Veteran nurses give your opinion of the new grad job situation

  1. 0
    I'm a nursing student right now and I'm about a year away from graduating with my BSN. I see forum after forum about new grads who can't find jobs, and it worries me.

    So for all of you veteran nurses out there, I want an HONEST opinion:

    We don't have many job opportunities. If we take non-hospital jobs (LTC, school nurse, etc.) will we be unmarketable in our future? I hear stories that if you take jobs where some nursing skills aren't used, that potential employers will feel like you've lost those skills. Honestly, I love the idea of becoming a school nurse, but who knows what my future holds. If one day I want to find a hospital job, will I be hire-able? Do you think that when the economy picks up that hospitals will be understanding of the fact that my cohort just had to take what they could get?

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. 14 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    Get a job -- any job you can find. Any nursing experience at all is better than nothing to a nurse recruiter.

    If you can't find a hospital position for 4-6-8 months or more, I can almost guarantee that LTC or clinic position is going to look better to any employer than you doing nothing for the last number of months. Plus, you'll be making a paycheck. Plus, you will get some experience, even if it isn't the experience you want.

    School nursing is a good gig, actually, in my opinion, if that is your thing. The hours are good, you get to work with kids, you have summers off. If you want to spend your career in public health or pediatrics, working in a school would be a good start for either of these paths.
    canoehead likes this.
  5. 3
    Well if you don't take something all that you learned will be lost. What you can do while doing something that is non-hospital is keep up with certifications and online learning upgrades to what interests you.

    Good luck but watch out what you wish for; some hospitals are not cracked up to what you think will happen in terms of "being a real nurse".
    msn10, siringe, and GooeyRN like this.
  6. 2
    Quote from tyvin
    but watch out what you wish for; some hospitals are not cracked up to what you think will happen in terms of "being a real nurse".
    Ain't that the truth.
    Esme12 and tyvin like this.
  7. 0
    Quote from HawkinsRV
    I'm a nursing student right now and I'm about a year away from graduating with my BSN. I see forum after forum about new grads who can't find jobs, and it worries me.

    So for all of you veteran nurses out there, I want an HONEST opinion:

    We don't have many job opportunities. If we take non-hospital jobs (LTC, school nurse, etc.) will we be unmarketable in our future? I hear stories that if you take jobs where some nursing skills aren't used, that potential employers will feel like you've lost those skills. Honestly, I love the idea of becoming a school nurse, but who knows what my future holds. If one day I want to find a hospital job, will I be hire-able? Do you think that when the economy picks up that hospitals will be understanding of the fact that my cohort just had to take what they could get?

    Thanks in advance!
    Thanks for sharing. it's great

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  8. 0
    My advice is to first get that hospital job if you can and work it for at least a year to get your foundation b/c when you become a school nurse...it'll be you all alone...you have to know your stuff. And LTC is better than nothing...looks better to a recruiter than not working at all. If you worked at a hospital for a year, became a school nurse, you could still work per-diem for a hospital (after a yr of experience) or for a staffing agency to keep up your hospital skills in case you ever want to return to acute care. It's a tough job market out there right now...but not all new grads are suffering. I know some new grads that got jobs right after they passed NCLEX. You definitely have to sell yourself and get a job as a nurse intern or pca...it looks good to recruiters.
  9. 1
    Will working in a hospital make you feel like you are a "real nurse?"

    I get a little upset when I hear people say that RN's in nursing homes, LTC, and school nursing is not real nursing. Taking care of our oldest and our youngest to keep them out of the hospital is really important work.

    I have worked in an ICU, cardiac floor, school, and an academic setting. I can tell you that you will get a whole different perspective outside the hospital.

    Outside the hospital you will need to depend on your 'nursing skills' much more than in a hospital setting. In a hospital, you do more medical tasks/procedures, not necessarily more nursing. I could get on my soapbox of what nursing really is, but this is not the place. I am sure you can ask your community health instructor about that one.

    Putting in an IV every few hours doesn't make you a "real nurse." Even going from one floor in a hospital to another can be a big transition if all the drugs and procedures are different. If you can juggle all the patients in an LTC or a thousand+ children in a school, you can go back to a hospital setting. The interpersonal skills you develop are priceless.

    If you think school nursing is where you would like to be, then go for it. Almost half of all nurses practice outside the hospital setting and are very happy to do so.
    CuriousMe likes this.
  10. 0
    This is a really interesting topic. I will be graduating in under 2 years. I am very excited but prepared for the worst. I figure how many hospitals are in the province of BC... times the number of provinces... that is a lot of hospitals... and i am prepared to apply to every single one

    I have heard that layoffs and job hiring freezes have happened in the past. Along with that the issue of LPNs taking over RN jobs. I think that we need a balance of both professions as they have a different scope of practice. But from what I have heard from older nurses, This has all happened before... healthcare will get worse.. and then it will get better...

    I am interested to see what others have to say
  11. 0
    My personal opinion from talking to a lot of new grads is to get experience now. Find a student nursing position in a hospital somewhere. "Student Nurse" position is basically the same as a Nurses Aid but usually get paid a little more. If you work as a "Student Nurse" or a Nurses Aid, you then get your foot in the door. I have talked to a few new grads and they have found jobs because they worked in that unit while they were in school. A lot of student nurse positions are very flexible with your school schedule. I worked as a "Student Nurse" and they hired me in that unit on the spot when I graduated.
  12. 0
    Quote from HawkinsRV
    We don't have many job opportunities. If we take non-hospital jobs (LTC, school nurse, etc.) will we be unmarketable in our future? .... Do you think that when the economy picks up that hospitals will be understanding of the fact that my cohort just had to take what they could get?
    I think that if LTC positions are all that is available to you right now, it would be foolish to turn one down because it might make you "unmarketable" in the future. I can't imaging that being unemployed will serve you any better.

    That said, the availability of nursing positions is a cyclical thing. It's got to pick back up again sometime, and when it does there are going to be a lot of people in the same boat you are. I've got to think that hospitals are going to have to adjust their expectations with so many of you in the applicant pool.


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