Tips for Finding a Nurse Practitioner Job Out-of-State

Relocating? Looking for a job in another state, or even across a state, can be a frustrating process. Scheduling interviews becomes a hassle, and employers seem hesitant to hire a candidate residing elsewhere.

Living in one state while looking for a job in another makes the job search process more difficult not only for you but also the employer. While it seems unfair that where you live may preclude you from consideration for a job, there’s uncertainty in hiring at a distance. Employers may also be concerned they will be expected to pay for relocation expenses or that your move will be short-lived. Using these tips can mitigate employer’s concerns helping the success of your long-distance job search.

1. Get your new state licenses in order

Obtaining both nursing and advanced practice nursing licenses in a new state can take weeks, if not months. Most employers are hesitant to hire nurse practitioners who are not yet licensed in the state where they will be practicing. This creates uncertainty about their eligibility to practice as well as a potential delay in starting the job at hand. Applying for, and ideally receiving, licensing in the state where you plan to relocate early in the job search process will increase your chances of finding a job in a new location.

2. Explain yourself up front, in your resume, and cover letter

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Employers want certainty in the hiring process. Onboarding a new employee is costly and time consuming so your prospective employer wants to know their efforts are as productive as possible. When you talk about relocating, avoid words like “if”, or “then”. Make it sound like a foregone conclusion that you will be relocating no matter what.

Explain your reasons for relocating not only during the interview process but also on your cover letter and resume. This way, employers have a context for why they have received your application. This also lets employers know you have a good reason for making a move and they can count on your commitment.

3. Plan for a more lengthy search

Looking for a job at a distance simply takes longer. You may have to travel back and forth to your new locale a few times in the process, and it may be more difficult finding a clinic or hospital willing to hire. Plan for a more lengthy job search when anticipating your move and budget. Don’t get discouraged when you encounter a few setbacks.

4. Use a local address

Consider using a local address, for example that of a friend or family member, on your resume. This way, your job application is less likely to be tossed by a prospective employer. When you are called for an interview, be prepared to explain why you can’t be present for an interview tomorrow.

5. Cover all expenses

Employers aren’t excited about taking on extra expenses in the hiring process. You should be prepared to cover the cost of travel, lodging, and relocation in your long-distance job search. Hiring an out-of-state employee can be a hassle, and doing everything possible to mitigate this inconvenience increases your chances of a job offer.

6. Be flexible about travel plans and start date

Moving is a pain. You must find a place to live, get your stuff from point A to point B, unpack and repack boxes etc. Starting a new job in the midst of this process isn’t easy. However, flexibility and making your new job a priority is the best way to get hired. If a potential employer wants you to start a week before you close on your new home, or interview at an inconvenient time, arrange the logistics of your move accordingly. You don’t want a few weeks of inconvenience to preclude you from an employment opportunity.

7. Expand your job search tactics

If you don’t have a large professional network in the new location where you are looking to practice, you need to expand in your job search techniques. Search job boards for opportunities. Consider working with a recruiter who may have contacts across the country. If you have a practice niche, contact local clinics directly that fit your practice specialty. Reach out to former nursing school classmates and anyone else you know in the area to help direct your search.

Finding a job in a new state isn’t easy, but it certainly is possible. Planning your job search carefully, being persistent, and maintaining flexibility are a must in the process.


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