I'd disagree that the nursing employment environment in the Philly area is bleak. It's certainly competitive and more than a bit challenging, but for experienced RNs and especially those with BSNs, not really "bleak". The same cannot be said however for new grads and for them (and by "them", I also mean me), the employment picture really is bleak and perhaps even becoming more so.
I check the hospital websites every few days and while there are not a ton of postings, there are almost always more than a few. For the most part, the postings state that experience - usually at least 1-2 years- is required. This is also now true for most of the nursing homes and other LTCs in the area. One of the suburban Philly hospitals (Taylor) recently posted something like 25 jobs, the vast majority of which required experience for consideration. While I've heard through the grapevine that there were "hundreds" of applications, I'd be willing to bet that many were from new, inexperience nurses (remember, there's something like 15 nursing programs in the Philly area and probably a couple thousand new RN's each year)
The other issue in the Phila area is the BSN. Both the Main Line and Crozer hospital groups are seeking magnet status and nearly all of their job postings state "BSN required". Interestingly, the Taylor postings (they're part of the Crozer system) mostly said "BSN preferred", so maybe things are reverting back.
Bottom line is that there are nursing jobs in the area and though there is pretty stiff competition for them, experienced BS-RNs should not have too much difficulty finding suitable employment.