Your grades do matter. Many nurses will tell you that they don’t. You’ve probably heard some of these nurses: “I’ve gotten LOTS of jobs, and they never asked about my GPA” they scoff, rolling their eyes. or “You passed the NCLEX, didn’t you? That’s what’s important”.
They aren’t lying. They are out of touch with today’s newly graduated nurse in today’s job market. Most likely, they were hired at a long-ago time in history known as the Everyone Gets Hired Decade or “If you have a pulse, you get the job”. New grads used to be wined and dined and had their pick of hospitals. These nurses got jobs easily, but they never learned the skills of successful interviewing, or how to construct a compelling resume and cover letter. They didn’t need to. So that takes their advice from not helpful to harmful.
They never had to compete for their first job. But you do. If your goal is landing a coveted position in a residency program, you have to wonder “What would make me stand out and be competitive in a homogeneous crowd of equally non-experienced new nurses?” Your GPA, for one. Also extracurricular activites, such as volunteering.
Author: Beth Hawkes