Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nursing Jobs for New Grads

Kurtz, Annalyn.  "For Nursing Jobs, New Grads Need Not Apply." CNNMoney.  January 23, 2013.

Another article with some age.  But, it's not as if this is changing quickly, as noted in the article itself.

See also:,, and

It's a truth that I do not want to accept. Despite it being shouted from the mountaintops that there is a dire shortage of nurses, nurses, and new grads in particular, are having a hard time finding work. 

I do have a few things working for me.  When I finally finish this degree (ha! start!), I will be getting a BSN.  So, I do feel more likely to find employment than ADNs, especially with the push for BSNs over ADNs that I've heard about happening at more and more hospitals.  My first choice program has a 100% employment rate 6 months after graduation, as well.

I don't even pretend that means I will get my choice of jobs. I am pretty sure that I do want to work in the hospital setting, but a nurse I spoke to yesterday (one whom will actually be helping me to find some shadowing opportunities) reminded me that there are scores of other options for working as an RN.  Allow me to go off on a reflection tangent.

While most of my excitement regarding nursing comes from fantasies of working as a scrub nurse, nurse anesthetist, or ER nurse, public health is another interest of mine.  Before our vacation, I did some research into the public health situations of the countries we would be visiting.  My most basic motivation behind becoming a nurse was a desire to help people.  Perhaps working at the health department is not as exciting as I wish it to be, but working with HIV/AIDS patients is of interest to me.  Helping low-income pregnant mothers-to-be take care of themselves and their babies is very important.  I do fantasize about later being able to take part in my church's medical mission trips, and the assessment skills I would sharpen in those environments would be so helpful there.

On the other hand, I do not know anyone who has not been affected by cancer in some way.  Research is second nature to me.  I may not love it in and of itself, but I could love it for its outcomes. 

Accepting that the hospital is not the only place of employment for new grads is part of the battle.  Because I have had to wait for the right time for nursing school, I have also made experiences for myself.  I can do more, though.  It is very hard to do so, especially for nurses who have other things going on.  It's not just children, but many second-career nurses also have aging parents to care for.  Sometimes, working one job is all we can do. There are many obstacles that can keep us from taking extra time to gain experience outside the job, but when the market is so competitive, it is really incumbent upon us to prove our interests and skills in as concrete a fashion as possible.

While it is not an option I am currently considering, if I do not find a job in any of my top choice area, geriatrics is a good area to look into.  The population is aging, and we helpers are needed to take care of a population that has taken care of us.  

I have some time before I am on the job market.  I have hope that the job market will improve in that time, but I do not expect it to do so quickly.  I think it is important to remember that experience in any area of nursing can inform other specialties.  Elderly people also have surgery; mental health patients have babies; children visit ERs; HIV patients sometimes require addiction recovery services; diabetic patients may require surgery.  There are so many crossovers, that skills built in one area cannot but serve as experience for another, down the road.  It is important, then, to stay alert to these transferable skills, just as someone attempting over years to transition into nursing might do.

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