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On campus: Nursing students take pulse of employment opportunities

About 80 nursing students attended the Nursing Career Fair to get the inside track on careers earlier this year.

About 80 nursing students attended the Nursing Career Fair to get the inside track on careers earlier this year.

For roughly 80 nursing students, January’s Nursing Career Fair wasn’t just about finding a job in tough economic times; it was a key step on the path to a post-college career.

The annual event, which took place on Jan. 26, 2013 at UW Seattle’s South Campus Center, brought together nearly a dozen regional recruiters and employers, including Kindred Hospital, the UW Medical Center, and Harborview Medical Center. The UWAA sponsored the career fair. “We were proud to be part of such an exciting event,” said UWAA Executive Director Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02. “It’s great to see so many students getting a jumpstart on their careers.”

Those 10 employers offered advice for those seeking positions or residencies, responded to concerns about the job search process, and gave insight on the day-to-day workings of a hospital. “They were very open to questions and to give advice, and that brought down the barriers,” said Alina Palanchuk, president of the UW Professional Organization of Nursing Students and one of the event organizers.

Palanchuk, who will graduate in June with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, came to the event with some trepidation. “I wasn’t sure how to start looking for jobs,” she admitted.

So she found it refreshing to talk with employers about finding a job in pediatrics. They explained what skills and attributes are important for pediatric nurses, and encouraged her to talk to a manager about her aspirations. The one-on-one connections gave Palanchuk confidence and hope for the post-college career search. “That’s what the focus is on, and that’s the biggest concern for nursing students,” she said.

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