Quote from edogs334
Hence, I think we as a profession need to take a good, hard look at how we hire and train our graduates once they get out of school- especially because new graduate retention rates, as you mentioned, continue to remain low.
I would argue that we need to take a "good, hard look" at how we "train our graduates" before
they get out of school -- that is the crux of the issue for many hospitals. I worked as a surveyor for my state for several years recently, traveled all over my state and talked to nursing administration and education people in all kinds of facilities -- big university teaching centers, little community hospitals, and everything in between -- and the subject of new grads came up frequently
in conversation. It isn't just the current lousy economy -- many hospitals were starting to balk at hiring new grads even before
the economy tanked. Hospitals are v. tired of spending a lot of time and money teaching new grads stuff that they (the hospitals) feel people should have learned in nursing school -- basic, everyday, hands-on stuff that you need to know to function at a basic-entry level on an acute, inpatient unit of any kind -- and they feel that lots of new graduates present with an "entitled" attitude that is unjustified and v. annoying (like they're doing the hospital a favor by being willing to work there, instead of vice-versa (the hospital is doing them a favor by hiring them). Also, the low retention rates for new grads are
a fairly recent phenomenon as well (they are much lower than they've ever been before). Look around just this site, at how many threads there are (not very
recent, but from before things got so very bad
for new grads) where a new grad is saying, I've had this job for a few months now, and I'm not really enjoying it (and their concerns sound mostly like just typical "new grad transition" anxiety, but, apparently, people also
aren't prepared in school now for how difficult and painful that first year of practice is going to be) so I'm thinking I should change jobs -- and there are lots of people here who encourage them to do just that (and a few of us old fogeys who urge them to stay in one position for at least a full year and get acclimated before making a change -- but even that is a change; you used to be expected to remain in positions for at least two
years to avoid being labeled a "job-hopper.") You used to graduate from nursing school expecting to take whatever job you could get, probably a shift you didn't want on a unit you didn't particularly want, and work your way up to your "dream job" from there -- in more recent years, nursing has seen the rise of new grads who come out of school expecting to get offered the shift they want in the specialty they want in the hospital they want, and, if they don't get that, they're being mistreated and they should look for a better deal somewhere else. Obviously, not all, or even most
, new grads present like this, but there are enough that they've made a lot of hospitals wary of new grads in general (the attitudes combined with the general lack of clinical skills). The hospitals would rather hire someone with a proven track record, and you can hardly blame them for that. A lot of hospitals feel they've had really bad experiences in recent years with new grads, and they're "voting with their feet" -- and, especially in this economy, they can afford to do that.
I've been in clinical practice and nursing education (ADN and BSN programs) for almost 25 years now, and I think we really need to examine how we're educating nurses -- the "system" seems to be reaching a breaking point.