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Future Nurses Network at Annual Job Fair

Cambria Wheeler, February 19, 2014
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On February 12, students in Pacific Union College’s most popular program had the opportunity to make connections and discuss potential jobs with representatives from multiple healthcare organizations at the college’s annual Nursing Job Fair. Coordinated by the department of nursing and health sciences, the fair brought recruiters to campus to meet nursing students that will soon graduate and enter the workforce.

Lorie Johns, student success advisor in the department of nursing and health sciences, coordinated the fair. “It’s an opportunity for current associate’s and bachelor’s degree students to make connections with recruiters from hospitals and regional health care organizations, as well as for those recruiters to meet our outstanding nursing students,” Johns shared.

Many of the hospitals represented at the fair are affiliated with Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit network with hospitals and clinics in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. However, Johns invited a diverse group of healthcare organizations to attend the fair. “While the bulk of the facilities and organizations represented tend to be affiliated with Adventist Health, we are pleased that other local healthcare-related organizations such as Napa State Hospital and REACH Air Medical regularly attend PUC’s Nursing Job Fair,” said Johns. Other organizations represented included the United States Army and Clinica Verde, a nonprofit that operates a clinic in Nicaragua.

Lynda Rush, manager of nurse recruitment at Adventist Health’s San Joaquin Community Hospital, came from Bakersfield, Calif., to attend the fair. “We love coming up here and meeting these students because we know they’ll be a good fit for our hospital’s mission,” said Rush. She noted that PUC nursing graduates are products of a really good program and are very well prepared. “Nurses we’ve recruited from PUC have been very successful at our hospital, which makes us confident that these students will be great as well,” Rush added.

The nursing job fair was accompanied by further events to prepare students, including practice interviews where students could gain experience in the interview process as a way to improve their skills. “Students interviewed with either a pair of human resources recruiters or with a panel of four recruiters and then had time for feedback regarding their interview as well as the opportunity to ask the recruiters additional questions about related subjects,” Johns explained. In addition, a panel discussion led by a group of Adventist Health recruiters illuminated the hiring process for new nurses and allowed the students to ask questions.

“It was really informative and a great opportunity to look at options for new grad programs,” offered Cristina Fariaz. Fariaz, a third quarter nursing student, hopes to find a nursing position in the Napa area or near her home in Los Angeles when she completes the program in 2015. “It’s really nice to talk to people in person instead of looking online,” she said.

That face-to-face interaction is a priceless opportunity to the future registered nurses nearing the end of their time at Pacific Union College, and one Johns is excited to see students taking advantage of. “We hope students will gain a better idea of the kinds of opportunities available to new grad RNs, as well as a more detailed understanding of the kinds of characteristics recruiters are looking for in new grad hires,” Johns concluded.