Grad years are not compulsory, but if you are applying for a job nowadays due to there being no shortage of inexperienced nurses, many hospitals are advertising as part of their criteria that you must have completed a grad year.
Aged care however seems to still employ nurses that have no experience into positions of leadership and you will have better chance there to get work.
Do you have any friends in higher places in employment areas of a local hospital or where you do your clinicals that you can befriend discuss working on their nurse bank, working nurse bank and you would then have a clinical educator to call on for support if you need it and you would be familiar with their work environment.
Or when you are able to look for work approach hospitals about joining their nurse bank as a new grad, this is often done.
Graduate nurse programs are considered the 4th year of our Bachelor of Nursing and provide the new nurse support by each shift having a clinical educator. (the government wanted nurses ''churned out quick'' from universities.)
Learning on the job as you go, is not always in the best interest of a patient if the nurse is inexperienced and on a busy shift, not being able to grab a colleague, who is just as busy probably got a student nurse with them as preceptor.
Also as an inexperienced RN it is sometimes difficult to openly say to all the experienced staff that are busy, hey did not do this at univ please help or I am 'drowning'' at the moment please help. When you are in a grad program it is easy to say, hey I am the new grad need support and the hospitals must supply this support.
New grads also for a month or so are not included in our patient ratios so therefore there is more staff on the ward.
There has been in the past many new graduates leaving in droves from nursing through lack of support and grad years were introduced to support new grad RN and new grad ENs in their new careers. We have great patient outcomes now and have a more happier and hopefully becoming a younger, nursing workforce of local nurses and not rely on overseas nurses so much.
Last edit by ceridwyn on Jun 14, '12