Advice and development

Careers fair: get expert advice on starting out in nursing

Register for RCNi’s free nursing student and newly registered nurses careers fair, a virtual event packed with opportunities to meet major nurse recruiters and gain expert job advice

‘Informative, thought-provoking, engaging and inspiring’ – that’s what delegates had to say following RCNi’s first-ever careers and jobs fair for students and newly registered nurses (NRNs).

As a result of the success of last autumn’s event – 90% of visitors told us they would attend again – we are now running these fairs twice a year. The next one is coming up on 30 March 2022.

Advice and support for the start of your career

Your first year as a registered nurse can be a challenging time, so securing the right role is vital as you enter the healthcare job market. Our virtual events – which are free to attend – are here to support you and help you get your nursing career off to the best possible start.

You will meet key nursing employers looking to recruit staff, gain valuable continuing professional development (CPD) hours at the online seminars, and have the opportunity to network with other delegates.

All you need is an internet connection and a device and you can join us from wherever you are. More than 800 people have already registered to attend the March event, so make sure you book your place now.

Register here

Online Interview

Why attend our student and NRN careers fair?

  • Meet employers and interact with them on the day using online chat by text, audio or video
  • Upload your CV for potential interviews with NHS trusts, private healthcare organisations, the armed forces, care homes and nursing agencies
  • Gain CPD hours and a certificate by attending the online and on-demand virtual seminars, available for 30 days after the event
  • Take up live Q&A opportunities with the speakers at the end of each seminar
  • Download a virtual goody bag of exhibitor information, which you can email to yourself at the end of the fair
  • Network and chat with other delegates

Seminars on topics to support your practice and well-being

One of the most popular features of our first student and NRN event was the seminar on getting your CV ready and preparing for interview, hosted by RCN careers coach and operational lead Julie Watkins. So it will be returning for the March fair as part of a packed, CPD-accredited seminar programme that includes talks on:

  • Mental health nursing
  • Emergency nursing
  • How to maintain your health and well-being
  • Safe and professional use of social media
  • Careers in research and education

Queen’s Nursing Institute chief executive Crystal Oldman will be presenting a seminar on careers in community nursing, and we will also be joined by RCN Nursing Student of the Year 2021 Mairead Ryan who will talk about her outstanding work with MyStoryYourStory, a campaign raising awareness of and tackling mental ill health among young people in Northern Ireland.

You will also hear about the experiences of NRNs, who will be joining me for a panel talk where they will also be offering tips on how to make the most of this first stage of your career.

Online CV

Seminar programme: at-a-glance guide

  • Getting your CV ready and preparing for interview Julie Watkins, careers coach, RCN careers service
  • Preceptorship Jacqueline Robinson-Rouse, clinical lead for Health Education England’s CapitalNurse programme
  • Health and well-being Chiara Dall’Ora, lecturer on nursing workforce at the University of Southampton
  • Leadership Mairead Ryan, RCN Nursing Student of the Year 2021
  • Safe and professional social media use Sam Palmer-Nash, second-year nursing student at the University of Hull and team lead for @westudentnurses
  • Acute and emergency care Ana Waddington, emergency department sister and RCN Nurse of the Year 2020
  • Community nursing Crystal Oldman, chief executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute
  • Mental health nursing Stephen Jones, RCN professional lead for mental health
  • Research and education Daniel Kelly, RCN chair of nursing research, Cardiff University
  • Panel discussion Chaired by RCNi career development editor Clare Lomas

Your chance to meet employers from the NHS,

In the virtual exhibition hall, top nursing and healthcare employers from across the UK will be waiting to meet you, each with their own virtual chatroom.

Staff from London’s King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will be there to talk you through their current vacancies, or if you are looking for a career in mental health nursing, staff from Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership will be on hand to discuss the roles available.

On the NS Student stand, you will find resources and information about the different nursing specialties, including careers in nursing children and young people, learning disability nursing, caring for older people and practice nursing.

Staff from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust – the only foundation trust in Cornwall which employs around 5,000 staff – is looking to recruit staff in mental health, learning disabilities and children’s services. The trust also provides adult community services across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Some organisations will be interviewing on the day, so don’t forget to upload your CV prior to the event so you can share it with prospective employers.


Delegate feedback on our first fair

  • ‘Very well laid out as a virtual fair. It was easy to access/comprehend. The advice I received on the day towards my CV/supporting statements/interviews was beyond my expectations, as well as tips for applying for my first nursing role when I qualify at the beginning of 2022’
  • ‘It was very informative and eye opening on what paths you can take in a nursing career’
  • ‘Great chance to meet employers and learn about what my first year as a nurse might look like’
  • ‘It was great – informative, relevant and timely. The online platform was perfect, allowing for remote participation’
  • ‘It was nice being part of it, all the way from Uganda in East Africa’
  • ‘Informative and comprehensive seminars that have given a great base for starting my first job hunt as a third year student nurse’
  • I was really inspired by the seminars to do more and never give up. The panel discussion was very insightful on my role as a future nurse. Overall it was an excellent initiative, thank you very much’

Whether you are actively looking for your first nursing role or exploring your options while hoping to gain expert career advice, RCNi student and NRN careers fairs are here to help.

We are ready to welcome you to our first event of 2022, so please do join us if you can.

Register here