Recruiting Process for Nursing

To increase your chances of landing a job, it is important for you to use all of your available resources. The recruiting process has many steps including career exploration, industry & organization research, applications, networking and interviewing. The Villanova Career Center has resources including Handshake, Big Interview, Vault Career Guides and many others (including our staff) to help you along the way.

  • Common Entry Level Jobs include New Grad RN or Nurse Residency Program. Common titles for summer or part-time (per diem) opportunities include Nurse Extern (juniors), Patient Care Tech, Patient Care Associate, Nurse Assistant, Care Aide, Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) or Unit Secretary. For more examples of titles, duties, salary, education levels and more, visit the “Vault Guide to Nursing Jobs.”
  • Application timelines vary for summer externships and full-time positions.
    • For full-time positions, many hospitals and healthcare organizations have 2-3 hiring cohorts based on graduation date. Others recruit on a rolling basis.
    • For externships typically begin to open around late fall and continue to open through the early spring.
  • Check Handshake, LiquidCompass, and hospital websites to learn about application dates.

  • Resume: For nursing, it is important to have your clinical and any healthcare-related jobs, volunteer work, and activities highlighted on your resume.
  • Pre-Recorded Interviews: It is common for first-round interviews of externships or full-time opportunities to have a pre-recorded interview component. Commonly, this is a first-round interview where you will record yourself answering questions and submit to the hospital or healthcare system. Big Interview is a really useful tool to practice for these and any other type of virtual or in-person interview.
  • Unit Tour/Observation: For some residency or New Grad RN roles, part of the later stages of the in-person interview process may include a tour of the unit and/or observation. Interviewers are looking for candidates who show interest in the unit, ask thoughtful questions and make connections to their own experiences (clinical and/or externship-based).
  • Group or Panel Interviews:In the final rounds, you may experience a panel interview with multiple employer representatives. This could include but is not limited to the recruiter, nurse manager, and other staff on the floor or unit.

Fit and Experiential Interviews

  • General Interview Questions: These are commonly asked throughout the interview process, especially during first-round interviews. Questions can include ones such as “Tell me about yourself,” “Why did you choose the field of nursing? or “What is your greatest strength and weakness?”
  • Behavioral and Situational Questions: These types of questions assess whether you have the soft skills and motivation to succeed at that hospital or healthcare system. These often include general questions about your background and why you want to work for the organization, combined with behavioral-based questions asking you to give examples of past experiences.

The Career Center offers one-hour mock interview appointments that can be scheduled via Handshake to further develop interview skills and receive feedback. Students can also reserve interview rooms within the Employer Engagement Suite. For more information on interviewing, please visit the Career Center’s Interviewing webpage.