Portland Job Market for New Grads

  1. 0
    Hi All!

    I'm in my last year of my associates degree for my RN in California (San Diego) and am starting to look at the job market out of state since we're both tired of So Cal and love the PacNW.

    My husband and I are hoping to make a move up to Portland but I've been hearing that it's suffering from the same kind of job market we have here in San Diego...lots of nurses, lots of openings but not enough experienced nurses to fill vacancies, lots of competition.

    I'll be jumping into a BSN program as soon as I graduate (already have my BA) but am not sure about opportunities such as registry or long term care just to get some experience before applying to a hospital (though I hear OHSU has a new-grad program for BSN RN's)

    Any suggestions as far as employers to consider, routes that would lead to a hospital position or additional certifications to consider to increase my marketability as a new grad would be VERY much appreciated!!
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Portland is saturated with new grads. It takes most people several months to find something, and many of my classmates are moving out of town to find work. I think if you can move to a more rural area, your chances would be better to get a job faster. Quite a few of the recent grads from our school have gone to SNF route, hoping to break into hospital nursing eventually. However, if you don't have your BSN, as a new grad, chances are slim at getting hired in a hospital here.
  4. 1
    Quote from tritons09
    Hi All!

    I'm in my last year of my associates degree for my RN in California (San Diego) and am starting to look at the job market out of state since we're both tired of So Cal and love the PacNW.

    My husband and I are hoping to make a move up to Portland but I've been hearing that it's suffering from the same kind of job market we have here in San Diego...lots of nurses, lots of openings but not enough experienced nurses to fill vacancies, lots of competition.

    I'll be jumping into a BSN program as soon as I graduate (already have my BA) but am not sure about opportunities such as registry or long term care just to get some experience before applying to a hospital (though I hear OHSU has a new-grad program for BSN RN's)

    Any suggestions as far as employers to consider, routes that would lead to a hospital position or additional certifications to consider to increase my marketability as a new grad would be VERY much appreciated!!
    Hey fellow SD resident. Good luck with your job hunt in Portland. kaiser west is supposed to open in August 2013. Hopefully more positions will open up then.
    db2xs likes this.
  5. 0
    OHSU currently has a hirin freeze on nonclinical jobs but that could get worse depending on the sequester. Most new grads I know who found work here spent months networking before hand and/or did their IP (like capstone, I think?) in the units they got jobs. It's not impossible but the word on the street is it is very hard.
  6. 0
    If you are able to get a job at a hospital and then go to nursing school you have a great chance of getting hired at that hospital. Also, from what I know about folks who now have a job, they say to get a part time job somewhere while in nursing school so you have an "in'' at that hospital or clinic. Most hospitals allow internal employees to apply external job applicants.
  7. 1
    The Portland new grad market for RN's (especially those with Associate's degrees) is terrible. I would not recommend anyone moving here for their first RN job. I had to do it because my S/O moved here for a job while I was in Nursing school in Miami.

    Getting a job at a hospital doesn't really help either. It might have at one point but many of the nurses that I work with came from hospital's as CNA II's and were unable to secure a position at the facility where they were once employed. What employers are looking for is. 1. Working RN experience (At least a year), 2. A bachelor's degree and 3. certifications (ACLS, BLS, PALS ect.). The only other way around this is to apply to a new grad program (like legacy's - but the chance of getting into one of those is very difficult - there are wayyyy more applicants than there are spots available depending on the time of the year).

    Realistically - you are probably not going to start of in a hospital if you live in the Portland metro. You will most likely start in long term care, rehabilitation, sub-acute or work for the state (Jails, Prisons, State Hospital) - unless you have some amazing connections.

    I have family members that work for Kaiser Westside. They want at least 9 months experience as an RN prior to applying to their most basic med-surg positions. Having a few certifications helps too.

    I graduated with a BA + BSN and prior hands on healthcare experience and It still took me > 6 months to land my first RN job here (non-acute care position), whereas back in Miami I had offers from places where I did my clinical rotations before I even graduated.

    I wouldn't move here as a New grad unless absolutely necessary. I also wouldn't stay here as a new grad if I absolutely had to start of in acute care (get your year elsewhere and then move back).

    Good luck!
    newsettler likes this.


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