I am currently helping a few of my overseas friend's friend with trying to get their ATT and all that stuff. I'm not sure if many of here understand what it means to be a "new grad" in the States.
We all know that a "new grad" means that the new nurse has from zero to maybe less than a year of true RN experience. Most of us may have worked as a live-in or in some sort of caretaker capacity, but nothing that qualifies one to be a practicing nurse. Most of us and you just graduated from a nursing school or college.
With that in mind, upon graduating, you are a new grad and probably with no to very little nursing exposure. New grad programs in the States are geared to give those with zero to less than one year of RN experience a chance to get into the very highly competitve new grad programs so that you can gain the needed experience to move on to other positions or get another job outside of the current place of employment.
This came about after hearing from her friends and herself that obtaining your RN license here in the States makes you a "new grad". It does, BUT in order to get your application for a new grad job opening, one of the strictest qualification is that you must have graduated within ONE year of your graduation date, NOT the month and year of passing the NCLEX. They were under the impression that getting your RN license starts their time clock to apply for new grad jobs, but it's not.
I have found that the ones I'm helping out have graduated from 2008-2010, meaning even if they passed the NCLEX for whatever state they get into, the hiring people will see that they graduated "too long ago" and will get their applications declined.
The same thing holds true for any US educated grads, they must apply and apply anywhere and everywhere before their one year of graduation expires in order to get into the highly desired new grad program.
So what happens to those grads that don't find a job after their one year expires and now must compete with those other nurses without any experience and many hospitals wants 1-2 years minimum of experience? They can still try, but I know of nurses still 2-3 years without a single nursing job, you can also read of other nurses here having the same problem. So in order to pay the bills and groceries, they go back to their previous non-nursing jobs from being a waitress, working at a coffee shop, bookstore, retail sales, etc.
Yes, some of the expired graduates are now working in other places like SNF (skilled nursing facility) or LTC (long term care) or nursing homes and the likes, it's still not the hospital job of their desire. Some have gotten "pigeon-holed" after working at these places, thinking at least it's RN experience, but it's not really, especially if they wished to work in Peds, NICU, OR, other nursing jobs that are of other specialties, so that RN job of theirs only puts them more behind, yes, there are almost the exceptions, but rare. They find themselves unable to move on or harder to get accepted, since there are more qualified nurses given the same spot. Pigeon-holed, fyi, means you know how homing pigeons can fly right into the same nesting hole when they coming back home from another location.
Most of us new grad nurses prefers to work in a medium to larger hospitals, as they also offer better benefits (after the qualification period) such as: paid vacation time, paid sick days or leave, usually better pay, good retirement plans, etc, such as those of a UCLA hospital system or the Kaiser's, etc.
I just wanted to let everyone know what the real world is like out here. Go to the CA nursing forum here and you can see how competitive it is. Other states are also having the same problems with not enough new grad jobs.