Considering the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholar Alumni Toolkit

As I navigate externship interviews (got one already, whoo!) and new-grad program applications, I have been consuming every interviewing and hiring advice resource that I can.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholar Alumni Toolkit (which can be found here) appears to be a useful resource for nursing students who are new to searching for jobs in the profession. I did notice that it was written in 2015, and believe that there have been many changes in the job market since then, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which changed much about how employers conduct hiring operations. I checked the website, but there is not an updated version. Normalizing job interviews via Zoom and other video conferencing platforms is one way that the pandemic changed the hiring process. The guide does include links to several of the still-popular job search sites of LinkedIn, Monster, Indeed, and SimplyHired (Mauro et al., 2015).

I like that the guide advises job seekers to evaluate what I consider to be two of the main populations that they will be immersed in at a new position: the employee culture of the organization and the type of patient population. A nurse entering the field without much interpersonal professional team experience will need to make sure that they strive in the presence of the people that they are around, and that they have the support of those people (sometimes this could include patients!).

One thing that I learned about through the guide is the possibility that organizations will require new applicants to complete a “Nursing Career Battery” test that analyzes how a person handles conflict and stress. I believe that this is an important aptitude to assess, because nursing is stressful, but also offers many opportunities for lower-stress positions away from the bedside if a person would thrive better in one of those. Interviewees are recommended to explain how they balance work life, personal life, and stress to interviewers in order to make sure they end up with the correct job (Seal, 2020). The guide also mentions that job seekers should consider the personal photos and icons that they use with email services, such as Gmail. I think it is also important to consider the email addresses, screen names, and video conferencing names that applicants use. I have seen several people with less-than-professional Zoom names that show up when joining a video meeting.


Mauro, A. M. P., Escallier, L. A., Rosario-Sim, M. G. (2015). Robert Wood Johnson Foundation new careers in nursing scholar alumni toolkit. American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Seal, J. (2020). How to take the nursing career battery test. Chron. Hearst. Accessed June 16, 2023 from:

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