Staffs full, nurses struggle for work

  1. The media seems to be catching on...

    When Katharine Barron enrolled in Boston College's school of nursing in 2005, everyone - family, friends, college officials - assured her hospitals would be "banging down her door" with job offers.

    Because nurses were in such high demand, they said, Barron's degree was going to be like a guaranteed paycheck. Or so she thought.

    Turns out Barron will be lucky to land work in Boston after she graduates later this year. The 22-year-old Newton native will be saddled with more than $100,000 in student loans and anticipates moving back to her parents' home."I really hope I can get a job," she said during a break from class Thursday. "It's frustrating. And it's scary to think about the future."

    Because of the recession, nursing jobs are scarce for the first time in years. In Massachusetts, vacancy rates on nursing staffs have fallen to 4 percent this year, down from 5 percent in 2007, and 10 percent in 2002, when there were the most openings, according to the Massachusetts Hospital Association. As a result, many nursing students on the cusp of graduation are scrambling to find employment.

    Full article:

    I would like to know where all those new grad home health care jobs are. Around here, the home health care agencies want at least 1 year experience.
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  3. by   mochabean
    I"m not in nursing school yet, but I find this scary. I really hope this is all just temporary. I couldn't imagine being $100,000 just for a BSN. More reason for me to work my way through school.
  4. by   november17
    But wait I thought there were 1 billion nursing jobs unfilled due to the nursing shortage
  5. by   Newworldman
    Unfortunately this is true in many places. I'm currently a student in Reno, NV and I would love to get a job in Northern California around the Sacramento area, and after all of the research I have done, and colleagues that I have talked to that have attempted to obtain jobs in that area say that the market is saturated with nurses. Friends have told me that all the hospitals require 6 mos to 1 year experience. In order for me to get that experience, I need to get an Apprentice Nurse position while still in school, but since the economy has slumped, the hospitals in Reno have really cut back on their Apprentice Programs. Reno jobs are not as hard to come by as N. CA's, but it is still difficult to get your first choice of jobs. I figure that even if I have to take a Med/Surg job somewhere it won't be so bad, just to get my foot in the door and get that coveted experience.
  6. by   oramar
    Good grief, a 100,000 in student loans!!! How could anyone think that kind of debt is a good idea for a career that pays about $60,000 a year? Isn't there some cheaper way she could have done it? These kids ought to get a class action law suit against the school that talked them into doing this. It is almost like these universities have developed a new kind of human bondage. How can anyone possibly have a life with that kind of debt?
    Last edit by oramar on Apr 20, '09
  7. by   Skeletor
    Quote from oramar
    Good grief, a 100,000 in student loans!!! How could anyone think that kind of debt is a good idea for a career that pays about $60,000 a year? Isn't there some cheaper way she could have done it? These kids ought to get a class action law suit against the school that talked them into doing this. It is almost like these universities have developed a new kind of human bondage. How can anyone possibly have a life with that kind of debt?
    A student wanting to sue his/her university for agreeing to assume educational debt and not having his/her dream job waiting in the wing for you is like an inmate sueing his/her respective prison for undersized underwear; it's ridiculous. Our country is in shambles because no one owns up to their own misdoings or decisions.

    Feel slighted: sue!
    Angry: sue!
    Depressed: sue!

    Before you electronically/physically sign your promissary note, you agree to incur any financial responsibility for said loan.

    No student is talked into signing their loan application; if they do not realize the possibility of not being able to procur employment post-graduation, shame on them, no one is to blame; such is life.

    The last thing our economy needs is more class-action lawsuits from either people spilling coffee on themselves from "faulty lid tops" or students expecting a job after obtaining a college degree.
  8. by   HonestRN
    While I don't think a lawsuit will go anywhere, I don't think schools of nursing should be promoting propaganda to increase enrollment. It is time for these schools and hospitals to quit crying "nursing shortage" and instead focus on changing the work environment. The only reason hospitals are currently fully staffed is because of the economy otherwise no sane nurse would put up with the deplorable working conditions.
  9. by   Meriwhen
    Every week that I'd call home, my father-in-law would go on about how I'd have no problems finding a job, because the hospitals where the live (Long Island) are practically screaming for nurses so it must be the same down here. I keep explaining to him that there are job out there, but for experienced nurses--no one's not hiring new students.

    And before anyone packs up to relocate to NY based on what I said...don't. Or at least do your homework first, because it seems it's pretty much the same thing there, from what my mother-in-law (who is a nurse) tells me: everyone's looking for at least 1-2 years experience.
  10. by   nminodob
    Everytime I read something like this I remind myself how lucky I am to have got a job 4 months out of nursing school. True, it is on nights and I am scared I won't hack the hours - but it is a job nonetheless. And I just received an email saying my student loans are coming due in July (considerable debt - I had to go to private university because jc's were filled and on a lottery system, and at my age, waiting 2 years to get into a 2 year ADN program without getting in made my 4 year BSN add up to the 7 longest years [with pre-reqs] of my life!)

    What I found the worst part of being unable to find work was the constant explaining to people (many of them seasoned nurses) that yes, there are some jobs, but no they will not hire new grads. I have heard it all -"You are not being proactive enough" (as if barging into a busy med/surg floor to try and make a "good impression" with a cold call to someone you already know isn't hiring makes any kind of sense whatsoever); being told to "think out of the box" (presumably, the lack of jobs is directly tied to my faulty linear thinking process); the endless advice to "Go into home health" (when these organizations require a nurse to act independently and are the LAST to take a chance on a new grad); and also to "Just go where the jobs are" (they usually say that they heard there are jobs in [fill in the blank] and why don't I just pick up and leave friends/family and trot off to a place where I will have no support system whatsoever to start a challenging new career - yeah, that's a recipe for success!)

    Obviously, I feel for those of us who went into nursing on the cusp of a depression. We are facing challenges that others who were sucked right out of nursing school before their final exams never faced. All I kept telling myself was to have faith in whatever you conceive your Higher Power to be - "this too shall pass"...and we have the rest of our lives to practice our profession.
    Good luck to each and every one of you out there going through this!
    Last edit by nminodob on Apr 20, '09 : Reason: typo
  11. by   JaxNewGrad
    THANK YOU! I am at the end of my rope over the same comments from well-intentioned but clueless family, friends, and co-workers. I was laid off from a major corporation last year, and I anticipated it a few years in advance so I got a BSN so I could engage in a good-paying "recession-proof" career. HA! No one is hiring new grads, and I went back to the same company in a lower-paying job after 7 months of rejection letters from local hospitals and LTC facilities. Sad thing is, with my differentials for working nights/weekends at my old company, I'll be making about the same as a new RN grad makes.

    Really appreciate your post.... I was getting sooooo frustrated trying to explain there are no jobs for new nurses within 1.5 hours driving distance in any direction from where I live.
  12. by   newgrad78
    I don't know where everyone else is located, but I'm in Minnesota (Twin Cities) and the situation is the same. How does one a)find a job that will hire them as a new grad when the market is saturated with experienced nurses and then b)protect their patients AND license? I have an interview with a pediatric home health agency tomorrow, and it seems as though the acuity of their patient population is waaaaay over my head. Yikes.

    I'm struggling with the same arguments and useless suggestions from family/friends, my grandfather, who lives in NJ, suggested that I look at though I haven't scoured every single job board on the internet. Things have to turn around for new grads soon...
  13. by   Kim15195
    I was an RN for 10 years, took 9 years off to raise the little ones...had to retake NCLEX recently and thank goodness passed....I am still having a very hard time finding a job. Everyone always says "but there is a nursing shortage" (like something must be wrong with me not to have a job yet). It's tough out there.
  14. by   mina11
    Ditto on how crazy it is to spend $100,000 on a BSN...or any degree that is not an MD, even a JD (lots of lawyers are being laid off). There was an article in the New York Times about a guy who spent $150,000 on an art degree and now doesn't have any idea how to pay it off. Are these people even thinking? I probably would have made the same stupid mistake in my early twenties, when I thought the world was my oyster, but thank God I've matured and realized that the only good debt is no debt.