Graduating from nursing school can be daunting enough, never mind trying to find a job afterwards. Even if you are already a nurse, the thought of a change of career can leave you with butterflies in your stomach. It is easy to stick with what you know, but why not spend 2019 doing new things and taking more risks, starting with looking for a new nursing job? Follow these simple rules and you’ll have a new role and new challenges in no time.

Career planning

The first step you should take before any other is to make a plan. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to lose track of where your career is headed if you don’t set yourself some targets and work out a way to achieve them. Start by listing all the areas of nursing that interest you and organise them into preferential order so you can see which sectors you should look at first, then start researching. There is plenty of information online; look on websites like The Royal College of Nursing, NHS, private nursing companies, job hunting sites and recruitment agencies for information. After you’ve identified a few sectors you would like to work in, consider how you will get there. Can you apply straight away? Do you need further training or education? If you do need further training, what will this cost and will it fit into your lifestyle? Once you can answer all of these questions, it’s time to get the ball rolling.


Not many people like networking, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to progress in your nursing career. Networking is great for making contacts to get shadowing opportunities and to hear of new job roles first. It can also be a great way to speak to senior colleagues about their experience and perhaps even find a mentor. Ask colleagues if they are aware of any conferences or nursing events, join groups associated with your hospital, healthcare practice or business if available or even think about starting your own if they are not. The Royal College of Nursing also hold many events throughout the year, so look at their website to see if you can find any near you.


An undergraduate degree may get you an entry level nursing position, but a masters will open a whole new world of opportunities. You should contact universities to see exactly what Advanced Nursing MSc courses will include, but generally there will be a few compulsory modules and various optional models that will allow you to look at a few areas of nursing in greater detail than you would at undergraduate level, possibly leading to a PhD which will secure even further opportunities and greater earning potential.

If you have completed further education or want to take a different path, ask your manager or mentor if there are any further training opportunities available in your current workplace. Sometimes employers won’t advertise these because, let’s face it, of the cost, but if you ask directly and are ambitious then further opportunities may open to you.


Shadowing is a great way to gain hands on experience and see if a role is right for you. If you are looking to move roles within the same business or hospital, speak to your manager or the person who deals with your training to arrange this. You should also visit the department you would like shadow in to speak to them and get your face known.

Shadowing may be more difficult to arrange if you want to move to a different company, healthcare practice or hospital. Ask your colleagues if they have any friends or acquaintances in the department you would like to move to and use these contacts wisely. If you have no contacts then get in touch by sending a formal letter requesting shadowing opportunities or work experience and follow this up with a phone call to the manager or the person in charge of hiring. Don’t bother emailing – emails are far too easy to ignore.

Join a reliable recruitment agency

Getting ahead in any job market is really about getting yourself out there and taking advantage of every opportunity offered to you. If you are struggling to do this on your own, it may be worth contacting a recruitment company. Time Recruitment is one of the best recruitment companies in the industry and have a massive range of private nursing jobs for you to choose from. They are a nationwide recruiter but offer a tailored, personal service that takes account of your individual skills and qualifications and offer roles based on these. We offer both temporary and permanent roles with a range of hours to fit around your life, so get in touch today for a new nursing job and a brighter, more interesting 2019.