Back in 2010, we ran a post by our then clinical editor, Christine Moffa. It was called “Prospects for New Nurses: Thoughts On Graduating During a Downturn” and it generated quite a few comments. Below is a sampling of excerpts. Some people were pretty distressed, wondering whether they should take jobs that separated them from their families, facing criticism from people who expected they should find a job easily. After all, they were nurses! And we all know they are always in demand.
We’ve been hearing anecdotally that the prospects for new nurses are getting better overall. Is this your experience?—JM, senior editor
“It costs a lot of money to train nurses, especially new grads. Many employers want experienced nurses. The best piece of advice given to me was to stay with same healthcare system/unit floor I worked with as a student nurse. Even that prospect, however, seems to be circling the drain for the same reason I hear over and over again: EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!!! Relocation may not be an option for some people….I’m sure I will eventually get a job, but it’s the uncertainty of my future that frustrates me. It’s quite aggravating to have worked so hard in school only to be disappointed in the end.”
“I just graduated in March and am really worried about getting a job. Thankfully I will be able to stay at my current job as a RN- I worked there as a LPN for almost a year.”
“I won’t give up; but I’m definitely discouraged. It has been a year since I graduated. I have followed all of the advice in the book – I’m volunteering, I’m looking for a job in a SNF, I network everywhere possible, I go to hospitals and shake hands with nurse managers, I follow up, I’m persistent with hiring managers to no avail. I’m desperate for some good advice regarding my circumstances and I’m not really sure where to turn.”
“No one has everything they need to be the perfect candidate, and many are far from it, because we are fallible human beings. We must keep the knowledge that we CAN do this! Someone will look at us and say, for whatever reason, that they want us. It will happen!”
“The difference between this downturn and previous year’s downturns are that there are 50% more new grads entering the market than previous years.”
“Certainly the recession is a major factor, but the lack of nursing leaders willing to demand that hospital administrators provide optimal staffing levels,is the primary problem. Only when nurses are able to provide the level of care that they have been educated to give, will retention improve. This would only be feasible with lower nurse: patient ratios. It seems that when most nurses achieve top positions in large hospitals, the staff nurse and the true quality of patient care is forgotten.”