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Managing Your Career
Are Hospitals Really Desperate for New Grads?


There’s desperation in the nursing industry. But who’s desperate?

Hospitals or new nurses?

A recent headline touted “Nursing Industry Desperate to Find New Hires” (AP, 1-05-09). According to the news report, nurse recruiters are so frantic to fill the gaping job vacancies they are bribing nurses with lavish giveaways: champagne parties, one-year vehicle leases, vacation getaways, gas cards, TVs, GPS devices, and shopping sprees.

Imagine landing the job of your dreams as well as bagging such loot to boot!

If your jaw dropped—you’re not alone.

At RealityRN we’ve noticed a desperation of another kind: nurses tirelessly searching for jobs with not an interview in sight.

RealityRN member Kathy, from Houston, posted, “I bet everyone was told after nursing school that there would be job lined for you. However, for the past three months I have not been employed.” Another RealityRN member posted, “My friends are stuck working non-nursing jobs because no one wants to hire new grads.”

According to RealityRN Senior Advisor, Amy Morton-Miller, RN, APRN, BC, “I have heard both sides of the ‘desperation’ scenario. There’s definitely difficulty actually getting a position, especially for new grads. With many hospitals caught in the economic crisis, some are instituting hiring freezes. At least two hospitals in my area [Chicago] have been ‘bought out’ by new conglomerates.

“My advice to those seeking positions is to keep checking back, if at first they are turned away. Things may change in the next four to six months.”

We want to hear from you.

Who’s desperate—recruiters or new grads? Are recruiters rolling out the red carpet to entice nurses in your area? How long have you been looking for a job? What tactics are you employing to get your foot in the door?


Read more Managing Your Career articles

47 Responses to “Are Hospitals Really Desperate for New Grads?”

  1. Genesis Says:

    I wish they were laying out the red carpet for me when I was job hunting 2 years ago. Instead I just got a handshake and an orientation packet.
    I am an ICU nurse in Louisville, KY, from my POV, I see that our hospital has been desperate to hire, but not necessarily new grads because of the acuity we have aquired over the last several months. They like to hire those with experience because the newly joined staff are immediately impeded with very ill patients. I remember once I got off orientation in the ICU..The education department AND managers did not schedule us for learning to manage pts with balloon pumps or CRRT until maybe 6mths-1yr after we had been there. The recent new grads have were immediately assigned those courses and have been managing th ose patients. In some ways it’s kind of scary because Being a new grad is a lot to grasp anyway, then pile on more things on top of that immediately is almost overwhelming.

    I just wish that people would understand and appreciate the role of nurses. If some people actually had the opportunity to shadow one nurse for a night (preferably a typical night) just to see all the roles and hat’s a nurse wears, people would understand that there is a lot more to it then they ever realized.

  2. Anne Says:

    This is not a new issue-often new grads having difficulty is region or state specific. It can also be because a new grad is not willing to consider a position that is less than ideal-such as in a extended care facility, group home etc. When I was a new grad, I couldn’t find a job near home so I moved and was able to get one. It wasn’t what I wanted but I stuck it out for a year. After 6 months I took an additional job with a PRN staffing company and worked wherever they had a position open on my days off. Within a year I had an offer for the position of my dreams!

  3. Cindy Says:

    I am a new graduate who was accepted into a new graduate program at a Southern California hospital. A month before the program started the hospital called to say they were cutting new grad positions because of a budget crisis. I have been looking for a new job for the past month and a half with no luck. I have my BSN and my RN license and am ready and willing to work anywhere! It is very frustrating.

  4. Lynn Says:

    15 years ago as a new grad.I had a hard time getting a job in a hospital.I ended up working in LTC to gain some experience.I can’t believe that hospitals are offering such lavish gifts.I know the hospital where I work at we do hire new grads but they work under the RN while in school as a nurse extern.They gain so much experience and know what to expect when they get their license.I see that they are much better nurses than the ones who graduate that don’t work in the hosptial during school.

  5. James Cady RN/EMT-P Says:

    {spleen-venting-on}

    BOY, can I relate to this! I graduated in the spring and I’m still looking for a job. All I’m doing is piling up rejection letters instead of paychecks.

    Logically, I see 3 possibilities here, listed in order of ascending probability IMHO: 1) I’m just a jerk that no one wants to hire. (I’ll cop to the possibility, though with a 25-year, basically unbroken, work history as a paramedic, and graduating with pretty darn good grades, I think I’d have to be REALLY jerky not to get some play here.) It could also be that those weeding out the resumes don’t want older or male nurses, but I’m not going to go there.

    2) That hospitals are only wanting to hire experienced nurses, if any at all. In the ambulance industry they call it ‘cream-skimming’ and it belies the mindset that ‘the other guy’ can bear the expense (and potential liability) of training the new grads. I don’t really think that most nurse managers are that short-sighted, but I don’t doubt that the ‘suits’ in the front office may be.

    3) That the HR people just aren’t doing their bloody jobs. All the advice I’m reading about how to ‘handle’ HR people is more suitable to romance than getting a job. One piece of advice I got was to send a thank you card for taking the time to interview me the next day. If this is the straight dope, then I went to school for the wrong thing. I should have gone into HR, because it’d be really nice to have a job where you get kissed up to for doing your job poorly if at all.

    Frankly, if we (even new grads) have to kiss up that much just to get a job, then the shortage IS over. I’ll stick to working on ambulances and fixing computers (both fields where I’ve already earned a fair amount of respect WITHOUT having to kiss anything) and consider nursing school a waste of time.

    {spleen-venting-off}

  6. Pat U Says:

    It is very obvious that hospitals prefer new grads to already practicing nurses. Very experienced well skilled nurses are also on demand. The problem is that there are not many of them out there looking for job. That is why hospitals look for new grads so that they can give them proper foundation rather than wasting money and time changing old bad habits in these older nurses. Sometimes it is almost impossible for an old dog to learn a new trick. For this reason, new grads make employment and training easier for employers (hospitals).

  7. Katie Says:

    I live in Michigan, which is arguably in the worst economic state in the country. I read that AP article when it came out, and I did scoff a little. All the big hospitals here seem to be on hiring freezes (although not always in nursing) or laying off people, or mostly just not hiring new grads.

    Despite this, I didn’t have much trouble getting a job (I just graduated this December), as well as most of my classmates. I’d like to think the main reason for that was because the hospitals that most of us were going for were trying to reach magnet status, meaning they needed BSN nurses. The hospital that I’m going to be working for wants BSN nurses so much that they have starting bonuses. However, other hospitals I’ve looked at seem appalled that there are new grads banging on their door.

    I would say to those who are having trouble to keep applying, and keep following up with HR. I was at a local, very large hospital this past week, and the nurse there told me that a lot of people were leaving, making room for new nurses, so there is probably going to be a lot of open spots come spring. Also, sometimes the only spots open for new grads are during December and May, since that’s when people are graduating. Apply early and apply often!

  8. Amy Says:

    (also spleen-venting!)
    It is wretched the way nurse recruiters treat new grads.
    I live the NY metro area and the hospitals here are just about as “above” the applicants as they can be. There is no response, no dialog and no interest.
    I can understand when they don’t want me or don’t have use for me (as a nurse) but PLEASE! have the courtesy to be professional about it.
    I can’t tell you how many times I interviewed after having been told the position was open just for new grads, then waited, and waited, and waited and waited! only to be told (weeks later) that administration had changed their mind and an experienced nurse had been hired instead!
    OUCH!
    I’m working now at the most delightful subacute facility. They respect their workers and seem glad to have me join the team.
    I would encourage other new grads to look at long term care, especially sub-acute. It may not be what you had in mind but it is challenging and never boring.
    Give it a chance. And then – (as one beloved professor would say) when you’re ready move on.
    Good luck to all of you who continue to yearn for and seek a good job!

  9. Ren Says:

    Hi All!

    A Nurse Recruiter here! I love hiring new grads – generally speaking, you all have a lot of great energy, ambition, and bring a breath of fresh air to my job. That having been said – we are not able to hire all the great GN’s that come our way. In my experience, the things that limit GN’s is availability and flexibility. I find many of my GN applicants don’t want to work nights, or don’t want to start out on less “cool” units. While I hire 1 or 2 a year to peds – I can’t hire everyone there. Take it for what it’s worth – here are some tips for landing that great first job
    1. Be flexible. You will probably have to work nights or evenings for awhile – it’s not forever, and people with more seniority end up on days. Start on a Med/surg floor. You will get some strong skills underneath you that will serve you well when you move into a specialty.
    2. Put together a professional resume – have your career services dept, professor, or a recruiter give you feedback. Make sure there are no misspellings and your contact information is up-to-date.
    3. Dress professionally for interviews – no scrubs, crocs, or wrinkled clothes.
    4. Come prepared to interviews with good questions that can’t easily be found on the companies website. This shows that you are interested in THAT company, not just anyone that will offer you a position.
    5. Show your enthusiasm – it can be very intimidating to interview – any recruiter knows that. Try to calm your nerves and let your personality show through.
    6. Be polite. HR folk get a bad rap and a tough time. Our job is to look out for the best interest of our organization, and we want the best people for our openings. Yelling at the recruiter won’t help your case. And sorry Frank – thank you notes work. It’s not kissing up – it’s being polite. I’ve always sent notes to people who have interviewed me – and it has served me well. It’s a personal touch that says you care about the opportunity, and it makes you stand out in a group. I don’t just recommend that for nurses, but for ANYONE looking for a job.
    And finally – keep a positive attitude! It can be really hard not taking those rejections personally – but when you become down and frustrated – it shows through in your interviews, making it that much harder to get the job.

    I wish you all the very best of luck with your job searches!

  10. Kayla Says:

    I’m getting ready to graduate in July. Here in Florida there are no jobs. I’ve been looking in Minnesota and Wisconsin. If anyone knows of any hospitals that will take a new grad ANYWHERE in the country, please post.

  11. Jason R. Thrift Says:

    I know at my own organization there was a hiring freeze back during 2008, but has since been removed a certain degree. I knew a girl that said she hadn’t heard anything back from any jobs she applied for at my hospital for quite a while, but she is now working in the Emergency Department.

    Chalk it up that 2008 and the latter half of 2007 were terrible financially for everyone, including hospitals. My organization saw some of the worst financial months in its history in 2008. So what does 2009 hold? Hopefully things will take an up swing. My organization is certainly not alone in this concept. They have never been one to lavish ridiculous things on new grads, for the main purpose that often times new grads don’t last to the end of their contracts in some locations that do these sort of things. Far too much risk involved in sign bonuses, even if the person completes the contract. After that year or two, they may leave, then it was a wasted effort altogether.

    I do believe in todays climate new grads are much more desperate right now and the economy is the culprit more than anything. But, we’ll see what happens in 2009.

  12. Trish Says:

    Ren, Thank you so much for your post. It was extremely helpful and uplifting!

  13. Heather Says:

    I graduated in December and was able to get a job at a local hospital. I live in Bowling Green, KY, a smaller town. My hospital hired 24 new grads and we are going through what they call a residency program to train us in equipment, procedures, etc. I worked there as a student nurse during school, so that had a lot to do with me being hired there.

    Kayla in Florida- I know they’ll be hiring again in May so before you graduate apply up here! The hospital is the Medical Center at Bowling Green.

  14. Rob Flammini Says:

    Hey Ren, does the school you attend have much of an impact on the hiring process? The first hurdle seems to be to pass the test. After that the real learning begins on the job. I’m the guy who is considering going to nursing school in Chicago. Any advice? Thanks Rob

  15. Ren Says:

    Rob – yes and no. My hospital is affiliated with a university, so I already know many of the students from there by the time they apply – so they already have a leg up (or sometimes it doesn’t work so well for them that I’ve seen them in action). I try to give first consideration to those GN’s, but outside of that – it’s what you’ve done in school that impresses me, not necessarily what school that was.

  16. lesliejas Says:

    Ren,

    I couldn’t agree with you more on everything you have said. All of the attributes you mentioned are highly important if you’re wanting to land a job in any organization.

    When I was a student nurse my aunt was a PCC (Patient Care Coordinator) at the hospital I work at now and she would offer me advice from time-to-time about what would be good for me to start out with. Med-Surg was not my strong suit in college, in fact I did not pass it the first time. Yes, I had to take that beloved course twice, as well as the NCLEX. Not the greatest test taker by any stretch of the imagination. But tests don’t determine who is cut out to do nursing duties. You as a person determine that.

    Her advice was that I should work a Med-Surg floor when I graduated, and I did on an Orthopedic unit. She basically said that she knew most new nurses wanted ICU, CCU, CVICU, Neuro Intensive, Pediatrics, Nursery, Mom/Baby, the “cool” one’s as you put it, Ren. But, she went on to say, having gotten her “cool” unit fresh out of school as well, that approach is a mistake. Don’t go where you want, go where there is need. Everything you do in the “cool” units requires a skill that most new grads do not have. Yes, in ICU, you might have one patient, but that one patient could be like having ten on a Med-Surg unit. Every drip, every monitor, every beep in ICU requires a skill that most new grads just simply do not have. Not trying to rain on anyone’s parade, because some can handle it, but many cannot.

    Another thing that is important is what are a GN’s goals for the future? If on your resume you have that you are wanting to pursue an advanced practice degree later, such as FNP, CRNA, Masters of any kind, they could see that as someone who might not be here for the long haul. Some people quit there jobs when they go back to school, particularly if they are not married, have no kids and no other responsibilities. So why stress yourself out with work if you don’t plan to do that aspect of Nursing anymore? So I would refrain from mentioning advanced degress in any resume you offer. Just stick with the facts today and let them know your goals for the current job you are wanting. Certainly, once you have a job, you’ll want to tell them your goals for the future in evaluations and such and they would expect that then and hope you would want to as well.

    I never thought about the thank you notes! OOPS! Oh well, it’s been 8 years now, so I think they’ll let me slide. But that is a great idea as well. Always put your best foot forward, not only for the interview, but after you land the job as well. If you show passion and poise during the interview process and then during the first year you are working, people recognize that and pay much more attention to you.

    That was one other thing my aunt said, it takes a full year to really feel comfortable as a nurse. So when a GN bails after 6 months, you’ve already done yourself an injustice, more so than what you did to the organization. Everytime you take a new job in any profession it takes about a year to feel at home in that job and to establish yourself as a hard worker, willing to do whatever is needed in the job you are in. Flexibility is paramount! I didn’t like working second shift when I started out as a nurse, but I was low man on the totem pole. You have to take what you can get. Now, after I had been a work for a while, I did let my managers know that second was not my favorite time of the day to work. I actually preferred third more so than second. But, that was only after I had been there for at least a year and had established I was willing to work no matter what. I loved playing softball back then, but softball didn’t put food on my plate, money in my wallet or clothes on my back. You have to rationalize out with yourself what is truly important and what you really need to be doing. Needless to say, I’ve still been playing softball, I just didn’t get to play on the days I had to work!:)

    But there’s my two cents, what do others have to say?

  17. Marissa Says:

    I plan on graduating in May. Reading all of your post is freaking me out a little bit.

  18. Rachel W. Says:

    There is a huge nursing shortage and has been for many years. There are plenty of jobs waiting for new graduates and every other nurse in the country for that matter. I just graduated last month and I’ve had a job waiting for me since June. The problem isn’t a shortage of jobs or an unwillingness to hire new grads. The problem is the highest demands are for the less desirable jobs. New grads need to realize they may not be on the unit of their choice and may even have to work nights starting out. The demand for new grads and experienced nurses alike is everywhere you just have to keep and open mind and be willing to start out somewhere that might not be your ideal job.

  19. UnsinkableMB Says:

    There is always a need for nurses in surgery. We are specialty that is often ignored in nursing school. Take a look… It’s not for everyone, but it might your cup of tea!

    There are a lot of hospitals that are willing to hire new grads into the OR. Just do your homework! My hospital hires new grads.

    Right now we have a hiring freeze, but I suspect that won’t be for long. We are a Level I trauma hospital with surgery generating most of the income for the hospital. It won’t be long before we are able to hire again. The only way we’ll be able to continue generating all that income for the hospital is if we have the staff to work the cases!!!

    I’m not afraid of getting laid off. In fact, there is plenty of “call” to take if I want to make extra money. While other units are having their overtime limited, surgery is giving RNs incentive pay to take more hours. Not too shabby!

    As for job hunting, it couldn’t hurt to start building relationships with recruiters NOW. When something opens up, they might just think of you first!

    Good luck, everyone…

  20. James Cady RN/EMT-P Says:

    Normally, I’m not one for replying to individuals in forums like these. But, in this case I feel compelled to respond to Ren directly. For the most part I can agree with what you say about interviewing. However, when you get to point 6…

    >And sorry Frank – thank you notes work.

    In the first place, the name is James (hopefully you read resumes more closely).

    Next, while it may ‘work’ so does slipping a fifty between your license and insurance card when you hand them to a cop. Doesn’t make it right, far from it.

    >It’s not kissing up – it’s being polite. I’ve
    >always sent notes to people who have interviewed
    >me – and it has served me well.

    Slippin’ a fifty to the traffic cop has served a lot of people well, too. But, it’s still corrupt, unethical, and wrong. As we heard in this recent election, “You can’t put lipstick on that pig.”

    Whether it’s a cop looking for ‘lunch money’ or a city inspector who ‘has to find something’ unless they get the handshake that crinkles or our governor here in Illinois who said (and I paraphrase) “A senate seat is a valuable thing and I’m not going to just give it away for nothing.” the operative principle here is that a service person EXPECTS something above and beyond their normal compensation for doing the job they’ve already been paid to do.

    >It’s a personal touch that says you care about
    >the opportunity, and it makes you stand out in a
    >group.

    And, if everyone takes your advice then the ones who stand out are the ones that don’t play…but not in a good way. This is where the EXPECTATION part comes in. “If you don’t kiss up to me, you’re going to the back of the line.”

    Not to say I have any problem thanking people who have done something that has benefited me (even in the normal course of their duty), I often do. But, as you said “Our job is to look out for the best interest of our organization, and we want the best people for our openings.” So, you’re doing the job you’re paid for, in the interests of your employer. This rates gratitude from me…how, exactly?

    If you get a thank you note AFTER you’ve hired me, that might be legitimate gratitude, but before the fact…in the expectation that you MIGHT do something for me? It’s kissing up at best, and a blatant bribe at worst.

    Mahatma Gandhi said we should be the change we want in the world. I don’t believe in bribery and flattery, and while I can’t stop it I CAN refuse to engage in it. And, if that keeps me from getting a job at your institution irrespective of my education and qualifications, then I probably wouldn’t have been a ‘good fit’, anyway.

    Now, before you dismiss me as being over-idealistic and ‘not understanding how business gets done’, I’d like you to try a little experiment. Go to your boss and explain that while the thank you cards are nice, the flowers just make you sneeze and the cookies and candy are going straight to your hips. So, would he/she mind if you just put a tip jar on your desk, like they have at Starbucks? Maybe seed it with some 20′s and 50′s so people get the right idea.

    If you work for an ethical organization, you’ll get your walking papers. If you work for the state of Illinois, you boss will probably ask “What’s my cut?”

    (For those of you keeping score: this kind of argument is called reductio ad absurdum, and is generally NOT a good way to make a case, so don’t try this at home)

    Ren, you are at the top of a very slippery slope, please don’t swan-dive off of it. Please, reconsider your last piece of advice, AND your interviewing practices. If you are letting yourself be swayed by flattery, are you REALLY giving your employer their money’s worth in finding ‘the best people for our openings’?

    I think not.

    Please note also, I’m posting this under my REAL name (as seen in the idfpr database). I am not just flaming away behind a pseudonym like so many do on the internet. I am standing, quite publicly, on a principle.

  21. Ren Says:

    James –

    Wow – what a response. It’s clear that this is something you feel passionately about. I certainly hope you feel as passionately about your career in nursing. A couple of points I’d like to make:
    1. I’m sorry about calling you Frank – I don’t normally look at the name on a resume until after I’ve decided if their experience meets my needs – I look at the content first. But thank you for correcting me.
    2. I’m trying to not be offended at your lumping me in with Blagoveich – but will try to work under the assumption that you were being dramatic to prove a point.
    3. I do not accept flowers, gifts, etc from candidates – that would be inappropriate, as I think we would all agree.
    4. A thank you note and a $50 bribe are also not truly comparable. It is illegal and unethical to slip someone a 50. Neither is true for writing a thank you note. And if a lousy candidate sends me a thank you note – they are still a lousy candidate and aren’t considered for the position. It doesn’t excuse bad references, poor grades, bad attitude, a lack of professionalism, or a poor fit for the position.
    5. I also don’t expect bribery and flattery – while I think I have great hair – don’t feel the need to tell me that in your thank you note. The appropriate information for the thank you note includes a brief statement saying that you appreciated the opportunity, a reference to how you think your skills match the position, and looking forward to the opportunity to working there. I would probably find it a little uncomfortable if there was a lot of flattery in there.
    6. If I have two candidates who are similar in skills and qualifications, and one sends a note reiterating their interest in the position and how excited they are about it – well – all other things being equal – they are going to have the edge. I want to hire someone who is excited about working here, excited about the opportunities that were presented to them in their interviews! This is a great place to work, and I want my new hires to know how great it is!
    7. You don’t NEED to do ANYTHING I suggested there. I at no point meant to recommend bribing Recruiters or Hiring Managers, or kissing up to them. When I have a great conversation with many of my candidates – I send THEM a note. I want them to remember ME in a positive light. Any of my candidates will tell you I do what I can for them – not just interviewing and hiring – but I help their spouses find work, a playgroup for their kids, a community to live in, and a good realtor/plumber/specialty shop (none of which is part of my job). I don’t EXPECT anything except for a really great employee

    I truly was just trying to be helpful with my post. It’s clear that I have truly offended you – and that was not my intention. While I see your point of view – I respectfully disagree with your comparisons.

    I wish you the best of luck with your career endeavors. If you’d like – post your email – I’d be more than happy to review your resume, do a mock interview, or assist in giving you any pointers that I can. (another service I do free of charge – I won’t even expect a thank you note) (just a little joke there James)

  22. Jennifer Says:

    Another option new grads could consider (depending on what’s going on in your life) is the military once they’re finished with school. If you are having trouble finding a position in your area for new grads you may consider it. I’m finishing my prereqs for RN school and my plan when I finish to join the Air Force. I assume most of you have a BSN, but in case you don’t the military requires one for you to be a nurse. And I’m not positive, but I believe the minimum time to serve is 4 years, so if you didn’t plan to have a military career you could look at it as a stepping stone. Candidates with a BSN don’t go to basic training, you just do a 4 week training program for entrance as an officer. And the military is always in need of nurses. Just food for thought.

  23. karina Says:

    i guess that its not just new grads that are having a hard time finding jobs, i have been doing med/surg for 4 years and have been applying to diffrent hospitals but for the ER and i havent recieved a single call back. i called to find out the status of my appplication and i was told they couldnt give me an answer, there are to many applicants. and if its due to a freeze, then why do they post positions online if they wont be hiring regardless..anywhere that you look, all specialties say experience preffered. so what is it? are they intrested in new grads or experienced nurses, or nurses in that specialty? if anyone knows, please answer

  24. Zoya Says:

    Any body knows the best places to find work as a student nurse?

    I am an overseas nursing grad from 20 years ago. I decided to re-do my ADN to be more current, as well it took care of having outdated credits. I am however doing it through Excelsior College, and it being an online program, I have to find my own clinical position.
    where can I find a patient tech or patient care position in or near Cincinnati?
    Does anyone know of any places that will hire a student nurse without PCT certification? Or nursing homes that will train you to work as one while you work there?
    Please help!!!!

  25. Thais Says:

    I’m in the Dallas area and will be graduating May 09. We’ve had two hospitals come to school and serve us lunch and recruit us. While they’re not offering TVs and the works like the article. They do offer great benefits and are hiring new grads. I talked to students from the previous class (Dec 08 grads) and they were ALL able to get a job, majority of them were at the hospital they wanted and floor they wanted. The only ones that didn’t were in Women’s Health (L&D, NICU, Postpartum, high risk ante partum) and Pedis. If you going for anything else you will DEF have a job!

    Move to Texas. The economy is doing pretty darn good here. We’ve suffered very little.

  26. Richard Says:

    Yeah, Graduated this December in the Bay Area and had one interview around February 1. I applied to dozens of places – no interviews. Begin a jobless new grad is purely awful, bills piling up with no way to pay them, resentful family members, and friends who can’t possibly understand why a RN can’t get a job. Why did I work this hard? For What? I’ve got bubkis (Nothing) so far. I have serious doubts about the profession as a whole — for this I sweated buckets and did graduate level work?

  27. Bonnie Says:

    I’ve just submitted my application for the nursing program at my community college. I have a 4.0, aced the HESI with a 96% and am really excited that I might get in. What I’m not excited about is the negative comments that I’m reading here. I am doing a career transition from the automotive field to health care, and frankly the prospect of completing 3 years of school with little opportunity has me a little nauseous. So, what I think I’ll do is get my education, and then polish my shoes for the interview, buy some thank you cards for the recruiter, and then light a candle at mass. Can’t hurt right?

    Good luck to us all, and hopefully we’ll see a turn around in the economy in the next few years.

  28. Bev Says:

    I graduated in May, and it took 5 months to get a job. Like Richard, my friends and family could not understand why I couldn’t get a job when there is such a shortage of nurses. I applied for at least 6 or 7 positions at the hospital, at a dermatologist center, a nursing home, hospice, and an outpatient surgery facility. I’m a new nurse but have many years of life experiences and 20 years of employment as a teacher. The job search was very disappointing and frustrating I’m working a 12-hour evening/night shift on a med-surg floor.
    Good luck to all.

  29. sandy Says:

    I will be graduating in may from a LPN to RN program. My nursing coordinator says that it will take probably a month after graduation before we can take the NCLEX exam. Should I now be applying for RN positions? I would like to work in a hospital in which is a totally different catogory job than that of which I am working as a LPN. Also, how long do most hospitals orientate new students? I was just wondering if they hire new students before they officially obtain their RN licience.

  30. RN with experience Says:

    Hi all, don’t despair. I am an RN with 15 years of experience and can’t get a second job to save my life. I have bills piling up and is experiencing financial hardship to boot. I’ve searched everywhere for work. After talking to some of my co-workers, I recently found out that the majority of the hospitals have a freeze due to the economy. A co-worker (new grad RN) is currently working as a clerk and she has applied to many hospitals as well. A few potential employers told her that in August they will be hiring new grads. It’s more of the economy and not so much that you are a new grad. I know it’s hard but try to stay optimistic, just be prepared for when they open up the doors.

  31. january Says:

    Hello, Im from Philadelphia Pa, I can tell you no hospitals are hring new GNs, I just graduated with my BSN and had multiple doors closed in my face. Every hospital I look into is seeking a nurse with at least one year experience.

  32. canadian nurse Says:

    I am a Canadian RN.I have worked for 17 years and did work in the US, FL in 1993. If you are having trouble finding work , why don’t you look north? When I graduated there were few jobs where I lived and I moved to Florida. However I wanted to return home.There are some bonuses to coming here, but just so you know,most opportunuties are 12 hour day/ night positions, no matter what your dream area is. In Newfoundland, Canada, crime is low property is not too outrageous, and it’s a nice easygoing lifestyle…and we are desperate for nurses, new, experienced, doesn’t matter. A pulse is preferrable! lol!

  33. suki Says:

    I know in my area (the Southwest) we have too many nurses now. Many many new grads with absolutely no prospects of a job offer. They can’t even get an interview in a nursing home! We all thought that was a safe bet. Not anymore. It seems that we have never really had a nursing shortage. What we had for many many years were licensed nurses that chose not to work in nursing. They worked in other areas such as Real Estate, owned little shops, import/export businesses or whatever. I know several of the above. Also many that married Dentists, Plastic Surgeons, CEO’s and became stay at home moms. We the economy has affected every single one of the above and those nurses took a refresher course and went back to work! Don’t forget the Real Estate and banking people saw the economy crashing before most of us have. Everyone of the hospitals in my large town has hiring freezes on. Even the ones in gang land areas! Nurses just never thought we would be affected but we are.

  34. D. Says:

    I graduated in December and started working in a small-to-medium sized hospital in March. I am SO thankful I have a job but we are getting overstaffed three-five times per month.

    What does that mean? Well, if you work three 12-hour shifts a week and you are overstaffed (or told not to come in because there are too many nurses for the number of patients) 3-5 times in a month, that means that you are losing 1/4 – almost 1/2 of your paycheck each month UNLESS you have earned time off that you can use.

    I have multiple degrees and decided to go back to school to become a nurse. I enjoy what I’m doing and I’m happier doing this than what I was doing before.

    However, it never dawned on me that overstaffing could happen. I was told all the time that there was overtime available whenever we wanted which allowed nurses to make “lots of money.”

    What a laugh!

    I have no faith that government is doing anything that will make the economy improve. I suspect it will be bad like this for a while. Plus, hospitals are frightened at the prospect of universal health care coverage – they know it will cause them to lose money.

    It’s so frustrating.

    And the thing that makes me laugh the most? All of my friends who work for the government right now are not at all worried about losing their jobs – they feel really secure. Only those of us who work for private employers are.

    And now the President and Congress are wanting to increase the size and cost of government even more to fund health care.

    It all makes me want to scream.

  35. RN11 Philippines Says:

    To Canadian nurse:
    You said here that in your country, you needed nurses..Id been a nurse for 11 years.Mostly, i was in the OR-DR-RR units and sometimes in ER, MED-Surg and OB-Gyne Wards too.I passed the NCLEX and IELTS.
    My question is, are you aware of how can I find work in your area?
    I will truly appreciate your response.Nurses in Philippines are very much abundant.I moved to another town to attend to my house.No hospitals are hiring nurses for the last two years whether a new grad or experienced one.

  36. Angie Rn Says:

    I’m an RN with one year experience, let go from my previous job because they had hired someone else that was friends with someone in HR and they had no position for her, so they fired me….(she has since been fired also). Though I have experience in med/surg and LTC I am having a hard time finding a job (and not because I was let go either as the LTC facility I worked for put my reason for being let go was terminating that position altogether) but simply b/c there are no positions. I live in VA but have a WV license. I have applied for jobs all summer and recently got a job as a school nurse, but it’s only a part time, substitute position…very unsteady work. My bills are piling up, so I need to find something and am even considering taking on a waitressing job. Anything is better than nothing right now.

  37. canadian nurse Says:

    RN11:
    Are you living in the Phillipines now? Your best bet is to contact the CNA, canadian nurses association, thry should be able to direct you how to get a job in Canada.
    As for Angie RN, that would have never happened to you here, we have a strong nurses union. People don’t get fired on a whim.I don’t even know of anyone who has been fired.

  38. Miss Dilrooba Keramuth Says:

    I live in Mauritius and I would like to study or to work in Canada. I live in Mauritius. Can you help.

    Miss D.Keramuth

  39. New Nurse Graduate Says:

    Well everyone, I know you are all trying to “tell it like it is”, but you have made more terrified than ever, I am graduating in May, have been applying for jobs since March and have only one interview scheduled(next week). I am so nervous I will not be able to find a job and am trying to stay positive, but when everyone else is saying how had it is, it is only confirming my fears, worst of all I went to nursing school on scholarship that I have to pay back with service. Is it better to wait until I have gotten my license or keep looking before graduation? Any POSITIVE advice is appreciated.

  40. Leslie Says:

    The hospitals do not want new grads. I have been looking since I graduated in May 2009. My only advice is to keep trying, keep working on getting a higher degree, and in the mean time get whatever job you can. I am doing private duty home care. I HATE it but it is money in the mean time and will look like I did something on my resume. I apply to several jobs a week at hospitals, nursing homes, and surgery centers. Anything to get some more experience. Volunteer at a hospital, it gets your foot in the door, or at least I hope it does :) . Keep you heads up. We went into nursing to be an asset to our communities we are very valuable and our time will come.

  41. Amy Says:

    Graduated at the beggining of May, passed the NCLEX May 18th, been applying for jobs for 3 months now and nothing. Looking out of state, networking like crazy, making a full time job out of finding a job. Feeling discouraged right now. Don’t want to end up my first year out of school with out a job. Just redid my whole resume and cover letter. Hoping for the best. Any thoughts?

  42. Beth,RN Says:

    Well, I do not where you get your information, but there are plenty of places in Texas that are hiring new grads. I work with 2 new RN grads at an outpatient surgery center and 2 new RN grads at another surgical hospital. Do not know if this is a good idea for patient care, but the new trend is to hire new grads so they can mold them to their liking. In Texas, there is no certificate of need and outpatient surgery centers and interventional pain management centers are opening. I just met a father/son team who purchased a building in San Marcos Texas to open an ambulatory surgery center. And because of the change in medical tort reform, Texas is attracting physicians from all over. They want to practice here and they want to own their own facilities, it is up and coming. They most likely hire new grads so they don not have to pay them as much as a seasoned RN.

  43. Major Says:

    Texas hospitals are hiring new grads. And for the reason Beth stated. The tort reforms have however caused many ill trained and ill equipted nurses to be placed in hospitals. The proof is in the number of medical accidents, falls, wrong meds being given, and lack of patient care in general. Nursing schools are under pressure to graduate ever student enrolled. Nurse turn over is higher in the State of Texas. Doctors are training their own staff to avoid problems in ambulatory surgery centers, offices, and day surgeries. Hospitals hire new grads and then do not acess their abilities or teach proper protocols. Tort reform is good for the malpractice claims but bad for the nurses and patients. The Tort reforms have encouraged the hireing of ill trained nurses, sent out by bad nursing schools. Being a new nurse is hard enough but to be thrown into the wolf pack without the needed skills only makes it worse for them. One bad nurse makes it so much harder for the rest, it hurts even the best nurses.

  44. syfy Says:

    I graduated in December and started working in a small-to-medium sized hospital in March. I am SO thankful I have a job but we are getting overstaffed three-five times per month.

    What does that mean? Well, if you work three 12-hour shifts a week and you are overstaffed (or told not to come in because there are too many nurses for the number of patients) 3-5 times in a month, that means that you are losing 1/4 – almost 1/2 of your paycheck each month UNLESS you have earned time off that you can use.

    I have multiple degrees and decided to go back to school to become a nurse. I enjoy what I’m doing and I’m happier doing this than what I was doing before.

    However, it never dawned on me that overstaffing could happen. I was told all the time that there was overtime available whenever we wanted which allowed nurses to make “lots of money.”

    What a laugh!

    I have no faith that government is doing anything that will make the economy improve. I suspect it will be bad like this for a while. Plus, hospitals are frightened at the prospect of universal health care coverage – they know it will cause them to lose money.

    It’s so frustrating.

    And the thing that makes me laugh the most? All of my friends who work for the government right now are not at all worried about losing their jobs – they feel really secure. Only those of us who work for private employers are.

    And now the President and Congress are wanting to increase the size and cost of government even more to fund health care.

    It all makes me want to scream.

  45. Jean Says:

    I WISH I could at LEAST get an interview. I’m tired of the door being slammed in my face without so much as a courtesy nod. I’m depressed and frustrated ALL the time now. I feel like I’ve wasted $160,000 on my nursing education. For what?! To be tossed aside like a rag doll?! I’m fully certified, BLS, ACLS, PALS, AND NRP… I’m a PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE as well, and NOTHING!!! My own FAMILY is pushing me out of the house because they’re just as desperate as I am to get a job already. I don’t know how many times I have to explain to family and friends: YES there is a nursing shortage, NO there is not a shortage for ‘new’ grads, and YES it is more expensive to hire me than someone more experienced than me. AND THERE ARE about a million new grads out there vying for a job that is only filling 15 positions. HOW IS ANYONE SUPPOSED TO GET AN RN JOB NOWADAYS?! I’ve been working at a hotel for the last 5 years. I started there as a sophomore in college because I needed to make ends meet. I planned on leaving as soon as I graduated and passed.. But it took me much longer to pass than I anticipated (about 6 months ago) and I’M STILL THERE!!! I have talked myself out of burning that hotel down so many times and the only thing that’s succeeded in changing my mind is the fact that I’m paying off 2 student loans with about 6 of them still in forebearance/deferrment. SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME…

  46. NewRNJessica Says:

    I am in a similar boat as many of you. Graduated with great grades in March, passed NCLEX at the end of April, and I am now a licensed RN. Was so glad to see that license, and now, it’s collecting dust. It’s been so difficult to even interview. I’ve managed to have ONE interview so far, and have one scheduled this week. Aside from that, however, I have applied for hundreds of jobs, in any location/specialty, and have had not even a phone call. Plus, as a student, I was a nurse extern at a local hospital, that was my ‘foot in the door’ that was supposed to land me my first RN Job. Midnights, no problem! Med/Surg? Perfect! But sadly, my hospital closed it’s doors forever and my potential for an RN position went with it. I’m working to keep my head up, and my attitude positive, because I became a nurse to enrich mine and patients lives in some way. I can only do that with patients, so darnit I WILL FIND SOME!! :) It’s still tough out here… but I will keep some faith… and will pray a little!!

  47. alltaurus Says:

    Well, here it is 2014. I’m in Michigan, a newly licensed BSN, 100′s of resume’s out there, one interview and no job. It’s been four months since graduation and for the most part I get a rejection in the form letter format.

    No sign on bonuses, no gas cards, no free vacations, just a student loan coming due. I found that many of my classmates are still without jobs too. It’s really sad when you think about it. So many students being lied to about a “nursing shortage”. I know I will get hired one day, but I’d like to get my food in the door before next year’s grads are rolled out!

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