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Why New Nurses Can’t Find Jobs (No, Really)

This month’s wretched jobs report tells a now-familiar tale: Employment has risen nicely in health care (a net gain of more than 340,000 jobs between May 2011 and May 2012). But almost every other sector has been flat or worse.

You might think that would mean that new-graduate nurses are having an easy time finding work. That’s still true in rural areas — but elsewhere, no.

In many U.S. cities, especially on the west coast, there’s real evidence of a nursing glut. The most recent survey conducted by the National Student Nurses’ Association found that more than 30 percent of recent graduates had failed to find jobs.

How is that possible?

While demand for nurses has been rising, it actually hasn’t risen as fast as most scholars had projected. Meanwhile, the supply of nurses has spiked unexpectedly, at both ends of the age scale: Older nurses have delayed retirement, often because the recession has thrown their spouses out of work. And people in their early twenties are earning nursing degrees at a rate not seen in decades. We’re now in the sixth year in which health-care employment has far outshone every other sector, and college students have read those tea leaves.

So what will happen next?

Here are crude sketches of two possible futures:

I. THE NURSING SHORTAGE OF 2020

(This scenario draws from a talk that Vanderbilt University’s Peter Buerhaus gave two weeks ago at the U. of Maryland School of Nursing. Buerhaus still sees a shortage coming, though a less severe one than the shortage that he and two colleagues had predicted in a widely-cited 2000 paper.)

  • In June 2012, the Supreme Court upholds the Affordable Care Act, and Republicans never manage to do much to weaken the law. Tens of millions of Americans gain access to insurance, and the demand for nurses rises in tandem.
  • Some time around 2014, the general labor market finally recovers. There’s less desperation in the air. Sixty-year-old nurses are more likely to retire, and twenty-year-old college students who aren’t actually that interested in nursing go back to majoring in anthropology or accounting or whatever, because they’re reasonably sure they’ll find jobs.
  • The millions of soon-to-retire Baby Boomers utilize Medicare at rates similar to previous cohorts of 70-year-olds.
  • Changes in health care delivery mean that nurses and nurse practitioners are heavily deployed to provide primary care and to coordinate patients’ services.
II. THE NURSING GLUT OF 2020
  • In June, the Supreme Court strikes down the ACA’s insurance mandate. Mitt Romney wins the 2012 election and pushes his health proposals through Congress. In this scenario, at least 45 million fewer people have health insurance than would have been the case with an intact ACA.
  • The EU zone goes to hell, and the ensuing financial crisis means that the U.S. labor market stays miserable for years. College students continue to pour into health care fields, because that’s the one sector with better-than-zero growth.
  • The millions of soon-to-retire Baby Boomers utilize Medicare at significantly lower rates than previous cohorts of 70-year-olds. (Unlike the other items on this list, this one is good news.)
  • Changes in health care delivery don’t lead to a relative increase in the deployment of nurses and nurse practitioners. Accountable Care Organizations use social workers and other non-nurses to coordinate patients’ care across providers.

What will actually happen? Probably something in between, of course. (Or maybe the Yellowstone volcano will erupt and this will all be moot.)

We had better hope that it is something close to halfway in between. Both shortages and gluts are bad for patients and bad for the nursing profession. Nursing shortages, because patients are even more likely than usual to face understaffed units and overstretched nurses. Nursing gluts, because nurses are so afraid of unemployment that they don’t speak up about problems on their units.

David Glenn is a student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and author of the blog, Notes on Nursing, where this post originally appeared.

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171 replies »

  1. Are you a male CNA? If so, it’s a shame you were treated the way you were. I was a nurse at Sub-acute, and bedrails have been classified as a restraint, so fall-risk patients were put on mattresses on the floor so they couldn’t fall. Well, in the morning, when they needed to be changed and lifted into wheelchairs, the agency CNA’s (small females) just left the heavy patients lying in their wet diapers. Males have at least twice the upper body strength of females and are very valuable in lifting patients. Also, male patients prefer a male CNA for personal care. There are too many idiot nursing home owners and administrators who don’t know what they are doing and the patients pay for it.

  2. The Universities are churning out nurses in their thousands. There are no jobs for them. Why spend all that money over 3 years for nothing.

  3. Also, their assessment course didn’t contain what I was actually interested in, which was learning phlebotomy and IVs since I felt our school did a terrible job with that. Our assessment course though, we had to do a full head to toe, and when I asked what their assessment course entailed, it was lung and heart assessments…. which I already had a full course in. They were just trying to take advantage.

  4. Bayada is a TERRIBLE employer. I went there with no nursing experience as a new grad. They tried to take advantage of that and put me through their “new grad” program, which was basically another assessment course. I am a BSN and had an entire assessment course. It wouldn’t have been so bad EXCEPT, they wanted to pay me 9.50 an hour while I was in the course, (I was already making 13.50 as a CNA), and 25 an hour when I graduated. RIP OFF. I warn everyone away from Bayada.

  5. Be willing to relocate. Our hospital in Cortez, Colorado has openings in every department. The job posting may say wants experienced nurses….apply anyway. Admin in highly considering hiring new grads, we need nurses so badly. You may not get the sign on bonus as a new grad, but its worth a try. Its a nice area, high desert, close to skiing, low cost of living.

  6. Gee whiz, you just validated my feelings regarding what I thought runs through the hiring mgr’s heads if I consistently call about job placement. So sorry a nurse with the experience she has is having a hard time. That isn’t hopeful for someone like me with no experience.

  7. I don’t have previous med experience. I graduated with an associates degree this past December. I’m not having any luck finding a job in the hospitals. I’m being told I may need to look for work in the nursing homes and doctor’s offices “just to get my feet wet”. If I do this now just starting out I’m going to have the same trouble your wife is having when I try to move on. I will be told I don’t have any acute care experience. It just sucks. Believe you me, I know the phrase gets old but I wish her lots of luck.

  8. my wife JUST wants to get in the door. she doesn’t care WHAT she does..Problem is, hiring managers look at that as begging.. well she’s pretty damn close to begging.. goodness..

  9. you’re smoking dude.. My wife has applied in Colorado, Oregon Washington, texas and NO bites.. she has been a nurse TEN years!!! 8 as an LPN but still.. TEN YEARS!!! so wipe your ass with the, any other state, she an find a job nonsense..

  10. Trust me Elizabeth, my wife has had her BSN since July 13, passed her boards in October 2013 and STILL can’t find a meaning RN job.. She was an LPN for 8 plus years doing what RN’s do and we find out the Universities in our area are hiring new grade 22-23 yr old RN’s with absolutely NO experiences in ANY nursing aspect, because the college hasan agreement with the hospitals that their graduating nurses have jobs when they graduate.. really?? wow

  11. you must already have a hospital job.. MY wife has 10 years in long term and home health care..she can’t even get an interview for an RN gig in a hospital.. Experience, experience, experience.. that’s all she is ever told.. Jesus she spent 30 grand on her degree for this? holy Moses!

  12. The problem is, there IS a nursing shortage. why? Hospitals will NOT hire new nurses.. I mean why are there 40-50 postings PER hospital and, yet, those postings are still up 2 months later? THEY ARE BEING WAYYY TO PICKY!!!..The Bottom line is the deal breaker here and it sucks for RN’s one of who happens to be my wife.

  13. Elizabeth, I just stumbled on this article and read your comment. I feel your pain. My wife is in the same situation and it’s really hurting both of us. Have you had any luck since you wrote this?

  14. I disagree, I don’t think there is a shortage of nurses. There is indeed a shortage of nurses willing to work in these conditions. That pretty much sums it up as a whole.

    Real nice debate here though.

  15. There is no nursing shortage only in the state of California. Anywhere in the U.S you can find a hospital job. If you are really serious about finding a RN job move to Texas. I almost lost hope after over a year of not finding a job in the Bay Area. I applied to a residency program at a hospital in San Antonio and they hired me and sent me through the residency program. I graduated in 2009 and they put me through the residency program. But it is Texas. No union so they can give you up to 8 patients on a general floor. The pay is low and the weather is horrible. You can find a job in South Texas. Not being racist, South Texas is majority Mexican. And the Mexicans here in Texas don’t go to school. When they reach their twenties the majority work menial jobs and have kids and get on government assistance. It’s a way of life for them. They don’t have enough educated people here to fill these jobs. If South Texas was majority white with a lot of Filipinos, there would be no nursing shortage in South Texas. I sacrificed moving to Texas to get experience as a RN and will move back to California next year. Sometimes you gotta do something you hate to create something you love ( living in CA working as a RN).

  16. I am speaking from my own experience as a CNA the reason it is so hard to find a job out there is not the fact that they are not hiring because they are it is he fact that they are not paying enough so that you can have just one job in order to survive if you are lucky you have to have two jobs even then it isn’t easy this is for the fact that you have then got t make sure that the two schedules do not conflict with each other and you also have to make sure the second job is going to pay you well enough so that you do not need another job what needs to happen is they need to make a law that CNAs get paid better then they do.

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  19. Many states do not have mandated patient ratios. They can unload 30 patients on you if they want. This is not safe or healthy for the nurse or patient. People need to write their elected officials and demand that laws regarding adequate nurse to pt ratios to increase the number of jobs, make it safer for patients, and to avoid nurse burnout. I live in a state where everyone from other states come to work here because we have mandated ratios, making the nursing glut way worse.

  20. I’m a new grad RN and was rejected by the Scripps New grad program. They said 1400 people applied for a few spots. This is how it is with all of the hospitals. It is awful.

  21. The nursing shortage talk of the last decade hit a snag when the recession occurred. As you pointed out, there have been a great deal of nurses who have come out of retirement or have delayed it all together. That has changed the supply of available nurses as attrition has slowed. There are also many more programs that offer nursing degrees. We are seeing this phenomenon with other medical related jobs like CNAs, phlebotomists and pharmacy technicians as well.

    The health care field is also becoming more and more efficient. This will put some downward pressure on pay and open positions for medical related careers.

  22. I have worked in Home Health for years and now I cannot find a job in any area of nursing. I have never been turned down as a nurse, but the year 2014 is a new time. I have a BSN and an MS in counseling, and am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I agree with the concept of fast food nurses. I have seen the low class, non professional individuals now being hired in the hospitals. I myself, would not be admitted to a hospital without taking a nurse friend with me. It is sad. I do have an interview tomorrow with a Hospice agency.

  23. Gwoli niezmiernie przeważających spółek posiadamy świetnie konstrukcję, której podstawą istnieje zaawansowane sprzęt, czy doświadczona wirtualna główna kwatera

  24. You’re stupid. What fast food place do you know that requires long hard tests and clinical rotations on top? Oh and I’m guessing fast food offers a Bachelor’s of Science.

  25. Elizabeth, I can feel your frustration! I am like you a new Nurse seeking employment in this job market. I relocated back to my home state and have been searching for a few months now. If you are able to volunteer at a local hospital even if it’s for 4 hours a week I would do that. Yes, you may meet people on hospital tours but they will not remember who you are. I have sent my paperwork in to start volunteering myself. Hope this helps. Hang in there. Everything will work out the way it’s meant to.

  26. I graduated in May 2012 and passed my NCLEX in Oct 2013. I have searched high and low for a job to no avail. I have had horrific experiences looking and interviewing. My last interview consisted of HR having no clue why I was there, then the tracked down a person to interview me…after 20 mins sitting in her office she finally arrived….and arrive she did…with a fleece vest covered in animal hair! The interview was very casual no questions about my good or bad qualities basically she told me in so many words that: the pay stinks, they are alway short staffed, the turnover is high, and they will be laying off in January…..Where do I sign up for this job???? Needless to say that was a month ago and no call no letter……I interviewed there for another job in June and no call no letter so a real class act. I have been on countless tours of hospitals and offices and never been offered any job. Now mind you a few of these tours were 2 hrs long.I have so many pens, bags, and notepads I could supply a school! So anyway the hunt continues and nothing seems to materialize. I’m unemployed,broke,depressed, and in debt up to my ears. I left my 1st career to better myseld and this has been nothing but a nightmare. I’m at the point now where I dont even want to be a nurse. I don’t think I’ve ever been this low in my life. Help!!!!

  27. Hospitals just don’t want to train new nurses. It costs them money. Besides, Americans are too uppity. And when they do hire someone with no experience, the regular, overworked nurses are brutal to them. Someone has to step in and FORCE these hospitals to hire new grads. If government can cough up money for nursing schools, they should cough up money for hospitals to train new grads.

  28. Two reasons: union busting and the importation of foreign nurses. U.S. Congress does nothing to enforce labor or immigration laws.

  29. There are so many RN program, plus online RN degree, plus imported foreign RN , plus nurse keep working as RN , where is RN shortage ?
    Pretty soon , RN is same as fast food waiter or waitress.

  30. Nearly every job I applied for in the 80’s, 90’s and early 00 I got. Back in nursing in 2011–hard market, difficult getting a nursing job, even with a BSN and great references! Different job market…for nursing, too.

  31. You were smart to get out. The humiliation and horror I have experienced leaves me speechless. I can’t think of a worse “profession”.

  32. I think nurses can find jobs but just have to keep looking & they will soon get an opportunity or get a one field to get your feet wet until the area you looking for opens.

  33. This is an interesting article. I think the demand for Nurses will continue to rise especially at this time and age where lifestyle disease, and other problems continue to rise due to poor lifestyle and eating habits.

    Also finding a job in this field with ease or difficulty will largely depend on your location, some areas have higher demand than others hence doing a little homework will help. Thank you

  34. Where at in Texas are you relocating to? If you are relocating to Houston area- I would suggest getting on with a medical staffing agency. I work with Pulse Staffing and they are great! They have a lot of contracts and keep me really busy! http://www.pulsestaffing.com

  35. Really some interesting facts about the career of nursing. I like to keep bookmark this post for my future need. Thank you..

  36. This is a great article. I have been looking for different schools to get a nursing degree. I do not know if I want to travel far but I heard nursing schools in PA. Living in a city like Philadelphia would be awesome!

  37. As a licensed male CNA here in Upstate, NY, once my certification runs out I am not bothering in renewing or making any attempts in looking for work in the field as I have tried various places and not a phone call. First got licensed in 2010, took me 6 months to get one lousy position. Whatever job I could get, the staff were not that very patient at the Greenhouses, the so called Shabaz greenhouse retirement homes. When I had to take a day off and I did call in advance, the day I came back like I said, the DON let me go and terminated me. Since then I tried to other places, but no phone calls. I was lucky to get my old job back at Walmart and found I made more money working retail than I did at my nursing job. Plus they were restricting our hours, while at the same time, alot of the female nurses made tons of overtime, and the administrators got big bonuses. After being let go and humiliated, I wanted no more to do with the field. I learned alot, but I am not going thru another humiating experience like that anymore and also wasting anymore of my years on a field that was sugar coated to me and I knew all along that I was not cut out for. 2 years of my life wasted and cannot get back. Never again will go thru that. To those nurses that work hard, god bless them. Just was not for me.

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  40. please can you tell me which hospital i can apply to in TX cause I will be relocating there next month

  41. There is NO NURSING SHORTAGE!!! There has not been one for years. My hospital, In Southern California, hasn’t hired a nurse from outside for over 2 years.
    This has become a cruel rip off for many. In California, hospitals are sending recruiting teams to the Pacific Rim, finding nurses that will work on the cheap. Infections shoot up, as do complaints, but that is just one of the new Costs of doing business.
    I recently read a study by the CNA(our union) It said, in effect, one could close down EVERY SINGLE nurse school in the state…and we still would have a 10-year-plus surplus of nurses..

  42. Please….let us know what city they are hiring new nursing grads!!!! I am reading this and getting discouraged and I didn’t want to do nursing. I have been working on pre-reqs for Diagnostic Medical Sonography or Dental Hygiene but have been speaking to people I work with (non-healthcare industry) who have done other allied health programs and are not working in their field because of the same thing….no new grads….prior experience required. I have a BS in Business and schools have suggested that I look in to Healthcare Admin but I am not too computer savvy (between basic and intermediate in the main MS Office apps) nor do I type fast.

  43. that’s what I thought 8 months ago but when I contstantly see ads that say in capital letters “NEW GRADS DO NOT APPLY” it is discourageing. It’s almost like a NO DOGS ALLOWED sign. If Obuma wants to do something productive, why doesn’t he create some jobs for all these overeducated underemployed people?

  44. What city is hiring new grads with no experience? I have applied to hospitals in ND and MN where there are supposedly jobs and haven’t got a single reply.

  45. I don’t think that experience necessarily constitutes a good nurse. Just because someone has been doing something a long time doesn’t mean that they are always a better choice than someone new. When my parents got out of college, no one cared about experience, they wanted high quality people and were willing to invest a little time and money to get them trained. This country has lost it’s way and is headed down the crapper.

  46. I think there is enough of a surplus of RNs now that there won’t be any shortage anytime in the next 20 years. I would only recommend going into nursing if that is really what you want to do. Everyone and their grandmother has a nursing degree now. I have about 10 years of other medical experience but can’t get a job as an RN after 8 months of aggressive searching. Southern California is a ruthless market right now, unless you know someone.

  47. In Tyler, TX there’re several medical facilities. There’re two hospitals that are really close to each other, Trinity Mother Frances Hospital, and East Texas Medical Center. There is also another hospital, Texas Spine and Joint (being built now). Also, UT has a hospital, it’s a little outside of Tyler though. I hope that someone can find a job @ one of these. I read comments where people were saying that they were having a hard time finding a job because of experience. A lot of nurses in the area start out at one hospital to gain that experience and then go to a different one. UT Health center (may have a different name now) it may be a good place to start.

  48. I am 33 years old and I have been working consistently since August 2010 after a layoff in February 2010. I have been in the accounting/finance field since 2002. Just to give you an idea of what would I would be placing on the table for nursing school.

  49. I began taking prerequisites for nursing school in 2010, when I was laid off. I was blessed with several months of severance, so I began to focus on getting myself together for nursing school. I have a BS in accounting (2003) and an MBA in finance (2006), but I knew about 12 years ago that I wanted to be a nurse. However, I was on a merit scholarship and my college didn’t have a school of nursing. Plus, back then, classes didn’t transfer as easily as they do these days. Anyway, I was just accepted to an accelerated/2nd bachelors BSN program at a top nursing school here in TX. It is only 16 month program.

    After reading these posts from actual nurses, I am nervous about this endeavor. I currently work as a Financial Analyst and I make a good salary. I am also a wife and mother of 1 with a little one on the way (due during a short break in the program). I am really conflicted because I have been working toward this for 3 years and now I’m in to my 1st (only) choice program. I am unsure if I can do the program and continue working. Also, in my city, many hospitals are hiring new grads with no experience on a regular basis.

    Any thoughts on the possibility of doing the program while working???

  50. I got my license may 2012 in ct as an lpn, its now jan 2013 and I still cant find a job. Ive had a total of 5 interviews, sent out to much resumes onursing homes,too much to count. fortunately they would call me back for interview maybe because they are impressed with my resume but unfortunately when I have a chance to meet them Ibelieve I get diacriminated by my age because I am just 19 when I got my license and im now 20. It just doesnt make sense to me why they woukd call me for interview if I clearly pur on my reaume that im a new grad. And when im there they tell me they dnt hirenew grads. I just really dont get it! its not like we wer practicing on dummies, we wer actually working with real patients doing total care and have done med pass on our clinicals. This is just so frustrating and its definitely putting me down coz at an early age I thought I was going to the right path.

  51. I am a new graduate nurse from Miami, FL. with an ASN. I graduated in August 2012 and passed my boards October 2012. I have been searching and applying all over Florida for a nursing position that will even accept a new grad, because there are plenty of jobs open… The employers just don’t want new grad nurses. I have a 3.2, graduated from a good school, persistant, good résumé. I have applied to over 300 positions, not one interview or even a call back. Just the same generic letter in my email box informing me that I don’t meet their qualifications and they are not considering me for the job. Here is where it gets sticky. Your advisor will tell you to take a job with a extended care facility or nursing home and out of despiration from looking most new grads will do that, but what they don’t tell you is by accepting a position that is not considered “critical care” you have relinquished your new grad title and are no longer able to apply to most hospital residency “new grad” programs. On top of that you don’t have the required one year of “hospital experience” to apply for any hospital jobs… What’s a new grad to do with no experience and no one willing to give it?? Survive the longest two years of your life to get to the finish line and find out no one wants a new grad while we are hurting for nurses?? What do you think will happen to the shortage when people start hearing there are no jobs for new grads?? Guess what no one is gonna kill themselves through nursing school to not find work… The shortage will get worse if people don’t feel going to college for this profession is a safe option in this economy…

  52. I had the almost exact same experience. The only different thing was they were nice enough to give me a couple of more days. I still quit too because It was just unreasonable and unsafe to be expected to handle so many people after so few days of training. I was really concerned to have made a mistake and loose my licence

  53. Hello everyone, I am a new graduate nurse in a major city and I have applied to various hospitals and organizations within 65 miles of commuting distance, and still no luck. It is unfortunate that hospitals aren’t willing to give a new grad nurse a chance. If they invested the time and education on new graduate nurses, they will be investing in their future, and especially patient outcomes. Most new grad nurses have obtained their BSN’s, and if hospitals are thriving to seek that Magnet status, it’s not going to happen without BSN nurses.

    I am deeply saddened because I dreamed of becoming a nurse since I was a child, and there wasn’t anything else I wanted to do. It truly is my calling, but sadly nobody is picking up the other end : (

  54. Wow. I am a new grad RN as of Jan 2013 waiting to take my nclex rn exam and after reading all of these posts. I feel absolutely dreadful about my future. I was so happy last week at graduation after completing what seemed to be nursing school from hell and now this. No jobs? I’m already broke, spent my last on my exam fee and don’t feel like I will find a job. I haven’t actually applied for a job yet, want to get my license first. But man, I’m so down and disappointed now. I love nursing. I have finally found something I am truly good at, and to think that I may not find a job for maybe even a year saddens me. I have overcome so much to graduate on time and emotionally intact. I have exhausted by unemployment benefits, living off of food stamps alone and at home with parents. I thought this would empower me to take real action in my life and propel myself and my children into a better life…..Now what?

  55. Just a thought, why do nursing programs continue to pack their classes? If there are no nursing jobs to be had,………… MONEY. They don’t care if you get a job. Ask a new lawyer, teacher, there are no jobs in sight, but they continue to graduate students at records numbers. I am refering to a recent article ie. MBA grads. They not only have a harder time finding jobs, but the starting salary is 5600 less than is was in 2007. Meanwhile, their student loan amounts have skyrocketed. I guess as a new student, you have to ask yourself, what are the chances of me finding a job? Will I be able to pay off my student loans after I graduate? Am I willing to move away from my family/friends to get a job? Please go into any profession with your eyes as wide open as possible. Check out the states with the most elderly/unhealthy/obese people is it as possible, and check out the states financial health. Does it have generous Medicaid reimbursements? Sorry to be negative, but check it out. Don’t go into nursing to get rich, you really have to feel for people and want to help them, otherwise you are just wasting you time and will be unhappy in the profession. It can be very rewarding, but not necessarily in a financial way.

  56. The entire system is really messed up. A local hospital chases a JHACO accredidation, but their patient care stinks and the nosocomal infection rates continue to go up. I am an RN with other degrees. I think the dr/hell comments sadly are correct. Mandates and accredidations are ruining the systems. Public education and healthcare systems that have worked for generations. Political mandates (inplace, so that pharma, etc can make money) are not only ruining nursing and medical care, but are also ruining education. Charter schools do not have to follow that same laws and mandates that our public schools do. Try getting a back rub in a hospital, try getting pain medication 30 minutes before physical therapy. Nursing is being ruined my technology and mandates. No time for back rubs, but make sure the IV bag is full and time for vital signs. Robotic isn’t it. Feed the Technolgy, to hell with the patient in the bed!

  57. I was educated in CT, looked for a job up there for 7 months (From jan 2012 to July 2012). Got my CT license, then I moved to FL and got my FL license. One week after I got my FL RN license, I got a job with a 12 week orientation. I was there 2 months, did not like it, applied for another hospital in the same city, got that job the next day. If you are desperate for a job and willing to relocate, I would say consider moving to Florida. Nursing wages are lower but if you are experienced you will get a sign on bonus, you will get relocating grants. If you are new you will get your foot in the door. Just dont sign any 2 year contracts, this is a right to work state.

  58. Jeff, your second thoughy can save you time and money, nursing school if is not from good accredeted universities or colleges is not worth your time and money, the 2year ADN program I went 1 year ago reminds me 13th grade, I felt uncomfortable with that high school like program, like you, I donot have an employer, but I realize while in that nursing program, the time to get another engineering job is much shorter than going thru nursing program, and if I reallly want to spent money, that shall be for Phd advance programm,- just to get my money woth it. today I am glad that I droped nursing and stay in engineering field. many people including me are capable of learing medical science, nursing doesnt teach medical science. follow your second thought, and think much much more before action.

  59. I would appreciate if someone would reply to me because I’m interested in becoming a nurse in the future though I’m still a high school student. Many of you are saying that many hospitals want nurses who have experience. In the future if I volunteer in a hospital would that be counted as experience?

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  61. Hello Fellow Nurses,
    I have been a nurse for a little over 5 years. I luckily obtained my BSN right away and have been able to basically pick and choose where I have wanted to work in many states. However, I decided to move out to the West Coast (Seattle/ Tacoma area) after I was accepted into a Masters program. I applied to MANY positions and was offered only 1 interview in an area I had recently been working in; after a short orientation was fired for no real reason in my probation period. I have been applying to multiple positions, needing to work while I am in school and so far I haven’t heard anything but denials. I am beginning to worry if I will EVER get another nursing job, even after I complete my Masters. I’m not sure what to do. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  62. I just need to add my 2 cents. It is not that hospital don’t want to hire new graduate nurses is that they IMHO get some incentive to hire but not to keep nurses. I was hired right out of school NYC with ADN enrolled in a BSN program got onto a Med Surg only to be let go two months after been hired. It is the culture of nursing that they use us. Am I a victim not I am not , nor am I a mother Theresa . I’m honest with few mistakes such as getting behind w/ medication administration but so where season nurses . Depending on your unit i.e code all nurses must assist and that pushes you on your time now imagine two codes in a 12 hr shift.
    the nursing culture in most hospital is toxic including the new nurses whom are nasty witches. I had a nurse that was also a new grad she was one month short to hitting hat one year mark but this witch was so nasty to nursing students, and myself and I am a new nurse like herself..
    tired of his nursing shortage none sense and everyone becoming a nurse from grandma , uncle marti , and lassie but at the same time I don’t blame anyone becoming a nurse we where all brain bashed and naive to think that nursing is a recession proof job or a caring career.

  63. I’m from a for profit. I did NOT buy my diploma (nor did I pay the state to pass me on the boards). I took it and passed, just as you did. I’m no less or no more than you. Nor am I an embarrassment. And, to add, I’m probably more compassionate and qualified to see problems before they arise than the book smart RN. Doesn’t take someone to “retake classes to get a 3.8” for that.

  64. Same here. I have an associates RN, though. would consider going for BSN, but not until I know it’s worth it (I could get an RN position) . Owe $70,000 as it is, savings gone, house in forcclosure, on foodstamps, can’t find a job! Had I known this, I wouldn’t have done it.

  65. Graduated September 2010, RN license November 2010. One job (read above), hundreds of applications, no calls back. When I finally reach people (and get fellow RN’s with jobs asking for me), “not enough experience” or “too new”. Very frustrating, in deed!

  66. Same happened to me. New Grad, started at an LTC (that just went on strike!). After 3 days, they put me on my own with 33 pts on dementia unit. I tried, IMPOSSIBLE! Gave me 4 more days of orientation, then I resigned. Everyone I speak to wants “1 yr experience, call when I get it”. I’m so broke, I’m on foodstamps! I could stop using tax payers money if I could get a job! Not to mention, I can no longer work as a CNA and every minimum wage job I apply for “I’m over qualified” (and still have $70,000 of school loan debt. would go back to school, but can’t afford it and why, if I can’t get employed in my field anyway!!

  67. I remember when I graduated in 2009, I was having similar issues, not finding employment for nearly a year after graduation from an ASN program and passing the NCLEX with my RN. The only reason I was hired was because I had a connection in the long term care facility where I ended up working. Due to lack of resources and support from administration I sought another nursing job and found one in home health, where every one has said burnt out nurses should seek refuge. I’ve worked in home health for a year now and have grown to love and hate it, for the same reasons I loved and hated my last job. I love taking care of my patients, providing hope in a system that sees only numbers. The resources I am lacking: encouragement from above, help in the field from nurses in the office, and time. Traveling over multiple zip codes trying to see 8 patients in one day and finishing up paperwork at home… turning ten hour days into twelve hour days five days a week plus on call five days a month including one weekend a month? I work so hard, and my compassion for the patients I see is used against me to get me to produce more. When I see my company push for numbers and medicare patients, reducing the amount of home health aid visits and LPN visits and increasing RN visits because medicare pays more for RNs, I am left dumbfounded. Doctors don’t want to receive calls, we are left faxing everything. Can never get a hold of a real clinician in my own office for trouble shooting. I’m exhausted and weary – not that these are the conditions, but that these are the conditions in a profession that I thought meant more than seeking profit. I don’t know if I can continue as a full time nurse much longer, though I know many of you would love to have a full time position where I am. These are hard times for all of us, but most of all for our patients. It is frequently hard to find the emotional energy to carry on, but what else can we do, but move forward, doing our best and learning as much as we can to improve self care and patient care a long the way? I have been told many times by friends to seek another job, but I stay, because where would my fellow nurses in this company be if I abandoned them, and what would happen to my patients? I do just enough administratively to keep the uppers happy, and focus my soul on patient care – and when I am so weary that even that makes me bitter – I am careful to maintain good boundaries and use up PTO if I needed. It’s a careful balance that I still have not yet mastered, but I have to keep trying. Keep trying all you nursing students, keep trying all you experienced nurses – just don’t give up… you are a piece to this puzzle we are all trying to figure out.

  68. I graduated May 2010. Have 247 applications out- all kinds of nursing jobs and non nursing, including fast food. I have no job! Now, it has been so long no one is interested in a new nurse out of school so long when there are hundreds being pumped out fresh and young. (I am 53).
    Self supporting. I don’t wan’t to spend what little money I have left to relocate only to find the same thing- no job. I am not eligible for unemployment since I was a housewife before I started school.
    I want to tell people that want to go to nursing school not to do it. The govt pays for grants and loans for a career that doesn’t exist- unless your foot is in the door or you know someone. I even volunteered in a PACU unit for a few months, which did allow me to finally interview, but they said they needed someone with experience. Most want at least a year of experience and no one will hire to get that experience.
    It sucks.

  69. After 10 years as an ICU nurse I was fired a year ago. I haven’t had any luck in finding a new job. I get called in for interviews, but the interview is pretty much over when I tell them I was fired. It’s really frustrating. I’ve pretty much given up hope of being ever working as a nurse again.

  70. I find you offensive. I graduated from nursing school at age 57 and am far from a “party-er” as you call it. I am now down to $60 in savings. Any meager 401-K’s I had are now gone. Being “smart” has nothing to do with lack of opportunities. I have applied everywhere within a 100 mile radius. It is not my age either, at least on paper as I received my first
    bachelor’s in 2000. I have never beenpcalled for any interviews.

  71. I am a new grad nurse and I am looking for work. I’ve applied to hundreds of nursing positions and I had ONE interview in which the LTC facility ended up choosing someone with more experience. I have been on the job hunt for over 7 months.

  72. In my experience, finding a nursing job is not difficult. However, finding a job that suits your lifestyle can often be challenging. Many new grads are relegated to night shifts, moving to more desireable shifts over time. That was certainly the case with me, back when I started during the nursing shortage of the late 1980s. On top of that, many nursing positions with desireable hours offer less pay.

    My advice? Stick with it. With a few years experience, jobs are there for the taking. You just need to be patient because the prime opportunities come with experience.

  73. I am a new grad had a job for 5 days one day in class room orientation and 4 days on the floor 12 hr shifts i beg for more trianing before i started working the shifts I pick up no phone calls no replys I qiut now i cant find anything. I wish the ltc facility would have trained me the right way not push me into 20 or more patients by myself for with only being there for 4 days.

  74. I wish I knew Jeff! If you got through law school, you would most likely be able to learn nursing! As for the future of the nursing field………that’s troublesome. From what I understand, the people who are currently working, are working extra hard, and doing extra shifts. The hospitals don’t want to pay to train new graduates, and they don’t want to pay the additional cost of hiring more people.The higher costs of health insurance for people over age 55, in many states, may also play a part. We can’t force them to hire! Maybe they will cut hours down to part-time to avoid paying for health-care benefits. Then they would need to hire more people, although part-time or temps! Also, several congress people request visas every year to bring nurses from other countries to the U.S., due to the so called ‘nursing shortage’, so it looks like we are really in a pickle!

  75. True. I have been an RN for 25 years. Now unemployed for 2 years. I am planning to go back to school in a different field. While I am investigating other fields, I have also been told that my difficulties in finding employment may be related to the fact that currently hospitals want BSN’s. I have not worked in ICU’s or ER’s, so I would not be able to get a position in travel nursing. I would just like to know the truth, would I be more likely to get a job with a BSN, or is there such a huge nursing glut that it makes sense to go into another field? I also have been told that my skills are outdated, because I worked in offices, not hospitals, for years. Now medical assistants are being hired in offices, in place of nurses. There are nurse refresher programs, but there are no student loans or financial aid available to pay for it. I too loved being a nurse. However, I have to support myself, so I am doing research. The government offices say there is a need for nurses, yet nurses say they are having difficulty getting work. I guess somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

  76. I am in FLorida and yes some new grads get jobs but the top hospitals are importing from the phillipines, India and even Canada. The only go thing is that the Canadians speak English.

  77. The hospitals are not hiring because they have nurses who will take extra shifts. It is far more expensive to hire a New Grad and train them than to stretch your existing staff. New Graduates are not ready for the clinical setting and often require 6 months of hand holding. That means that a hospital has to staff an experienced RN with every one to two New Graduates it hires for nothing else but to train them in unit work and organization, something they no longer get in school.

  78. I am a nurse for 20years in a nursing home. The nursing home I work in does hire new grads from RN school but they don’t know much. And yet they know everything because I am to them only an LPN. They get 2-3 days yes days training and it is sink or swim. And the supervisiors that they are hiring are also new RN. Its amazing in teaching you have to be in a classroom with a teacher for months as part of your schooling. Nursing is a great field but the respect is horrible from DON to families and residents. We are suppose to do everything they want. I am not a maid and alot of the residents are in my place for rehab. We need to bain together as one of the writers spoke about and instead of eating our new nurses encourage managment to have a training program that would help each one of our hospitals and nursing homes stand out and demand that for our patients that they do deserve the best of care even though sometimes they think we are their maids. Happy Thanksgiving to all and please keep in your hearts the many people who were affected by Sandy.

  79. So here in good old “Taxafornia” about 1/2 of nurses graduating still do not have a job 18 mos later! I was a Paramedic with FDNY for 14 years. I moved to California and got a job as an ER Tech and desided to go to RN school. So one would think that with this clinical experience I would be a sinch to get a job. Nope! Since getting my lisence in July 2011 it has taken me until now to land a job (I start in Dec of 2012). While working at the hospital full time and going to RN school alot of my coworkers were getting offers right out of school. So I though this would be a sinch. The down side to my new job is, it is about 4 1/2 hrs away. So I will be staying there for my 3 12’s and coming home kinda sux, but it’s a job. To all who are searching do not give up.

  80. I went to architecture school. There were absolutely no jobs at all. Everyone said the same thing: no openings , we wish we could help, we would love to hire you. I had a 3.7 in grad school(master degree). I had some connections, but when your competing against unemployed architects with 10 years experience, what can you do. I found a good Job after applying to 400 firms, banging on doors,

    the nursing profession might not be 100 percent bulletproof , but it’s still better than the 35percent of all architects in Chicago are unemployed. I’m currently helping my wife to find a entry level nurse position, I must say that it nice to see that there are actual postings for jobs.

  81. Iam BSN RN I studied in India and I have 8+ years experience from india but when I started looking for job in US. Everybody need US experience noone is giving chance to work in US then how will I get experience. Iam totally confused what to do ?Now I feel I took wrong profession

  82. Unquestionably consider that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be at the net the simplest thing to take into account of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while other folks consider issues that they just don’t recognize about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and also outlined out the whole thing with no need side effect , other folks can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you

  83. Yes, you should if you are really interested. I did nursing when I am 40 yrs old and I found the job after 1 yr of graduation. It is hard to find a new grad RN job I agree, but you will find it if you are patient and persistent.

  84. Union bashing types crack me up !!
    Union bashers think ” Those guys make too much, we can get people to do that work for less”, but in their next breath utter, “but my compensation is inadequate. “. When are you gonna wake up and realize NO ONE is getting rich working as a nurse !! The extra buck or two you make as a union employee helps to offset the high stress, no lunch, mandated over time position.

  85. I am considering going to RN school.

    I am already 41 years old and unemployed lawyer.

    Should I go?

  86. To the RN’s out there:

    I have been unemployed as a lawyer for 2 months now. I am thinking of going to an RN school in California.

    Is this worth the time and money?

    i need an honest opinion here. thanks.

    P.S I am already 41 years old.

  87. I am an unemployed lawyer looking to be an RN nurse.

    Now, i am having second thoughts….

  88. I agree with the above. I have tried everything, and have applied to every type of position here in Southern California to no avail. Statistics last year showed that over 50% of new grads in CA were not able to secure a job.

    I cringe when I hear radio commercials from local nursing schools announcing this “shortage”, and “recession proof” career. The truth is, that you will be lucky to obtain a position. I know people with a masters degree in another (similar) career, that completed a BSN, and considered themselves blessed and lucky to find a job after 1 year!!

    As for those that say that nursing schools are easier now, I think that’s complete nonsense!!! So many people failed out of my program. The passing grade was 80% for nursing course, and 96% for dosing calculations. I’m not saying there definitely aren’t easier programs out there, but if there are, I haven’t heard of them.

  89. Nursing schools stop promoting that you will be guaranteed employment upon graduation because of the nursing shortage… Its time to be honest..

    This is from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

    The United States is projected to have a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows. Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing colleges and universities across the country are struggling to expand enrollment levels to meet the rising demand for nursing care.

    Nursing schools stop promoting that you will be guaranteed employment upon graduation because of the nursing shortage… Its time to be honest..

    This is no longer a fact… Yet they still want to promote the nursing shortage hysteria. They are thousands of unemployed new nursing graduates in the United States. This is supported by data.

  90. reply to : Marie Berberich says:
    Not a nationwide problem ,party-er.
    IN Fl. they (RN )are needed everywhere.
    “One new bed costs 1 million dollars”
    Not in Fl. , BTW How much rev will that bed produce over the decades?
    “Cannot afford to move.”
    A smart person ,cant even figure out how to move?
    On second thought, stay in upstate NY, posting on blogs.
    Some, from that area,not you of course ,have a real attitude

  91. A diatribe about getting a job while still in n.s.; preferably in N. field as cna or something (or use volunteer to get cna if u must).

    That way, on the floor, getting hired, you get a “two fer one” peepls love a deal; even admin in speciality areas.

    If that doesnt work, Ive known n.s. who took any job, even housekeeping to “get their foot in the door” while still in school, since most hospitals give priority hiring status to pre-existing employees. It also helps to get that almighty reference from the personnel you meet along the way; and in any other nursing activity (homecare etc)

    I had worked in home care, hospice for years as a non nurse and filling in my prereqs and in n.s. and I ended up caring for clients that were very connected in that Hospital and Medical Envirement (one was the founder of the hospital; the other the founder of the local BSN n.s.). A reference like that can turn a few heads, esp if its a small town, or “city”.

    Every job I’ve gotten in the past (and I realize things are tougher now) was from referrals directly from nurses I had worked w either as a CNA or tech.
    I also heard the hiring practice of a very large Hospital in my area that I used to work for, hired ONLY new nurses from their local nursing schools. If they had re-located from another state, they didnt get hired.

    Comport yourself NOT as an insider to nursing, and the only way to do that, until you can, is to deveop a pattern of related job skills, primarilly, in your area of specialization (eg you want psych, get dual training in addiction, etc), volunteer.

    Even in the “old days” (1992) it wasnt that easy to just walk out of nursing program w no ties, or earlier development in your field of interest. That denotes willingness and dedication to apply yourself; not, you “just need a job” like everyone else. You are not doing this because you “have too” but because you just Love it SO much, you’d work for Free! (I know; weird)

    Finally, several yrs ago, when we had one more of many n.s. “gluts” I knew of new licensed RNs who took jobs in high pop. area (Los angeles, long beach CA) in area Hospitals and worked as CNAs until something opened up. Sometimes it was a YEAR. I don’t know if its longer; but it just demonstrates how much you want to be a nurse to them. People still think it helps to “come up the hard way” not just a “let me hold the door open for you”.

    I know its not fair, but it takes what it takes. We need to prepare ourselves LONG before we hit the street, and hope for the best. ‘Cause maybe even after all that there is no guarantee it won’t be difficult. I also don’t mean to minimize the difficulty of it: things ARE harder and nursing is soooo competitive now, more than ever.

    Another thing that worries me, is that new grads will be out of work (nursing) mos; yrs. I wonder if in that time, they filled in that time w working in speciality areas, volunteer and a consistent progress In the Field to the extent that they can.

    I hear so many stories of people who can’t get “the” RN job after graduation, and then work in another field, not even mildly related to their core focus. I know you have to do what u need to do, but hiring personall are looking for people who have “grown” in their profession since they’ve been out of school. Otherwise, it comes across like you just “need a job” not a vocation, a cause, a meaning. There are so many people now just doing nursing because they “need a job” and have no real committment to it. And the hiring personnel are not stupid as to that fact.

    I know there is no “sure” way. so much is luck, and LOTs of focused, patient action, and being in the right place in the right time. But, thats what makes YOU different….right?

  92. I know that you feel helpless maybe even hopeless; but are you seeking a job in all venues or just hospital? Consider applying for a position that will give you some experience although it may not be hospital experience. Hospitals will consider someone with some experience over someone with zero experience.

  93. If they would hire new grads it wouldn’t be a shortage. The problem is that no one is willing to train new grads. There is a shortage of experience nurses, but many new grad nurses are desperate for work!

  94. It depends on where you go to school AlexRN. There are certain schools who are turning away mostly A students into their BSN program. They are holding out their very few spots to give to those with all A’s, lots of service work on their resume, etc… It truly depends on the institution and the program. Auburn University is one that is extremely competitive for only the top students. There are many others. The problem is the few faculty available to teach and train the nurses.

  95. Yes, it does happen. Most RN training programs still have the student “taking vital signs” and “watching”. This is the culture of sue happy training. I completely believe it is possible to graduate with the most minimal patient contact. I think to help that we should use the “lawyers” as the new dummies. Let’s see how many tries it takes you to get this IV?

  96. MD as Hell, was in fact giving a “shot in the arm” to nurses. The nursing profession IS being given so many “guidelines” that anybody with a pen can check the boxes. I agree that we need to keep the nurse/patient/doctor relationship. Good call MD as Hell.

  97. The reason your friends are working extra shifts is because its cheaper to have existing employees work more than hire new nurses and train them.

  98. Hey Annelies – Wow, what a challenge. I’d like to speak with you and discuss ways that you can use your incredible skills and background to find employment. Please contact me through my site. Note: this is NOT some gimmick to try to get you to “work with me as a coach.” And it isn’t some line that I use to get people to subscribe to some kind of service. I seriously would like to speak with you personally because with what you’ve shared here, I have some ideas. I just got a job after submitting over 75 applications and having 30 years of experience. I look forward to hearing from you. Take care, Jerome Stone

  99. I’m in the same boat as you, I graduated this may 2012 with my RN and still have yet to get any offers or even interviews in Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Maine or New Hampshire. I’m out of money and about to be kicked out of my parents house because I can’t pay my bills. I am also a USCG veteran and ACLS certified yet that doesn’t seem to matter to anyone. I also wish someone told me that working during school was the best way to secure a job….. I don’t know what I’m going to do in the next few weeks…..

  100. How do we “crack down” on these for-profit schools. I agree. I worked my a%^ off, taking classes over to get my 3.8; the new grads from for profits are an embarrassment and Im pissed.

  101. I’ve heard a lot of nurses who got their jobs in hospitals had to volunteer for months or years before they get a position, did you already try that?

  102. I’ve been looking for a job as an RN since August of 2011 in NY without any luck. I chose nursing as a career change and this was my second Bachelor’s (I am not in my 20s). I am feeling very discouraged and feel like I’ve already forgotten most of what I’ve learned in school. No one wants to hire new RNs. Unfortunately, if you don’t work in a hospital already in some other department or know people in high places, it seems that a BSN is obsolete. It’s unfortunate that I spent all of my savings paying for this BSN. I recommend that nursing students try to get a job in any other department in a hospital while they’re in school that way they already have a foot in the door. I wish someone had told me it was going to be this hard to find a job. Now my savings are gone and I have a BSN to nowhere. If anyone has any recommendations I’d like to hear them. I’m usually very optimistic, but reality is kicking in. Thank you.

  103. Thank you so very much for addressing this paradoxical (or apparently so) challenge that many of us are facing. I’ve been an RN for 30 years and have been unemployed for…20 months!! I used to walk into a hospital, say “Here I am,” and they’d say, “When can you start?” No longer. I’ve filled out 75!!! applications for employment and haven’t been hired yet. I was told by a woman at the Unemployment Office, “Sweetie [she said sweetie too much!] I’m seeing a lot of nurses, your age, with your amount of experience, in the same position. They’d rather hire new graduates than pay you what you’re worth.” What?!?

    It seems that the same attitude of nurses as “renewable resources” has prevailed except that now we’re disposable as well!

    The only “upside” that I can see (and I’m being sarcastic as well as a bit serious here, my family is living on fumes here, seriously! ) is that nurses are being forced into thinking outside of the box, taking their gifts – and we’ve got so many of them!! – and using them in entrepreneurial endeavors.

    I’ve just written a book for nurses, Minding the Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind, helping nurses to use meditation and compassion practices at the bedside and in their lives, to maintain inner peace despite the outer turmoil that’s happening. I’ve also just launched an Indiegogo campaign to try to fund a launch of the book.

    We’ve got to think out of the box! As nurses, we’ve got a lot of power both within and outside of the nursing arena. We’ve got to use that power to advocate for and advent change. It’s the only solution to the paradox of the nursing shortage/unemployed nurses and, ultimately, to finding a way out of the quagmire that the healthcare system has become.

    I encourage all of you (us!) to support each other in your creative ideas, support each other in your fundraising and awareness raising campaigns, and get through these tough times. We have a lot of power, let’s use it!

    Very warm regards to all the nurses out there,

    Jerome Stone, RN, MA
    Author – Minding the Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind
    http://www.miindingthebedside.com

    P.S. – If you can, please visit my Indiegogo campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/mindingthebedside); share it, tweet it, comment on it, and if you’ve the wherewithal, please contribute. Even a small amount will help me. Thank you ever so much.

  104. Wrong, Random Observer. I am sure that no nurse would be happy to accept lower pay for a job that is already so stressful, so demanding, and so shorthanded that many currently employed in the field are experiencing burnout in a matter of two to three years.

    The idea that employers would take the money that would theoretically be saved from hiring non-union labor and use it to enhance the satisfaction of their employees is short-sighted and ignorant. Where would health benefits go? What about sick leave? Without unions these would quickly disappear, and NOBODY would be better for it.

  105. Nursing absolutely stinks. Minimal pay, excruciating work-loads, no employer appreciation. Make a mistake and they are all over it. Work your tail off and not a word is mentioned. It’s pitiful.

  106. I work as a travel nurse and have friends that are nurses and most of them are working and found employment within a short time frame, so I would say there’s a high demand for qualified nurses. For example, travel nurses jobs are in demand right now. I was able to find my job with an agency that only places travel nurses. Travel nurse source has a list of open travel nursing jobs. For those interested in learning more about this field and what it entails to be a travel nurse check out their website for more info.
    http://www.travelnursesource.com/browse-jobs.php

  107. So the writers of the NCLEX conspired as well?
    Everyone in health care has a weird attitude.
    You proved it

  108. Not possible in Florida and I’m not sure I believe you.
    How can anyone not have hands on Pt. care ?
    Where can a RN get a job with the employer knowing the RN never touched a real human.
    In Fl. you a a grueling preceptorship ,which If you dont pass, you dont pass.

  109. Um not quite – I graduated at the top of my class, am highly capable and motivated, had volunteer and CNA experience prior to graduation from nursing school, but I live in a large city (Seattle) where we are experiencing an explosion of new nurses and institutions unwilling to pay to train them…it’s all about the money people! This is a reflection of the state of the economy at large and not a reflection of my own skill set or abilities. It also really depends on where you live – I’m sure if I was living in a small rural area I would be sought after.

  110. Similarly in the pharmacy fields as well. Tons of new graduates from new schools, and every task is slowly being replaced by technology. Graduated with 3.8 GPA, years of internship, tons of rec letters, but there just isn’t any new positions. Companies would rather use that money for 1 PharmD to hire 3 technicians.

  111. I grad 2 yrs ago With BSN 3.5 GPA never able to find a job upstate NY. Cannot afford to move. This is a nationwide prob. I also have prior BS biology. No one interested. Think MD we hell is right.Nursing dumbed down and you must do as you’ te told until something bad happens and then it will be your license on the line. I took a med clerical job in a hosp finally and recently saw an article in a copy of hospitalist magazine there. With affordable care act & high amounts of new pts, there will be no new hires of MD’s or nurses and no increase in # of beds. One new bed costs 1 million dollars! Instead, production will be ramped up. Each am there will be a meeting to see what pts can be discharged with least chance of lawsuit in order to free up a bed. Roll those dice baby! Craps , you lose!

  112. It took me 8 months of serious job searching to find my position. Don’t give up.

  113. Disagree. My BSN program was rigorous. Years ago they did not study organic chemistry, microbiology, pathophysiology, and so on. What planet are you from?

  114. Im thinking of going for my AAS in spring of 2013 in chicago, but after reading these comments im now scared not getting hired after i graduate and pass the N-CLEX

  115. Nurse Nancy: I couldn’t agree with you more. I worked in ONE union hospital (small community hospital) and they did nothing for the nurses except take our money. I did work short term in a psych hospital which was unionized and these nurses behaved like they were in the military….counting the days until they can collect their pension. The union was more for administration, NOT THE NURSES! I’ve been out of work for a little over a year and can not find a job because of the BSN requirement hospitals are imposing on nurses, yet they are recruiting foreign nurses right out of school with a BSN. The market is flooded here with new grads and a nurse like myself with 19 yrs of experience am told “oh…you don’t have your BSN, or “you’ve been out of the hospital for three years. I’ve worked in every ICU there is, PACU, intensive home care cases. I applied several yrs ago to a local hospital and they offered me a salary subtracting four years of experience. When I asked why, I was told by the Nsg. Admin. “It’s the union’s policy….they don’t count travel nursing.” I told her “I wasn’t working in a pet shop. YES, unions are what suck the lifeblood out of top-performers. BUT, hiring a foreign nurse “is very lucrative” I quoted that because that is what i read. Sickening.

  116. I’m here on the “East Coast” finding it difficult to get a job. I graduated two years ago with an AAS in nursing. When applying to jobs, everyone wanted either a BSN or years of experience or both. I decided to continue with my education right away, and also apply for jobs at the same time. I graduated last month with a BSN in nursing believing it will put me ahead of nurses who have AAS degrees in nursing.
    It is NOW more difficult for me to get a job than before. Why? I was able to speak to a nursing director. She basically said she would be afraid to hire me because I haven’t had “bed side care experience in over 2 years.” This is very depressing for me because nursing has been instilled in me since I was child; Nursing was all I ever wanted to do. I’m stuck between searching for a new career or sticking it out until I have to renew my license (Renew a license in which I never used).
    Nursing is such a rewarding field that I am hoping to experience and enjoy one day. In addition, not only are nursing graduates in the West experiencing some turmoil, but in every state. Something should be done about this!

  117. A great deal of the nursing glut has been created by the ever increasing dumbing down of registered nursing educational standards. Being a Registered Nurse no longer qualifies as a profession; instead it is now a “professional endeavour”, whatever that means. With community colleges decreasing both entry and curriculum standards for their RN programs, and for-profit “backyard” nursing schools popping up all over, an RN degree is now worth far less than it once was. The only way to begin to resolve the problem is to crack down on for-profit schools and force community colleges to greatly raise their standards and requirements.

  118. I agree with Nurse Nancy – there are tons of jobs out there but they don’t want to take the time to train new nurses. I’m one of those locus tenens that RobertTX reference but we’re called travel nurses not locum tenens. I travel the country to areas in need that are unable to find nurses in their community to fill their staffing shortages. My company is always asking me if I have any nurse friends that can fill their travel nursing jobs because they have so many hospital clients looking for nurses. Granted, they are looking for registered nurses not LPNs.

  119. Given how lazy MD’s have become (or overhwelmed) and knowing that Nurses do most of the work pre-op and post-op. I mean they do the bulk of the work and these aren’t menial tasks… these are tasks that you can’t train a burger flipper to do.

    Given all that… I want the most skilled nurse treating me when I visit the hospital. I don’t want some task-cruncher giving me medications or caring for me or my family. Nurses have an incredible degree of responsibility and the skill, experience and *wisdom* to make the right decisions is paramount.

  120. Skills on the job at hand… but also the individual needs to sell themselves. In today’s global employee marketplace you need to stand out from the rest.

  121. Correction on further reflection.Forgive me MDs,Sounds like a typical Diploma Mill RN-notice they can’t spell much or make complete sentences.

  122. Nurse Paula sounds alot like a young angry MD,who missed the point and wasted his time.

  123. Peter1, In your eternal bitterness you have entirely missed who I am, what I mean, or what I prefer. I revere nurses and what they do. I deplore the negative changes in the nursing profession. Nurses teach brand new doctors so much. Nursing judgement is highly valued by me and other good doctors. The EMR documentation monster allows for no nursing judgement. Orders for medicine cannot include a range of dosing anymore. Shy? It involves making a judgement. No more “morephine sulfate, 2-4 mg prn pain.” That is called a “range order”. Not acceptable anymore.

    Nursing is being dumbed down. I hate it. Nurses are not my “hand-maidens”. I do not dictate to them. I love them.

    The destructive forces that are shredding the healthcare system are shredding the nursing and medical professions as well. The illusion that the feds and HIT can keep patients safer and enhance care are delusion. The illusion that this will make care cheaper are folly. They are destroying the team that your wife has. Ask her.

    Try to see me in a different light, Peter1. I am not your enemy.

  124. Nurses should be like nurse. They should even nurse themselves.

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  125. MD, in your eternal arrogance I can see this relationship with nurses is exactly what you prefer. There are doctors hospitals that dictate to nurses as their hand maidens, and the one’s my wife has worked where there is a professional respect and team attitude to patient care. I can also tell you my wife has saved a bunch of patients and docs with her “judgement” calls during her work as L&D and NICU nurse.

    But I’ve come to understand you pine for the “doctor is infallible” relationship of 100 years ago that docs held with their patients and who ever they interacted with.

  126. Peter1.

    You are still expecting judgement from your nurse. Are you not paying attention? Judgement and choosing from a range of alternatives is no longer the pervue of nurses. So if a burger flipper can be trained to do what they are told to do, you and I are better off. The finance people are keeping nursing vacancies because they do not want the overhead.

  127. I hire RNs. Many RN schools are diploma mills surfing the healthcare bubble that crested awhile back.Students used to be dropped if they were’nt RN material.Not now.That invites a lawsuit..I am encountering new grads who practiced on dummies the entire time they were in school.Watched live patient care. The quality is way down.I speak from 40 years RN experience. When the boomers finally retire, things will not be better.The multipronged deliberate destruction of our healthcare system is in progress now.The RN situation is just one facet of the whole.

  128. I feel like this is the same situation recent Law grads are facing. An overly popularized industry is now flooded with young people with degrees and no jobs to fill (atleast not the jobs with the massive salaries they had been taught to expecf from a JD).
    I wonder if it would be possible for nurses to move around similar to a locum tenen? That could alleviate some of the pressure from overstaffed hospitals.
    Just a thought

  129. I guess then “MD as Heil” you’d feel comfortable with a burger flipper being your IC, ER or OR nurse.

  130. Nursing has been “dumbed down” by JCAHO, the ENA and CMS to the point nurses are not needed. They are overtrained and too expensive. With the new IT and the elimination of judgement calls, there is no need to have a rocket scientist light a fire cracker.

  131. Ease in finding a job depends on the skills of nurses themselves. A newly graduated nurses even if you have the skills and good academic performance will be sought by a labor recruiter or hospital.

  132. I would have to agree with you Dixie! salaries take over 50 – 60% of most businesses operating costs. And you’re right, in a tight economy, nobody wants to spend time or resources training and bringing up staff up to the appropriate skill-level… but somebody’s gotta do it. Otherwise the new nurses will just forget what they learned and go to a crappy flippin-burgers job. And the cycle will never end.

  133. There’s no union here in Pensacola, FL, and hospitals are still short staffed. I hear from many new grad RN’s that they can’t get hired, because they have no experience! Nobody wants to train new grads! Personnel salaries are the largest expense in health care institutions, and the first things to limit when times are tight. Until we reign in the grotesque excesses of the health insurance industry, and the massive competitive metastasis of “non-profit” health care systems and focus on keeping people healthy, we will never be able to balance the scales for safe nurse/patient ratios, or fully utilize the skills and talents of our nurses.

  134. Don’t even get me started with the unions! OMG. I do think they’re bad and wrong… Unions were great when they were conceived 80 years ago. Not so much today. I expect that they’ll eventually be a thing of the past.

  135. Another possible reason is the success of nursing unions. Higher starting salaries, protected employment and threat of future strikes causes healthcare employers to minimize their nursing workforces. I am sure that a number of the 30% who were unable to find a nursing job would have been happy to accept less compensation than required by union contracts, and that the healthcare employers would have been happy to hire more nurses and pay less.

    The union benefits the currently employed nurses at the expense of those unable to find positions.

    It isn’t bad/good or right/wrong, just the way the incentives work out for the parties involved.

  136. I thought that we had a nurse shortage. From what I read earlier last year and this year it seems that we have plenty of jobs but not enough people to fill them. I have friends that are taking 2 – 3 shifts every few days because the facilities can’t staff it!

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