Career advice

‘It feels like my trust is investing in me and planning for the future’ 

An interview at the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair in Birmingham landed nurse Charlotte Hall a new post, and a step closer towards her goal of working with critically ill patients.

An interview at the RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair in Birmingham landed nurse Charlotte Hall a new post, and a step closer towards her goal of working with critically ill patients

Picture: Tim George 

After qualifying as an adult nurse two years ago, Charlotte Hall’s first role was in the medical assessment unit at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. ‘It’s been a great starting point, and the medical assessment unit in particular has been a very good learning curve. But I wanted to move back home to be nearer my family,’ says Ms Hall.

Spotting an advert for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, she noticed there was an option to be interviewed at an RCN Bulletin jobs fair. ‘The first time you meet people it’s usually in a formal interview setting, and I get very nervous in those situations,’ says Ms Hall.

‘But being able to chat to other nurses, sisters and matrons was great. You get a more accurate impression of what they are really like, and I think they got a much better idea of me too.’

Specialist training

Following a short interview at the RCN Bulletin jobs fair in Birmingham, she was offered a band 5 job straight away, with the option of working within medical, surgery, emergency or community nursing.

Her first choice was medical, and she started her post on a respiratory ward a few months later. ‘I’m enjoying it,’ she says. ‘The managers are very supportive and the work I’m doing is really interesting.’

The ward opened a new non-invasive ventilation (NIV) bay in September. ‘Although I’ve only been here a few months, we’ve all been given specialist training to be able to provide the necessary care,’ says Ms Hall. ‘It feels like the trust is investing in us and planning for the future.’

Opportunities overseas

Even if she had she not been offered this post, she believes the jobs fair would have provided a wealth of other possibilities worth pursuing. ‘There were lots of other choices from the local trusts which were exhibiting, and everyone seemed to be offering interviews on the day, which was surprising.

‘I had heard this happened, but I didn’t know it was so common. It’s a good way of seeing what the trusts in your area are offering,’ says Ms Hall.

Picture: Tim George

There were also plenty of opportunities for those looking for something further afield. ‘If I’d changed my mind and decided to move elsewhere in the country, even go abroad, there was so much variety on offer,’ she says.

‘And if you weren’t sure what you wanted to do, you could have a look around and see what you fancied. It opens your eyes to different possibilities, even if you’re not ready to have an interview.’

Looking ahead, her eventual aim is to work in intensive or critical care. ‘In the future, I can go to an interview and say I have experience of working with critically unwell patients,’ says Ms Hall. ‘In terms of moving on to where I want to be, this new post is giving me excellent experience. It’s worked out very well.’ 

Lynne Pearce is a freelance health journalist 

For more information about RCN Bulletin Jobs Fairs, visit the website here.

Jobs Fairs 2017:

6 November – Nottingham

4 December – Southampton 


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