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CU Nursing students attend career fair on campus

Getting a Jump-Start on Finding a Job

Career Fair Brings Networking Opportunities for Students

Written by Molly Smerika on January 25, 2024

Finding a job can be tough. It takes time to update your resume, write cover letters, and prepare for interviews.

The University of Colorado College of Nursing at Anschutz Medical Campus made that process a little easier by hosting a career fair on January 22. More than 80 students attended, as well as 15 employer and 12 CU Nursing alumni volunteers.


CU Nursing students visit vendor booths at the 2024 Career Fair

Students were able to network with hospitals and professional healthcare organizations across Colorado and connect with the CU Nursing Alumni Association. There were opportunities to look at sample cover letters and resumes, learn about professional etiquette, and sign up for mock interviews.

“I wanted to get a jump start on figuring out what I’m going to do after I graduate,” says BS in Nursing student Ashlyn Kellner, who will graduate from the college’s Accelerated (UCAN) program in August. “I’m trying to get my name out there and get all the information I need. It’s a little easier to do face-to-face than it is trying to navigate websites online.”

Kellner says it was helpful being able to talk to hospitals representatives and ask questions about their application process.

“Am I doing the right things when I apply? Am I applying for something I’m not qualified for? So it’s great having that information,” she says. “It’s really cool CU Nursing hosted this event.”

Kellner’s classmate, Kathleen Chung, came to the career fair to find out what resources and job opportunities were available. She also found it helpful to look at examples of resumes and cover letters since she is starting a new career.

“I’m thinking, ‘Is my resume the right resume? Is my old resume going to work when applying for nursing jobs?’ So seeing examples is giving us some guidance,” Chung says. “Having this resource also makes us feel like we’re a part of the college since we’re so far out from our undergraduate experience. These resources reel us back into campus and make us feel connected.”

Networking with Students

Valley View Hospital, a rural hospital in Glenwood Springs, was one of the employers represented at the career fair. They wanted to focus on recruiting efforts and their nurse residency program.

“We have some local nursing schools we recruit from, but we want to widen our net and recruit a wide variety of students,” Jessica Little says. She’s a nurse educator at the hospital and graduated from CU Nursing in 2015. “I understand the quality of students coming from CU Nursing. There’s a lot of students who are open minded about where they will end up, regarding location and what unit.”


CU Nursing's Senior Enrollment Advisor Mark Mastalski talks with a nursing student.

Little says students starting their job search should look for an AACN (American Association of Colleges of Nursing) accredited nurse residency program because of the resources they offer. Those resources include meetings to learn about hospital resources, coping mechanisms for managing work-related stress, and evidence-based practice projects that help nurses gain expertise and confidence.

“An AACN-accredited nurse residency program is important for students who are considering moving to a rural area,” she says. “A nursing school can’t prepare you for the wide variety of nursing jobs that exist, that falls on the place where you’re hired, and without a nurse residency program, I don’t feel like those resources are available.”

Another residency program that CU Nursing partners with is the VA for the Eastern Colorado Health Care System (ECHCS)-Rocky Mountain Regional (RMR) VA Medical Center Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency Program (PB-RNR). The residency program started in September 2022. The ECHCS residency gives recent graduates the opportunity for hands-on experience in a real-world clinical setting, including at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System next to the Anschutz Medical Campus.

CU Nursing has resources for students looking for jobs. The Writing Center at CU Denver and CU Anschutz have various resume and cover letter examples for nurses. The CU College of Nursing Alumni Association has information about career networks and job postings.

Topics: Students