Some of the issue (ease of moving among specialties) may also be related to location. If you're in an urban area with a large pool of potential candidates for available nursing jobs
, employers can afford to say "two years experience in the specialty required" and stick with it. That can make it v. difficult for someone to switch to a new specialty. In a smaller, less desirable facility, or in a smaller (less populated) area with fewer available nurses in general, facilities tend to be less picky.
I know that when I first graduated and wanted to work in psych, I was in a moderate-sized urban area and it was well-known that none of the psych programs in the area would hire new grads -- they all required two years of med-surg experience before they would consider you. Through an acquaintance, I heard of an opening on a psych unit in a small community hospital in a more rural area not too far away, and they were delighted
to hire me (for them, it was a good thing to get someone "fresh off the assembly line," with all the up-to-date information).
It's a lot easier to get a job in a new specialty when there aren't a big bunch of experienced (in that specialty) nurses also competing for the position ...