My classmates thought I was crazy for applying to all the positions that I was right before graduation. Now, a lot of them are disappointed because they found out the residency program at one hospital is closed to external applicants (I heard there was only about 20 spots for external applicants)
There were over 100 of us graduating. That is just one school. We have about eight to ten nursing schools
in the area each graduating classes each semester. Some even graduate students during the summer semester.
I only heard of one external applicant getting hired for the residency from our school.
So basically do not limit yourself to one spot. Plan on applying to as many hospitals as you can. Start a list and check them at least weekly. If you plan on one new grad program, you may end up graduating during a cycle of where they hire only a handful of people.
Even if you are a "shoe-in," look outside the box to see if you get any other offers. Even if your mother/sister/whoever works there, do not rely on them to be able to pull strings.
Basically, be prepared to send out resume after resume to finally find an RN spot.