While nursing students put in incredible time and effort to polish their qualifications to help them land a great job, finding the right job also requires hard work. If your workplace isn’t a great fit you, both professionally and personally, it may hinder your ability to do your best work. These questions can help reveal the full picture and guide you through interviews. Does your potential employer …

1. Offer professional development?

Make sure your employer promotes nurses’ continuing education. For example, check what resources are available (tuition, continuing education, et cetera) for the ongoing professional development of nurses.

2. Have clinical advancement programs?

Make sure your experience gets recognized. Ask the employer what rewards based on educational preparation are available.

3. Utilize the latest technology?

There are new advances every day in clinical practice and information systems. This is a great time to inquire about nurses’ access to research results and whether your workplace’s other nurses consider the technology as up-to-date.

4. Create and encourage collaboration?

Good treatment involves every member of the team. Discuss the quality of patient care and safety review process with the employer — who is involved in the process, and whether it is peer-reviewed.

5. Reflect a philosophy of accountability?

This will also be a great time to discuss nurses’ input into policy development and operational management. And for more specific care-related points, check on the nurse-to-patient ratio. If it’s low, ask the employer about what support is available to the nursing team.

6. Recognize the value of nurses’ expertise?

How are nurses held accountable for high-quality practice? Open up the discussion regarding pay grades: Are there differentiated practice levels or roles congruent with education and preparation that determine pay scales?

7. Promote executive-level nursing leadership?

Give yourself room to grow. Before taking the next step in your career, get a feel for what growth opportunities are available at a given workplace. Are nurses recognized for their participation in the planning, organization and decision-making of clinical care systems?