Tips on Landing Your First New Grad NP Job

new grad np job

You’ve been working hard for years to become a Nurse Practitioner (NP) and you are finally ready to land your dream job as a new graduate, but you may not know where to begin. The pressure to find a job can sometimes seem as high as the pressure to perform well in school, especially if you live in an area with limited job opportunities. The following are tips to help you land your first new grad NP job.

how to become a nurse practitioner

Start Early on the NP Job Hunt

The job market as a new NP can be extremely competitive, so it is necessary to start the job search early. For instance, a May graduate might start the search as early as February. Many employers will entertain applications from pre-graduates, just make a note of your graduation date on the application. 

Edit Your CV

The most successful NP job applications are free from errors. Send your curriculum vitae (CV) to at least two people you trust to edit. Having a typo or a disorganized CV can close a door to a new job before you can even get an interview. Although it may seem simple, editing your CV is an important step to the application and interview process. 

Network, Network, Network

Perhaps the most important tip when searching for a new grad NP job is to network. When you are working your current job as a registered nurse (RN), or in your clinical rotations, connections are extremely important. Employers are much more likely to hire you if they know your work ethic and how well you fit into the team. A student should view every clinical rotation as an extended interview. These experiences benefit both the employer and the student, as it gives each an opportunity to choose a job that is a good fit. Practicing in a current RN job also opens opportunities for NP jobs for the same reasons listed above. Thus if you do currently practice, start touching base with managers and asking if positions are available.

If you are struggling to network at work, there are many nursing networking events that can open doors for you.

Gain Relevant NP Experience

In a pool of applicants for a new grad NP job, experience will set you apart. Perhaps you have great bedside nursing experience and were a stellar employee, but maybe you are an applicant that does not have that experience. If that is the case, gaining new certifications, volunteer experiences, and focusing on relevant clinical experiences will be a great benefit. If your dream job is to work as an NP in the intensive care unit (ICU), then you should try to focus on obtaining clinical experiences in the ICU. Your various experiences will be talking points during interviews. Your preceptors from those experiences can act as references as well. 


Once you get called for an interview, do your research. Are you applying to an inpatient position? If so, learn the unit and the top diagnoses of patients on the unit. Study the job description listed, and do your research on the organization. The more you can prepare, the more comfortable you will feel during the interview process. The more comfortable you feel and the more knowledgeable you are, the higher the chance you have of landing the position. 

Apply for the Right NP Jobs

Finally, you won’t get a job if you’re applying for the wrong jobs. The nurse practitioner job search can be stressful, and there are many listings out there that do not specify the type of NP for which the employer is seeking. You should search for jobs specifically related to the position that interests you. These jobs should list your specific requirements as well including board exams, suggested experience, and degree requirements. If you are still having issues searching, consider talking to a reputable recruiting agency to help.

nurse practitioner guide

Free Download: Nurse Practitioner eBook

Interested in learning more? Download this FREE nursing guide from BoardVitals, The Complete Guide to Becoming a Nurse Practitioner. It’s written by nurse practitioners (including me!) to help guide aspiring NPs successfully navigate the journey to becoming a nurse practitioner!

Or check out the BoardVitals blog for more articles on Advanced Practice Nursing.

Preparing for an upcoming nursing exam? BoardVitals offers the top nursing exam questions targeted to the specific topics and formats of every major exam for RNs, LPNs, nurse practitioners, and other advanced practice nurses.

Ms. LeVeck is a cardiovascular surgical intensive care unit Nurse Practitioner in the Midwest and is the writer and creator behind Nurse Abnormalities blog and brand. She can be found at @nurseabnormalities on Instagram.

Try BoardVitals free for 10 days.

Free Trial. No credit card required.