the bottlenecks of nursing

  1. This is my rant. You may or may not agree with it, but I felt the need to express it among people who might understand where I am coming from.
    I graduated from nursing school in August. I had quite a good GPA and was class vice president. I still wound up applying for over 50 jobs (beginning in late July) before getting an offer in November and starting my first job this week (beginning of December). The problem I faced was that the hospitals only wanted to hire new grads for February and July start dates (about 1 to 1.5 months after the December and June graduations). They wanted to train all the new grads together. So, I repeatedly received replies to my applications like "we are not hiring new grads at this time" or "we have no positions available for new grads - please contact us again at a later date" My frustration with this was extreme. I could not afford to wait until February to start working - that's six months after graduating. What was I supposed to do in the mean time? Knit?
    And yet, we are still in a nursing shortage where I am - there are dozens of RN jobs posted on each hospital's website. They just all insist that you have at least one year experience as an RN before they will even consider you. But how am I supposed to get experience when nobody wanted to hire me because I was a new grad?
    This system is flawed. If we want to increase the number of nurses in the system we need to eliminate these bottlenecks. This also goes for admission to nursing schools. There were over 400 applicants for 65 spaces in the nursing class I was in. The college simply couldn't support a larger group at once. This is partly because of the fact that tenure track professor positions are only available to people with doctorate degrees, and until very recently, there were very few doctorate degrees available relating to nursing (there were many that were semi-related such as anatomy or public health). Without the job security and pay raise that tenure track professors receive, there has been little motivation for nurses to become professors (most take a significant pay cut to go into teaching), so there are not enough nursing professors to increase class size to meet demand. The new doctorate of nursing practice degree is the best step that nursing has taken as a profession in a long time since it may ease that bottleneck and make entering the profession of nursing smoother and less stressful.
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  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   jjjoy
    What a frustrating situation! Who wants to have to wait 6 months before starting to work? I'd be afraid of forgetting what I'd learned!

    Have you applied for any nurse asst positions? That's what many of my classmates had to do after graduation. If you can get your foot in the door at a hospital where you'd like to work as a nurse, already working there would likely increase your chances of being accepted into the new grad program when it finally becomes available. If that doesn't work, maybe you can still take advantage of this wait time to find out about the different facilities and different types of floors. Interviews, shadowing, volunteering... whatever can get you out there meeting people and finding out more. Maybe you can tutor nursing students as way to make a little money and keep your knowledge fresh. Try to make an opportunity out of this problem if you can. Good luck!
  4. by   Logos
    I don't know, but I'm reading this thinking, oh hell no, I'm not going to school to get an RN degree and then working as an aide.
    I agree it seems the system may be flawed, but I would not suggest working as an aid with a RN degree.
  5. by   BIGBLOCK472
    Quote from Logos
    I don't know, but I'm reading this thinking, oh hell no, I'm not going to school to get an RN degree and then working as an aide.
    I agree it seems the system may be flawed, but I would not suggest working as an aid with a RN degree.
    Absolutely not! RN licensure is way too hard to come by to be a nursing assistant...even just for a few months until a job comes open. If a hospital has dozens of jobs posted but won't hire a licensed RN for the position--new or not--then that hospital has its priorities screwed up and it's best to run in the other direction.
  6. by   majestix
    From what I've heard from some of my new coworkers, other parts of the country are not as bad, since their nursing shortages are so severe that they will take any nurse ASAP. I've just found it somewhat absurd that everyone seems to be aware of the nursing shortage, but the system has so many bottlenecks that they are unable to reverse the trend yet. There are so many people out there who are interested in being nurses, but the system makes it difficult for them to enter it at any rate faster than a trickle.
  7. by   Hoozdo
    Quote from majestix
    From what I've heard from some of my new coworkers, other parts of the country are not as bad, since their nursing shortages are so severe that they will take any nurse ASAP.
    I believe that is correct. Arizona and Nevada are screaming for nurses. There is no problem whatsoever in finding a job as a new grad......even in specialty areas.

    For example, with only 11 months ICU experience, I put my resume on Monster.com and careerbuilder.com. I got so many responses I had to take my resume down after 24 hours. I literally got over 100 responses in 24 hours.

    I think the nursing shortage is not country wide. The western region is really hurting for nurses.
  8. by   hope3456
    I ran into the same problem when I graduated RN school last year.

    Advice I can give to potential nursing students (things I wish I would have known before nsg school)

    Just b/c there are 'tons' of jobs posted on the hospitals website - it doesn't mean that the hospital has any intention of filling them anytime soon. I interviewed for a job - in which there were 3 postings for this particular unit. I was informed (at the interview) they would not be making any hiring decisions for another 2 months. Any yeah, they did call me back 2 months later when I had already found another (crappy) job at a nursing home.

    Also, job postings don't mean that they will hire new grads into the position.

    In response to the so called shortage, nursing schools have dramatically increased admissions in the past couple years - so when you are interviewing for a position in which they will consider a 'new grad', you are actually competing against many others.

    When you finally do get a position, you will often times get 'picked on, dumped on, ect. You will quickly see why there is a nursing shortage, b/c many nurses don't stay in the profession very long.

    You may think the pay is high, but then in your first job you will quickly find out that you are subject to cancelled shifts - which can leave your check short. Or you will get called in at a moments notice just when you are going to bed, making plans, ect

    It seems that everyone in my neck of the woods wants to go to nursing school. My neighbor, the person who cut my hair last week, all the CNA's I work with, my mom's friends....the list goes on.

    also, the nursing shortage is worse in some parts of the nation than others.
  9. by   colleennurse
    Where I live we must be lucky. There are 4 hospitals in the city I live in and all of them are teaching hospitals. I can't think of 1 person from my class that had a problem finding a job. I did not realize that some hospitals would not hire new grads! Good luck to all of you looking!
  10. by   CarVsTree
    I think the bottlenecks are also effected by size of the hospital and the competition for nurses in the area.

    The hospital I work at is very large (over 700 beds). Now, most GN's graduate in Dec or May so the big orientation groups start in Jan/Jun. Those that grad at odd times or take some time off, start at any time, their orientation is just not all at once. They have orientation for 1-2 days than floor, than orientation then floor.

    A smaller hospital may not be able to accomodate new grads starting at any time. Or a hospital with no other hospitals to compete with in the area may not be that desparate for new grads.

    A lot of posters said NOT to work as an aide. I disagree! If you have to wait until a more traditional time to start, why not get the pt. care experience. It is invaluable, will make you a better nurse, and you will be better to your NA's once you are a nurse.

    Good luck and I hope you find work soon!
  11. by   BIGBLOCK472
    Quote from suemom2kay
    A lot of posters said NOT to work as an aide. I disagree! If you have to wait until a more traditional time to start, why not get the pt. care experience. It is invaluable, will make you a better nurse, and you will be better to your NA's once you are a nurse.
    Hmm... a changed perspective you have granted me

    I originally said no to working as an aide because all through school I worked as an aide and unit secretary. Had my hospital wanted to continue to pay me as a CNA/unit secretary (at 6.50/hr) after obtaining RN licensure I would've told them to kiss it. That's still my stance, however, but with one exception: If you have absolutely no nurse aide or unit clerk experience then that would be the route to go if you had your heart set on that particular hospital. Otherwise, I'd find another employer willing to pay you what you're worth to their team, brand new or not.
  12. by   CarVsTree
    Quote from Cadavillac
    Hmm... a changed perspective you have granted me

    I originally said no to working as an aide because all through school I worked as an aide and unit secretary. Had my hospital wanted to continue to pay me as a CNA/unit secretary (at 6.50/hr) after obtaining RN licensure I would've told them to kiss it. That's still my stance, however, but with one exception: If you have absolutely no nurse aide or unit clerk experience then that would be the route to go if you had your heart set on that particular hospital. Otherwise, I'd find another employer willing to pay you what you're worth to their team, brand new or not.

    Not sure if you're being sarcastic....

    OP sent out over 50 applications and had to wait from July until November to work as an RN. So, I suggested that working as an aide until being able to start as an RN made sense. I have no idea whether OP ever worked as an aide before and my post was not directed at you. It was directed at the OP and anyone else in the same situation.

    Some areas are not hit very hard by the nursing shortage.
  13. by   BIGBLOCK472
    Oh no, sorry, I wasn't being sarcastic.

    Actually, I made my post not considering that not everyone had nurse aide/ward clerk experience like I did going into nursing school. I hadn't considered that some people graduate nursing school without ever having worked in a hospital before... if that's the case, perhaps working as a NA/WC wouldn't be such a bad idea if just for a few months. :spin:
  14. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from Cadavillac
    Oh no, sorry, I wasn't being sarcastic.

    Actually, I made my post not considering that not everyone had nurse aide/ward clerk experience like I did going into nursing school. I hadn't considered that some people graduate nursing school without ever having worked in a hospital before... if that's the case, perhaps working as a NA/WC wouldn't be such a bad idea if just for a few months. :spin:
    How does one pay debt for grad school on a aide's salary, though?

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