I am 27 and recently fired from the call center of a major cellular company. Granted, my whole working lifetime I've worked for big name corporations with decent benefits the job itself and the environment is not for me and I took this as an opportunity to go back to school.

I started the process already and am strongly considering my original major, RN. My community college has a good reputation on producing good nurses and also offers a BSN program once you're licensed as an RN. The cost is not bad and I've always had an interest in the medical field.

Now, after doing lots of research I realize that although medical careers will always be needed, there is little truth to there being a nursing shortage. Hospitals and most companies are going for the "customer satisfaction" approach, changes are coming up in health care and jobs are requiring a year or more experience. The work is hard, demanding and the school is not easy.

This probably sounds typical but I am scared to put everything I have into this and not be able to find a job. I am pretty realistic and realize all jobs have bad co workers, poor policies, nearly unattainable goals and stress BUT I am worried in reading some of the posts here. Some experienced nurses are saying they would not go into nursing again, a lot of new grads or even experienced nurses are not getting jobs and some that do have jobs are miserable. (no offense to anyone...just the impressions I'm getting)

Can anyone provide some words of encouragement that it should get better as far as the job market?

I can deal with the stress, hard work, corporate policies, demanding requirements, irate and unreasonable people but not being able to find work after so much school and investment is scary.

Has 9 years experience.

My recommendation to you would be for you to take a CNA (certified nurse assistant) course which your local community college may offer BEFORE you decide to dedicate the time and money that will be required for you to try to become a nurse. The CNA course will (or should) give you an idea of 'some' of what nursing is all about - caring for patients that are unable to care for themselves. I took the CNA course just to see if I could 'stomach' nursing...

I can't tell you the number of nursing students (RN students particularly) who have told me that nurses don't wipe butts or that they can't wait to become a nurse because they won't have to deal with the 'dirty' parts... - well, guess what - that's a big part of my job... I'm a 'new grad' (graduated May 2010) and just starting my first job (it took 9 LONG months of almost constant searching). I work on what the hospital calls a Med/Surg floor, but most of our patients are truly Telemetry and ICU step down patients, many vent dependant, trachs with telemetry monitors and very high acuity. We often work without the assistance of a CNA. The assignment is 4 to 5 patients, with at least 2 of them (and sometimes 3 or 4) being on ventilators, which means total care and almost all are on tele monitors.

Also, taking the CNA course will give you some insight into the hard job that CNAs have and will give you at least an idea of how a CNA can make or break your shift. When we have them, I always help with bathing and turning my patients, taking my own vital signs instead of waiting for the CNA to do it for me - she's busy enough with the 15 to 20+ patients that she's assigned... It's not always easy to help, especially being a new nurse, and not really having my time management down pat, but I feel that it's my job.

As far as nursing school, be sure you have a GOOD or GREAT support system in place BEFORE you start - warn your family (because once you start, no one - aside from fellow students, will understand what you are going through...) that you will not be available for a LOT of things - you will be dedicating much of your time to studying - so you'll need the people around you to pick up the things that you won't have time for - taking the kids to school, picking them up, fixing a meal, doing the housework and laundry. I'm assuming you have read posts about nursing school...

It is true that there are limited jobs available for new nurses, but if this is truly what you want to do, nothing should stop you from going forward. Hospitals are not as willing to hiring new grads - it's EXTREMELY expensive to hire new grads, many don't survive their first year because they don't have a realistic view of what the job truly entails and often the existing nurses are not kind (nurses often really do eat their young - though so far, I have not experienced this personally, I've heard enough stories).

It did take me 9 LONG months to get this job, but it's the best thing I ever did for MYSELF... Nurses will always be needed and it may take you a while after you get your license to get your first job. It was INCREDIBLY depressing and frustrating to apply to job after job and either get no reply or the 'we're not hiring new grads right now - try back again later' response. I do have to say, at least in Southern California, almost all of the hospitals I applied to are chosing BSN students over ADNs but it's not impossible to get a job as an ADN. I did...

On a final note, nursing school (with ALL the pre-reqs) took me almost 5 years to complete - I went full time but the science courses required were impacted and so were/are the nursing programs. So, it took a couple semesters to get into some of the required science courses - these have to be taken within 5 years of applying to the nursing program at my school. Who knows what the job market will be like by the time you finish??? The hospitals may be in a better position to hire you - or it could be just as bad as it is now...

I wish you luck!

Specializes in cardiology/oncology/MICU. Has 3 years experience.

Good advice on getting the CNA before deciding to commit to nursing school. In fact it is required at our local technical college that all nursing students have the CNA cert before they can enter. I chose the CNA before RN so that I could see if caring for people who are sick is something that I would enjoy.. It is good advice and it gives you the chance to experience healthcare without investing years of your life. Nursing is not for everyone, but I am sure glad that I chose it. Best thing I have ever done


139 Posts

Thanks for the advice and replies. I appreciate it.

I do want to clarify that my main concern is the job availability and not whether I'll have the ability do deal with the job itself. I am limited on time and money so going straight into nursing is my best option although I can understand why its beneficial for some to be a CNA first. Please don't misunderstand that comment. I definetly don't want it to be misunderstood. It's just that I am sure the job duties won't be my issue. I just want to make sure I'll have a job.

Thanks! All opinions welcome .

Has 9 years experience.

Honestly, no one on this site, unless they are a nurse recruiter can answer your question. I can only tell you that it took me 9 long, depressing, frustrating months to land my first job... but I got one.

Also, I'm not suggesting that you become a CNA before you go to nursing school, just that you take the course - which will (or should) include clinical time taking care of patients - plus, some students/new grads that have their CNA certificates can and have worked as CNAs during nursing school which may help with finances... (just a suggestion, though I don't recommend working during nursing school - I did and it was HARD...)

Since nursing school takes 2 years for an ADN and 4 years for a BSN, it would take a crystal ball to see 2 to 4 years into the future - the job market 2 to 4 years from now could be great or it could be just as bad.

I wish you luck!

Specializes in LTC, Med-Surg, IMCU/Tele, HH/CM.

I believe that if you are flexible you could find a job fairly quickly after graduation. By flexible I mean that you would be willing to relocate if necessary or take a job that isn't your "dream job" to get started. For instance I was offered a job in LTC days after liscensure. . . but I had worked in LTC as a CNA and then as an LPN for nearly a decade and wanted to hold out for a hospital job. I looked within my tri-state area for 6 months and applied for many, many new graduate residencies. Then I realized if I was going to get a job sooner rather than later, in the setting I wanted (hospital) that I was going to have to make some sacrifices. I landed a job within a month of aplying to oppertunities out of state, but I did have to move 2,000 miles away from home. I don't regret this decision.


139 Posts

Thanks everyone. I am prepared to be flexible. Thanks for the advice.