If possible, be open to relocating to another region upon graduation. Some cities and states do not have nursing jobs
available due to an oversupply of nurses in these areas coupled with a slumping economy. Other cities and states still have plenty of nursing positions that need to be filled. If you are willing to move to where the jobs are, you can almost assuredly land a nursing position. However, I am cognizant of the fact that not all people can pick up the pieces of their lives to move elsewhere.
Also, new nurses cannot afford to be too choosy in this crappy economic climate. I've seen new grads refuse night shift positions to hold out for the coveted day shift job, and many of these holdouts have been unemployed for months. I've seen new grads refuse to work in non-hospital settings (nursing homes, home health, dialysis centers, hospice) because they insist on getting hired into their dream job in the ER, ICU, OR, or pediatric unit in the hospital. Beggars cannot be choosers, so don't be too selective when the odds are stacked against new grads.
Good grades, volunteer work, previous CNA experience, and involvement in nursing organizations are wonderful, but these aspects have not been making much of a difference in places such as California that are flooded to the max with new grad nurses.