Hello Missouri nurses!
I'm a guy who has been out of college for ~5 years working in research. I have decided it is time for a change! I've always kept nursing as a profession in the back of my mind, even majored in it for a semester at school. I have a lot of friends who are nurses (male and female) and they all enjoy it quite a bit. I'm attracted to it for many reasons including the career potential and the opportunity for advancement. For all the caring, patience, and helpfulness I can bring to the profession it is still a job and I need to make sure that there are openings out there before I make such a life change. So, I have a few questions for you all. I look very forward to your input!
1. I'm looking at accelerated programs at SLU, Goldfarb, and UMSL. The price-tags vary quite a bit. Is there a benefit to going to SLU over UMSL? Am I more likely to get a better job or better education? Will employers look at me differently depending on what school I go to?
2. I've been reading through allnurses.com quite a bit and it seems like there is a lot of complaining about the job market right now. I was always under the impression that nursing was a profession in demand, and that there was always a shortage. Heck, when I talk to some of my friends they are getting bonus and double bonus time because the hospitals need incentives to get the nurses to work there. Why is it that on this website there seems to be a lot of doom and gloom over the job market in nursing. I need to stay in the St. Louis area when I graduate (roughly Summer '14). Am I going to have an incredibly difficult time finding a job?
3. I am a male. Will this affect me positively in my job search? If so, how much?
4. I have four classes I need to take over the next year. I'm taking them at night while I work. I would then go into an accelerated program. Is there any advice you can give me on what I can do now, or during the accelerated schooling (even though I hear you can't do much) to get a one-up on finding a job after graduation?
I was so pumped about nursing but now I'm a little scared. All this "there are no jobs, I've put in 100s of apps and can't find anything" is a little worrisome.
Jun 9, '12
ok i'll bite...
ques #1-hoping a local nurse can answer for you. Mostly all places care about is that you have your degree, not where you got it from. However some areas with a lot of nursing programs may feel that 'x' program does better than 'y'...so I can't answer that one for you..
ques #2-the job market is tight in many areas of the country. Many hospitals are downsizing and restructuring...my hosp system has 3 major hosp and 2 free standing ERs, however we only have 40 RN openings right now and none of them are for new grads. One thing you can do easily is go onto all the websites for each hosp near you and look at current job openings to see how many there are...and if any of them are for new grads. This will give you a good idea. You can also call and talk to HR or nurse recruitment at a local hosp to get info from them about the job market, esp new grads...
also-unless you have all of your requirements done other than the nursing program (or are planning to go to an accelerated 1 year program), and are already accepted...you won't graduate in 2014. even if you already have an associates or bachelor's you still have to take all the specific prereqs for nursing if you haven't before you can apply to a program. (anat and phys, micro, psych, etc). Just want you to know that it can be a long process (4+ years for an associates.) (oops just read the rest of you post! is it easy to get into the acc program?)
ques #3-I have no idea if they like to have more guys to even out the nursing quota or not-I sure hope not but have no idea.
ques #4-if you have no medical experience you need to get some. some places have cna certificate classes or nurse tech classes, depends on what the requirement is. there is also emt/medic that you can do, or use to work in ER as a tech. Already working for the hosp seems to give people an edge. other than that there are a ton of posts on this, I am sure you could search on it...
if you are able to move around, then there will always be a job for you.
Jun 11, '12
I graduated from Lutheran school of nursing. Didn't have a problem finding a job, my secret? Got in good with the nurses and nurse manager at a clinical site...networking works and I've found that other students who did this also did not have a problem finding a job. I don't think what school you attend matters. If you pass the nclex then you are a nurse and the school you attended preped you well then you get the job. New grads finding it hard to get a job? Yep, but that is almost everywhere. Like I said, get in good at one of your clinical sites, stay in contact with the nurse manager and you shouldn't have a problem. Good luck!
Jun 11, '12
Wanted to add too that I know of a few hospitals that will hire you for tech work once in the nursing program, which will help you advance once you receive your degree.
Jun 13, '12
1) I feel that all three schools will give you a great education. I am not sure of a difference between UMSL and SLU but the Goldfarb accelerated program is only 12 months long and the other two are 15 months long (I am a graduate of Goldfarb Dec. '11). I would recommend going to each school and speaking with an advisor and taking a tour. This will help you decide what school is best for you. I do not believe that any employer will look at you differently because of the school you attended-as stated before all three are very good schools.
2) I will say that it is harder to get a job now as a new nurse as opposed to even five years ago but it isn't impossible and you are very likely to get a job after schooling. Many hospitals have programs set up for new graduates. I would look at the hospitals you are interested in working at about four months prior to graduation as this is usually the time they post these type of openings. I will say it took me six months to get a job after graduation but this is because I wanted something specific and it is difficult for new graduates to get this position (ICU). I don't regret waiting this long because this is my passion. I don't want that to scare you though. I would say 2/3 of my class had jobs within three months of graduation. The job market is tougher for any field these days but don't let that be a reason not to go to nursing school. If this really is your passion, you will not regret the decision even if you have to wait a couple of months to find a job-it will be worth it!!!!
3) I don't believe being male will affect you one way or another. I do know that they are many more male nurses entering the field in just the last couple of years. As of last December, my graduating class had the most males accepted for the accelerated program. I'm sure this year there are even more.
4) First I would say find out which program(s) you want to apply for and apply now. The waiting lists are long for any nursing program right now and if you want to start next year then you need to apply now. I applied a year and a half before my start date and was accepted without being put on the waiting list. I applied that early because the advisor at Goldfarb told me they were filling up quick and and they accept on a rolling basis. You don't have to have all your pre-reqs done before you apply-I had six pre-reqs that I needed and finished them in the year and a half that I had before I started. Also, with pre-reqs-each of these schools have different ones so you want to make sure that your are getting the ones done for the program(s) that you will be applying for. One last thing, to help employment after school I would recommend getting a patient tech job (patient tech, certified nursing assistant, etc...) in the unit or at least the hospital you think you would like to work at. This is the one thing I wish I would have done before nursing school. Assuming you do well in the unit and school, you will have a much better chance at getting a job in that unit or at least that hospital. If you can, get the job as soon as possible and stay PRN during the accelerated program.
I hope this information helps! Good luck in your future!