Career options for recent nursing grad

Q: I just graduated In December with a BSN (Bachelor’s of Nursing) degree. Unfortunately I don’t see myself working in a physician’s office or a hospital. However, I am very interested in the life sciences/biotech industry. What roles are available to me?

A: Congratulations on your recent degree! A BSN can be a valuable stepping stone to a wide variety of careers.

I consulted Laurie Halloran, President and CEO of Halloran Consulting Group. Halloran Consulting Group provides expertise to a wide range of biotech, life sciences and medical device clients. Ms. Halloran shares, “The best and fastest route to a career in life science with a BSN is to get your entry within an academic institution as a clinical study nurse and/or study coordinator. While it is an entry level job, the skills you will learn can transfer to an industry position, or can serve you well in the potential promotional paths within the institution with research management. There are a lot of local institutions that conduct clinical trials, and are open to on-the-job training for qualified candidates. You will learn the conduct and regulation of clinical research practices, and you will have exposure to the clinical research associates who work with pharmaceutical and medical device companies, which may offer you some introductions into the higher paid industry positions.”

Your undergraduate institution, specifically the career services office, may be a good source of job leads within academia. Additionally, you have probably developed contacts with professors who may be willing to share valuable connections within academic institutions.

Finally, be certain to invest time building your LinkedIn profile. Recruiters often use LinkedIn as a source of candidates for their company and/or clients. Join groups relevant to your career interests. You want to be found by those looking for strong candidates!

Pattie Hunt Sinacole is a human resources expert and works for First Beacon Group in Hopkinton, an HR consulting firm. She contributes weekly to Jobs and the Boston Sunday Globe Money & Careers section.