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Why Can't New Nurses Find Jobs?

Why Can't New Nurses Find Jobs?

Kathy Quan | NursingLink

What’s happening with the nursing shortage? Why can’t new grad nurses find jobs? The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics still lists nursing as one of the most in demand careers, and yet finding a job as a nurse remains elusive.

The Good Ol’ Days

Just a couple of years ago, nurses could demand huge sign-on bonuses and dictate salaries, perks, and benefits. Today, those kinds of rewards are unheard of. Nurses take what they can get, while hospitals have the luxury of demanding more experience, better education, and specific skills.

In 2008, students beginning their nursing education felt certain they would be able to walk right into a high paying job upon graduation. So what happened? Simply put, the economy tanked. Between 2008 and 2009 over 2.6 million people lost their jobs and their health care coverage. In recent months we have seen the beginnings of a recovery, but unemployment remains high and continues to adversely affect the health care industry.

Many nurses poised to retire have delayed their plans, while many of those who weren’t working have returned to work driven by economic factors (like 401Ks that essentially disappeared as the bottom dropped out of the stock market).

Can’t Afford Health Care

Of course, no matter what the economy is like, people continue to get sick, but they can’t always afford appropriate health care. Keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads has become much more important than seeking health care, even for the chronically ill. Those who haven’t lost their jobs have seen hikes in health insurance premiums and copays, as well as a decrease in covered benefits. This has taken a toll on elective procedures, treatment, and care that can be delayed.

Fewer Cases of the Flu

In spite of the threat of a pandemic from the H1N1 flu virus, we’ve seen milder flu seasons over the past couple of years. A cash-strapped and frightened public educated themselves and heeded public health efforts. They learned about controlling infections, covering coughs and sneezes, cleaning surfaces properly, and washing hands frequently. The public stayed healthy through the course of each flu season, leaving hospitals with empty beds.

Next: Higher Expectations >>


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    Kirrbear

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    As a recent grad, I landed a job @ an agency that train new grads. The agency works with peds. I knew I couldn't limit my knowledge as a new grad LPN. As a result, I work per diem with an assisted living facility. My advice would be to look for agencies that train new grads. In addition, find per diem work in a different specialty. That way, you're increasing you're chances of obtaining a more stabilized job. Good luck!

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    Miasma

    almost 3 years ago

    8 comments

    As a student practical nurse due to finish up in October & take board as soon as I can in November, I am very worried! I have plans to go on into a bridge program for my BSN, however most schools require at lest 6 months experience. I'm beginning to really worry that I will not be able to get a job, let alone that 6 months experience to continue onward with my education. This is very scary for so many of us. I guess I will have to wait & see what unfolds.

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    nurseheart

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Seasoned nurses and graduates alike...Yes, times are not only tough but downright cruel and hard. One piece of advice is to make yourself the most "attractive" and the most marketable that you can be. Be willing to work any shift, holidays etc. As a manager what I have seen is that graduate nurses are not willing to work flexible schedules(or at least that is what comes across on their apps) and seasoned nurses usually want specialty areas with "big Bucks". Don't put a dollar amount down for expected salary. If it is required on the application say "negotiable"

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    nurseannterria

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I graduated In December 2010 relocated to Houston in March 2011 and it just didn't work out at the job. It was a nursing home so the nurse patient ratio was 2:50 I only had 2 days orientation and I felt like my license was in danger and I came to far to lose it. I felt like I was throne out there and I didn't feel safe So I relocated back home continuing my job search from where I left off..4 months 3 interviews and still I didn't qualify or sometimes it "who you know" which is not fair. I also applied to those nurse internship programs and those are very competitive. Sometimes they would said we took all new grads the budget will allow. I decided to get my acls to see if it would make me a better candidate and that didn't work. Some people may say i shouldve stayed in Houston but I felt like I deserve better and I shouldn't work and feel like my license is on the line..I wanted to wait on God and see what he has in his plans for me. Got a call for a seasonal job as a flu shot nurse and once this is over I'm praying that a full time position becomes available. So good luck to all and just keep praying and filling out apps...

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    Latina_Nurse1

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I am a student scheduled to graduate in May 2012. I live in the Atlanta area, where the market is in need of seasoned nurses. I feel that I will get a job because I tried for 1 year to get hired on at the hospital as a patient tech. I finally got the opportunity to get an interview with the manager and now have a job on an acute care floor, it is considered medical surgical and we get a variety of patients. Everyone on our floor who work as techs get hired on immedietly after graduation. Many nursing students turn there noses up at tech jobs, not just nursing externs but actually being hired on a floor a learning patient care. I feel that I now have an advantage up on my fellow students who are not working or feel like they don't have the time to get a part time job. I agree that new grads and really seasoned nurses have a disadvantage now because of the squeeze on hospital budgets. I suggests that new grads try to get hired on as techs at the hospital and when a vacancy opens for nursing you have the one up. Good luck to all:)

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    newgradnurse

    almost 3 years ago

    6 comments

    5 months looking and not even an interview. I went into this profession to make a difference in the lives of sick people and can't even get a chance to try. Sigh!!

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    bethpierce

    almost 3 years ago

    2 comments

    Sorry new grads! Unfortunatly it's not just you. I've been a nurse 35 yrs, all of it in critical care, 10 years in Interventional Radiology / Cardiac Cath Lab. I have applied to one particular hospital that has been advertising for IR nurses off & on since January. I have applied for all of them,, only to be rejected within 24 hours by HR who states they are looking for someone with experience more "in line with what they need". They're only requirement for the job is 2 yrs of critical care experience. The application never makes it to the manager for review. I have been traveling for almost a year now in these 2 specialties since I can not find a job where I live. (Department I was working was closed and I was terminated without an offer of placement within the hospital) As hospitals continue to lose money due to low payment & non-payment as well as a fundamental disconect between hospital administration and physicians who continue to mismanage healthcare dollars, I am convinced they do not want nurses who are older and experienced as they must bring them in at a much higher rate of pay. They also do not want new grads as they must invest so much in their orientation and further education as they begin their "culture shock" years as they begin work. Hospitals want the most experience they can get for the lowest wage as well as keeping the staff as lean as possible, which will ultimatly backfire for them in patient care, patient satisfaction and nursing satisfaction / fatigue. Traditionally this is how hospitals learn, "the hard way", but at this point who can really blame them., they have to survive. How many buisnessess do you know that can loose millions of dollars every year and still stay open?

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    gold

    almost 3 years ago

    8 comments

    How about 8 years of critical care experience and can't get a job for 3 years. MooCow give thanks for everything. bless what you have until better comes your way.

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    Account Removed

    over 3 years ago

    Finally, an article that sheds light on this issue. I'm a new grad almost a year out of school and haven't found a thing either! Glad to see I'm not the only one in this boat. It reminds me of being 16y/o again and trying to get that elusive first job....it is a pain because it seems like no one will help, a real contrast to what I heard starting out in school.

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    stscholasticaRN

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    I'm a new grad RN with 3 internships, volunteer experience, current ACLS, NRP, PALS, and still can't get any thing, while my student loans are going into repayment. What are we suppose to do?!

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    princesskhym

    over 3 years ago

    516 comments

    At last! This article.... I'm a new grad RN and I've been looking for jobs everywhere and still haven't found one.

  • Red_rose_max50

    avdohol

    over 3 years ago

    2 comments

    At Last! An article that says it as it is. I'm a new grad RN n this is my 5th month post graduation n i'm yet to find a job! Any job! I never dreamt it would be this way. Its true. I get pissed when I still see nursing shortage adverts, there is no longer a shortage. Most institutions now regard new grads as liabilities n i'm hopin n prayin that I can get something soon. Anything! Its a tight market out there. Upcoming new grads don't be decieved. Take what u get as soon as u get it!

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    kgarrison

    almost 4 years ago

    20 comments

    This is so nice to finally see an article that validates what I and so many of my nursing friends have been going through. What's frustrating is the advertisements and the schools continue to tell students and prospectives the old stats and telling them that nursing is much more in demand and lucrative than it currently is. I've had 2 students turn their noses up at what I get paid ($24.50/hr) and say that their school has told them to expect much more. At this point, most new nurses are happy just to find a job!!!

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    lralkhatib

    almost 4 years ago

    2094 comments

    after economic crisis its difficult for every body to get new job.

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    MooCow

    almost 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I am an exerienced cardiac/telemetry nurse with 18 years experience and receiving unemployment. This has been now over a year after being terminated. I still can't find a job.......and sick of unemployment/poverty wages by the Obama administration......

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