confused about nursing shortage


I read in articles that theres a chronic nursing shortage here in California and elsewhere. Then I read posts on this forum that theres really not and new grads are having a difficult time finding jobs, especially in the bay area.

Is this really true? Why all this news about a shortage?

I want to go to school to become an RN, but the most important thing to me is job stability.

I got my bachelors degree in the computing field, then worked 2 years until I was laid off in the dot com crash.

I don't want to go back to school to be in the same boat again.

If I work hard and do well in nursing school, what are my chances of finding work as a new nursing grad in the bay area?

Thanks for your help.


1,142 Posts

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I'm in a program now and I've heard from this site also that it's hard to find a job. I've heard this from my professors also and also from friend that said that it's near impossible for new grads to find a job in SF. But, I've also heard that eventually nurses find work, but may have a bit of a commute out of SF. Stanford always has ads for new grads and there's always Kaiser. I think it's a good time to get into nursing, but also that money shouldn't be the motivating factor. And that there are other ways to make more money outside of nursing.



38,333 Posts

I had to leave the Bay area because I couldn't stay employed and I'm not a new grad. Yes, it is tough to get a job there but not necessarily impossible. I would energetically give it a try before giving up and leaving the area.

One of the best things you can do for yourself to help in the job market is to become a CNA, also get the HHA certificate, and start working in healthcare before and while you are in nursing school. You might luck out and land a job at one of the hospitals where you will be welcome once you graduate.

As was said, Stanford hires, so does the VA in Palo Alto. You can also try Valley Medical Center. If any of these places hires you as a CNA, your foot is in the door. I don't know if this is still the case, but the Maxim office in San Jose used to provide staffing for Stanford. That is another avenue to start at Stanford. Good luck and don't give up, at least until you've given it a try.

suzanne4, RN

26,410 Posts

A big issue is that new grad programs only start in the Bay Area several times per year, they are not as most think that they are. Then the next issue is the number of nursing schools in the area, so it is always best to try to at least get a job at a facility while you are in school so that they are familiar with you.

Once you have a couple of years of experience, then it is rather easy to get a job there, the hard part is fresh out of school. The Bay area has been tough for a number of years, but other areas still need nurses, so if you are willing to move, or have a longer commute to get to work, then there should not be a problem for you.

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