins?

Yes.  We have altered the start dates to provide sufficient time for passing NCLEX prior to the beginning of the residency.

What happens if I fail boards before the Residency begins?

Unfortunately, this does sometimes happen.  If so, our policy states that your position will be filled by the next person on the waiting list, and you may or may not be eligible to apply for the next cohort, depending on when you graduated.   So give it your very best shot, and please let us know immediately if you do not pass. Conversely, if you are on the waiting list, we advise you to pursue other opportunities, but know that something could still become available here. 

Is there a minimum GPA for acceptance?

Because the Residency is an extension of the studying/learning experience, a GPA of 3.0 and higher is preferred.

Is a BSN required in order to be hired as a Graduate Nurse Resident?

No, but in order to be hired without a BSN, any staff nurse hopeful (both new graduate and experienced nurse) must be willing to enroll in a BSN program within a year of hire, and complete the degree within 6 years.  PSHMC offers tuition assistance to help make it financially feasible.

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Unit Questions

Should I apply to staff nurse jobs on the units that interest me?

No. As a Graduate Nurse Resident, you will apply to just ONE position, the posting that begins with the letters GNR. If you apply to other nursing positions, your applications will be deemed ineligible based on lack of experience. When you apply to the GNR position, you will have an opportunity to state your areas of interest on the emailed Questionnaire that follows.

If I am offered and accept a position, may I transfer to another unit when another position opens up?

The expectation is clear that a Graduate Nurse Resident must remain on the hiring unit for at least the full year of the residency.  Ideally, you will form bonds and want to stay on the unit for years to come.

Will I know which units are hiring and how many positions they will have?

Due to the fluidity of our projected staffing needs, the exact numbers are not known to anyone (including managers and recruiters) until we are well into the application process.  This is partially, though not solely based on budget, staffing situation, and on the availability of preceptors. 

To how many units will my Portfolio be sent?

Your completed Portfolio will be viewable to every hiring managers in a shared folder, and using the Questionnaire spreadsheet as a guide, they will view the appropriate Portfolios and make interview selections.  Hence, it is very important that you thoughtfully list your unit choices on the Questionnaire.  

How will I know what type of patients the different units specialize in, and which units interest me most?

Click here and it will take you to the unit descriptions.

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Application Questions

How difficult is the application process?

While the process is straight-forward and not difficult, it can seem overwhelming at first glance.  We do not apologize for seeking the best possible nurses, and in order to succeed in finding them, our requirements may be more than expected.  To help you decide whether to spend the time and energy applying, and to make the process more manageable if you do, we break it down into four basic steps:  (#2, 3 and 4 may be completed in any order)

  1. Application - estimated time to complete is 1 hour
  2. Questionnaire - estimated time to complete is 10 minutes 
  3. Professional Portfolio - estimated time to complete is 4-6 hours (spread out over a few days)
  4. Reference Check - estimated time to initiate it is 10 minutes

When can I apply for a Graduate Nurse Residency at Penn State Hershey?

For the February 2015 Residency, the position will be posted on the website between midnight on August 1, 2014 and 3:00 PM on September 15, 2014.

Once I apply, when will I know whether I am chosen for an interview?

Interview invitations will be emailed sometime in mid October for November interviews.  If you have not heard anything by late October, then you can assume that you have not been chosen for the initial phase of interviews.

If I graduated in May 2014, am I eligible for the February 2015 Residency?

Yes.  We will consider each case individually, partially dependent upon what you have done since graduating.  Working elsewhere does NOT disqualify you from the Residency.  If, however, you graduated in February 2014 (or prior), you have "aged out" of the Residency program.  In this case, please gain at least 6 months' hospital experience elsewhere, and then apply as a Staff Nurse.

Which email address should I provide?

Please create an email address that is not affiliated with your school, and check it often.  The reason is that sometimes your school's web portal may be too small and/or security may be too high to receive our communications.  Plus, should we need to contact you after you graduate, your school address may be invalid.  Check your email frequently.  Please document and double-check the spelling of this non-school email address on both your application and on your Questionnaire.

I was an Extern last year. Do I need to reapply?

Yes, you will need to go through the entire application process, and put forth your best effort to secure an interview. Applications, resumes, cover letters and transcripts are still required.  After you apply, you may begin submitting your Portfolio (see website for details), and at some point in the process, you will receive an emailed Questionnaire to complete. If you are still employed with us as a Patient Safety Companion, CNA, Extern, etc. please apply online using the "internal" application.  If you are still on payroll at PSHMC, you will not need to be drug screened or fingerprinted again.  Also, you will be exempt from much of the new hire paperwork.  As for references, your evaluation from your Externship will be part of your Portfolio, as well as a new Checkster report .   

Besides completing the online application, what else do I need to do?

Once your application is submitted, you may begin submitting your Professional Portfolio (see website for details). At some point you will receive an electronic Questionnaire.  This is an important document and should be completed thoughtfully and accurately.  After submitting the Questionnaire, you will be instructed on our electronic reference checking process.  The Professional Portfolio will include:

  • Resume - list all education and experience, including dates.
  • Cover Letter - If you are absolutely sure of where you want to work, you may talk about that in the cover  letter.  On the other hand, if you are open to several possibilities, do NOT specify precise units, but rather indicate broader specialties.  The rationale behind keeping it general is that you may need to interview in more than one place.  
  • Unofficial Transcript - can be found on your school's website.  If you are hired, you will need to bring your final Official Transcript, or copy of your diploma to New Employee Orientation.
  • Clinical Narrative (see details on the Clinical Narrative tab) - Your narrative will be most beneficial if you write about a specialty where you hope to interview.

What is the difference between Unofficial and Official transcripts?

Unofficial transcripts can be viewed by you and printed from your school's website at will.  Official transcripts are mailed from your Bursar's Office, with your school's official seal. 

If I submit my Portfolio immediately, do I have a better chance of being hired?

As soon as we receive your Portfolio, we will add your application, your Checkster report, and a cover page to it.  Once the application period has ended, we provide the Nurse Managers with Portfolios to review, so it is helpful for us, and advantageous to you, if we receive it early and are ready to forward it quickly.  Please do not wait until the last week,  At the very latest, we will anticipate receiving your entire portfolio by September 18th, which means the application must be completed by the September 15, 2014 deadline.  

May I send all my information by US Postal Service?

Please do not. We prefer to receive everything electronically. It is recommended that you email the entire application portfolio simultaneously via PDF attachments. This ensures the efficient receipt and storage of all documents. Please identify yourself on all correspondence, as we typically receive several hundred applications.  Please click on the "Portfolio" tab for specific directions on how to submit the Professional Portfolio.

Do I need written references from my professors?

Thankfully, NO. You will be asked (by email) for seven email addresses of people who are familiar with your quality of work.  If at least three of them respond, the report is considered valid.  DO NOT be tempted to submit more than seven, as it could work against you.  We recommend that you utilize past employers, professors, instructors, preceptors, supervisors, and coaches. The reference check will then be conducted electronically. Please let your references know ahead of time that they will receive a survey that is quick, easy, anonymous, accurate, but time sensitive and must be completed promptly.  From the moment I send you the email from Checkster (the reference checking company), the report is only open for one week, and references must respond during that timeThe minimum number of respondents required for a valid report is three.

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Interview Questions

Am I guaranteed an interview if I apply?

Not everyone who applies will be granted a face-to-face interview.  Managers will decide how many interviews to schedule based on their available positions.  They will decide who to interview based on the Professional Portfolio, which you may submit electronically once your application is completed..

Will I be granted an interview wherever I want to work?

We do strive to place you where you will be content to grow and contribute, as training a new graduate is a big commitment for a nursing unit.  When submitting your Questionnaire, you will state your top three preferred nursing areas.  While we will attempt to schedule interviews with those nurse managers, some specialties are more popular than others and being granted an interview in those areas may be more challenging.

When will interviews be conducted?

We will set aside three days in November.  To accommodate the managers' schedules, we will limit interviews to those three days.

Is preference given to Penn State or to other local college students?

We hire students from all over the country and they are all evaluated on the same criteria.  With that said, managers must consider the probability that a nurse who relocates to Hershey will acclimate successfully and thrive in the Hershey community and at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.  To reiterate, our Graduate Nurse Residents do come from many different states.

If I am not local, might I be reimbursed for my travel expenses if I come to interview?  Do you provide relocation assistance if I am hired?
Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no.  Your travel to interview and/or relocation costs are not reimbursed. 

On what criteria is the hiring decision made?

Different managers place varying degrees of emphasis on hiring criteria, but in general they look at GPA, past experience, references, clinical narrative, and interview score.  Critical thinking skills may be assessed with interview questions based on clinical scenarios.Of course, they are seeking applicants who will bring a positive influence to their team.  If you are graduating without a BSN, it is advised that you have a plan to pursue it as soon as possible. 

What can I do to prepare for the interview?

  • Plan Ahead. Research Penn State Hershey and the position if possible. Review your work experiences, and be ready to support past career and school accomplishments with specific information targeted toward our needs. 
  • Dress appropriately. This is a competitive job interview.  Dress professionally, preferably in a suit. 
  • Be on time. It is best to arrive at the interview area 5 minutes before the scheduled interview time. If you find that you are too early, you may visit our Starbuck's coffee shop or gift shop in the east wing lobby.

Do you have any advice for the interview?

  • Awareness: An interview is a two-way exchange of information. In addition to researching Penn State Hershey, demonstrate your interest by formulating questions in advance to ask the interviewer. 
  • Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Demonstrate that you want the job with your interest in the position, and in that particular nursing unit.
  • Positive Attitude: In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers or professors.  Listen and adapt, be sensitive to the style of the interviewer.  Pay attention to details, as they may offer helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation.
  • Ability to Relate: Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and to Penn State Hershey. Focus mostly on achievements that would be relevant to the position. Provide answers that are specific to the questions.
  • Be yourself!
  • NOTE:  Request a business card after the interview, and get the email addresses of all the interviewers before leaving.  Nurse Recruitment does not have the resources to investigate and give you that information afterward.

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After the Interview Questions

When will selections be made?

We anticipate that selections will be made by early December 2014 for the February 2015 Graduate Nurse Residency.

Will I be contacted whether I get the position or not?

Those who are being offered a position will be contacted first.  It may take a couple of weeks for those who are not offered a position to hear that news definitively.  We apologize in advance for the delay, but if offers are declined, we are still working through the list of possible hires, and will not know the final outcome until later.

If I am not chosen, will I be offered feedback as to why, and on how to improve my interview skills?

While we would like to provide these services, it is simply not feasible with the number of applicants we have.  If you are invited to interview, you are obviously a very good candidate, and most likely the decision was made on very small differences.  Perhaps an instructor at your school is a good resource. 

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http://www.pennstatehershey.org/documents/1699942/10423855/2013Magnet+Conference+Photo_L/0bcb272b-d1ab-43ae-b5b9-e1dfbb593988?t=1381253331713Penn State Hershey Medical Center earned a second designation as a Magnet hospital in September 2012. The Medical Center is part of an elite group of Magnet organizations worldwide. Less than 7 percent of U.S. health care organizations have earned this recognition.

In issuing the redesignation, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) singled out Penn State Hershey for exemplary practices in three areas: the advancement of nursing research, the use of technology to incorporate input from nurses in the design of patient care areas, and involving nurses in the development of protocols for protecting human research subjects. Magnet redesignation underscores the high quality of care that our nurses and staff provide to patients and their families each and every day. This achievement demonstrates the dedication all of our caregivers have to excellence and to producing the best possible patient, organizational, and community outcomes.

Penn State Hershey Nurses achieve excellence in nursing each day caring for patients and families.

Learn more about Magnet Recognition on the ANCC Website.

Graduate Nurse Residency - Specialty Areas

NOTE:  Units which will not be offering Graduate Nurse Residencies in February 2015 are:  Heart & Vascular Critical Care, Pediatric Intensive Care, and the Emergency Department.

  • Acute Care – 12-14 weeks of Orientation
    • 3 South Addition West - (website under construction)
    • 4 Acute Care - Ortho/ENT/Urology/Plastics
    • 5 Acute Care - Surgical
    • 6 Acute Care - Medical
  • Intensive/Critical Care – 20 weeks of Orientation
    • Medical Intensive Care Unit
    • Surgical Intensive Care Unit
    • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Intermediate Care – 14 weeks of Orientation
    • Medical Intermediate Care Unit
    • Heart & Vascular Progressive Care Unit
    • Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit
  • Other
    • Neuroscience Critical Care Unit - 20 weeks of Orientation
    • Pediatrics Acute Care - 14 weeks of Orientation
    • Pediatric Oncology - 14 weeks of Orientation
    • Penn State Cancer Institute (inpatient) -  14 weeks of Orientation
    • Women's Health - 14 weeks of Orientation
  • Perioperative Orientation Course – 45 weeks of Orientation

 

Staffing the patient care units is a fluid process, and depending on budget, number of available preceptors, and long-range organizational goals, the number of Graduate Nurse Residents can change right up until the offers are made. At this time, we anticipate hiring at least 30 Graduate Nurse Residents to begin in February 2015.

Heart & Vascular Progressive Care
Surgical Intensive Care
Women's Health
Acute Care / Med Surg
Neuroscience Integrated Care
Medical Intensive Care
Medical Intermediate Care
Penn State Cancer Institute
Pediatric Acute Care
Pediatric Oncology
Pediatric Intermediate Care
Neonatal Intensive Care

Perioperative (OR) Course

If you'd like to join our renowned team of nurses at Penn State Hershey, please begin by reading all of the pertinent information posted on the website, including the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Updates. Next, complete an online Employment Application.  To apply, click on the link below, and then click the "search" button.  The listings are alphabetical, so scroll down and choose Graduate Nurse Residency.  Follow the directions, noting that current employees are distinguished from external applicants.  Once you apply, you may submit your Professional Portfolio (see website for details).  At some point in the process, a nurse recruiter will email a Questionnaire to the email address that you provide on the application. When you return the electronic Questionnaire, the application review process begins.  If you do not receive expected documents, please check your spam folder and if necessary, instruct your ISP to allow our emails without filtering them out.

Once you complete the application, you may submit (via PDF attachments) your Professional Portfolio, which will include:

  • Cover Letter:
    • Reason for applying
    • Related experience
    • Expectations of the program
    • What Magnet accreditation will mean for your practice as a Graduate Nurse Resident
    • Why you should be chosen for this Graduate Nurse Residency
    • Note: unless you are positive of your unit choice, do not include your areas of interest at this point, as that may change.
      (name the document as:  a- cover letter - last name, first name)
  • Resume - please email a stand-alone copy and also copy it into the application
    (name the document as:  b- resume - last name, first name) 
     
  • Unofficial Transcript - emailed to us. (Official transcripts will be needed later).
    (name the document as:  c- transcript - last name, first name) 
     
  • Clinical Narrative - (see Clinical Narrative tab for details)
    (name the document as:  d- narrative- last name, first name)  
     

For the quickest and most accurate result, please convert your documents to PDF format, and attach them all to an email addressed to lmccleary1@hmc.psu.edu  When your email is opened by the recruiter, there should be four documents attached and labeled this way (include the letters a, b, c, and d):

a- cover letter - Doe, Jane (your name)
b- resume - Doe, Jane (your name)
c- transcript - Doe, Jane (your name)
d- narrative - Doe, Jane (your name)

At some point in the process, we will email you and begin the electronic reference checking process through a company called Checkster.  We will add your application, your Checkster report, and a cover sheet to the documents that you send, creating your completed Professional Portfolio, which will be placed in a shared file to be viewed by any and all managers.  Based mainly on your Questionnaire responses and Professional Portfolio, managers will decide which candidates they want to interview.  For those who are selected, face-to-face interviews will be conducted over three days in November (see interview tips). The process will be very competitive; if you are not chosen, please be encouraged, as there will be other opportunities as you gain experience.

To speak with a Nurse Recruiter, call Lynn McCleary at 717-531-1118 or email  lmccleary1@hmc.psu.edu

How to Write a Narrative

Don't Underestimate the Power of this Document

Patricia Benner, Ph.D., R.N., believes that evaluation of practice is best done through narratives because they describe the practice within a context. The quality of care delivered is best judged with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding that care. The goal of a narrative is to visualize nursing practice.
With that in mind, the following dialogue was developed to assist you in writing your own narrative.

What is a clinical narrative?
A clinical narrative is a written statement of actual nursing practice. It is a story of how you provided care for a patient and family. This could be how you prepared a patient and/or family for something that changed their lifestyle when they return home, i.e., an amputation. Or it could be how you helped a young couple prepare for the eventual death of their two-year-old with leukemia. Your narrative is the story of a patient care situation that is meaningful to you. One that may have caused you to reflect on your practice, may continue to influence your practice as you confront similar situations, is a good example of how your care made a difference in the outcome of a particular patient/family. You might say that you have grown in your professional practice as a result of this experience; that the relationship and interventions you shared reinforced what you already believed.

What is the purpose of a clinical narrative?
Simply stated, the purpose of a clinical narrative is to articulate nursing and to make your practice visible. The purpose is also to see the growth and development you have made over time. It assists you in reflecting on your practice.

What should I write about my practice?
Often nurses are not aware of their contributions to the care of the patient and family, or that there may have been more they could have done or other ways a situation could have been handled.
By writing about an experience and sharing it with your peers, you can see your own growth as a professional. You also receive direction for broadening your clinical practice. Writing about your clinical practice helps you to reflect on that practice and relate experience to patient care situations in the future. It also brings to light the skills you currently possess.

How do I begin to write this clinical narrative?
Think of your most recent group of patients (maybe a primary patient). What did you do that you remember? This can be a patient that you cared for yesterday, last week, or within the past year. How did you interact with that patient? Your narrative does not have to be the one that involved a life-threatening situation. Choose one that involves your relationship with a patient and family. What did you and the patient plan for his/her care? Why did you make the choices you did? Write as though you are trying to have someone understand your practice.

If I write a narrative about how my practice had an impact on the patient's care, that means I use the word "I", right?
It must be a first person narrative. It is always difficult to write about our self. To describe your practice, you have to think in terms of yourself. You are the one who made the difference, so talk about it and use the word "I".

So I selected a patient who I am going to talk about, now what?
Sit down in a quiet place and write your story:
1. Set the scene for the story – let the reader visualize your patient and the situation. Write one or two paragraphs opening the scene.
2. Involve yourself early on in this scene.
3. Tell what you did, what you thought about, and why you made the choices you did. Write two or three sentences. The assessment should be on going, based on feedback during the intervention with the patient and family.
4. As with any story, there is a beginning and an end. The reader should know what happened as a result of your intervention, and what this whole experience means to your practice or says to you about your practice.
 
As you proceed with the story, talk about your role with this patient, your assessment of the care that was needed, the care you gave (your intervention), how you involved the patient and family, and the advocacy role you played with the patient. Include the reason(s) why you made the choices you did. What was your thought process? Talk about how you mobilized your resources or extended your intervention outside the hospital. As you write the narrative, you will realize how your care influenced the patient's outcome.

Timeless Tips for a Terrific Interview

Before:

  1. Show an interest in the organization by researching prior to the interview.  A good source of information is the Penn State Hershey Medical Center WebSite.
  2. Compile a resume, a list of professional references, your last evaluation, and your current professional license in a simple, but tasteful portfolio.
  3. Dress for success.  You have just one chance to make a good first impression.  In a professional environment such as Penn State Hershey, professional attire is expected (a dark suit is best).  Avoid jeans, khakis, capris, tank tops, exposed mid-drifts, and party dresses.
  4. Lean toward conservative in choosing shoes, jewelry, nail polish and hairstyles.  Limit the number of earrings; cover tattoos, and use colognes and perfumes sparingly, if at all.
  5. Utilize a GPS or map service for specific directions, and show up at least five  minutes early to the designated location.

During:

  1. Greet the interviewer with a firm (not bone-crushing) handshake, and establish the eye contact that will last throughout the interview.  Exhibit confidence (not cockiness) and strive to be relaxed, but not lax.
  2. Remember that the interview is a two-way exchange of information.  Avoid the impulse to talk too much or too little.  Be prepared to explain your clinical skills, as well as give very specific and personal answers to such questions as:
  • What would you change about your current job? (Stay away from negative comments about past managers).
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? ("I'm a perfectionist" is overused)
  • Who do you admire most, and why? (Specific and personal)
  • How do you see yourself contributing to Penn State Hershey?
  • Etcetera ... know and share your authentic self with the interviewer.

3.  Be prepared to ask questions pertaining to the unit, the job's expectations, training requirements and opportunities, benefits, etc.  However, avoid introducing the subject of pay until you are reasonably sure that an offer is forthcoming.

4.  End the interview with a firm handshake, request a BUSINESS CARD and email addresses of your interviewers, and ask about the next step.

Afterward:

1.  Follow up with an email and/or a simple hand-written thank you note, including any unanswered questions and/or additional references.
 

Best wishes ...

 

Philosophy on Baccalaureate in Nursing Preparation

The vision for the Department of Nursing is that the innovations of our staff leaders contribute to the advancement of quality care, academic excellence, and the development of new knowledge that promote health and wellness nationally.  This vision is grounded in nursing research that demonstrates a relationship among formal educational preparation of nurses, characteristics of the care environment, and patient outcomes.  Evidence suggests that better patient outcomes result when a higher proportion of baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses provide care in hospitals (Aiken, Clarke, Cheung, Sloane and Silber, 2003; Estabrooks, Midodzi, Cumming, Ricker and Giovannetti, 2005).  Major changes in the future health care system will require philosophical modifications in how nurses are educated.  "Nursing education should serve as a platform for continued lifelong learning and include opportunities for seamless transition to higher degree programs" (Institute of Medicine Future of Nursing Report, 2011).  Increasingly complex patient care needs, clinical therapeutics, and teamwork require sophisticated nursing judgment.  Baccalaureate preparation in nursing, appropriate clinical expertise, and adequate staffing resources are all critical to support patient care.  For this reason, the Department of Nursing is implementing the expectation that all registered nurses hired after June 30, 2011 will obtain a baccalaureate in nursing within six years of their hire date.
The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) were developed to answer some common questions.  We encourage staff to talk to their Manager or Human Resources Liaison if there are specific or additional questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  How does this expectation impact registered nurses currently working at HMC?
A:  All registered staff nurses who provide direct patient care and were hired prior to June 30, 2011 will be grandfathered to their current nursing position with their current degree status; however, they will be encouraged to continue their nursing education.

Q:  Does this affect nurses in leadership positions at HMC?
A:  Nurses in identified leadership positions (ex: Clinical Head Nurses, Nurse Managers) have a BSN degree as a minimum qualification for this position; therefore, new hires to leadership positions will meet this prerequisite.  Nurses currently in leadership positions at HMC are aware of this requirement and are working with their Directors to meet this obligation.  According to the IOM Future of Nursing report, recommendation number seven states that nurses should take responsibility for their personal and professional growth by continuing their education and seeking opportunities to develop and exercise their leadership skills (Institute of Medicine Future of Nursing Report, 2011).

Q:  Is it true that only nurses with a BSN are being hired at HMC?
A:  No.  The Department of Nursing and Human Resources both value and actively recruit nurses with clinical experience.  Nursing research validated the importance of both formalized knowledge and experiential or skilled knowledge.  The expectation of obtaining a BSN within six years of hire will further enhance the knowledge and skill of our experience new hires.

Q:  What if the new hire has a bachelor's degree in another field and an associate's degree in nursing?
A:  The expectation of obtaining a BSN within six years will still be in effect.  The BSN is grounded in nursing knowledge and provides content in the areas of professionalism, leadership and management, human response to health/illness, critical thinking, and nursing practice across the lifespan.  This content provides the foundation for clinical leadership at the bedside.  The knowledge expectation is knowledge in the nursing discipline so we are requiring the bachelor's degree to be in nursing.

Q:  What is the plan for assisting new hires with the process?
A:  The nurse manager will review the progress toward obtaining a BSN every six months during the annual and mid-year PEP review process.  Staff will provide written documentation of class progression.  Program progression will be defined as measurable annual activity toward degree attainment (minimum of two courses per calendar year).  Lack of demonstration of progress toward degree attainment will result in progressive disciplinary action.  Extenuating circumstances will be addressed individually by Nurse Managers and Directors.

References
Aiken, L.H., Clarke, S., Cheung, R.B., Sloane, D.M., & Silber, J.H. (2003). Educational levels of hospital nurses and surgical patient mortality. Journal of the American Medical Association, 290, 1617-1623.
Estabrooks, C.A., Midodzi, W., Greta, G., Ricker, K., & Giovannetti, P. (2005). The impact of hospital nursing characteristics on 30 day mortality. Nursing Research, 54, 74-84.
IOM (Institute of Medicine). (2011). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press, 163-177, 283.