Has anyone ever NOT found a job out of Nursing school?

Nurses General Nursing


I just read a post on how hospitals send out advertisements that they are hiring, but then when people call, the hospital just plays dumb and says there are no positions available.

Has anyone ever Not been able to get a job out of school. I know there is a nursing shortage but it looks more like the facade of a nursing shortage from my inexperienced POV.


145 Posts

I graduated nursing school in 1996, immediately after graduation I moved from Pennsylvinia to South Carolina. So quickly that I actually got a PA licesne before I got a SC licesne.

Anyhow, I did have a hard time finding a job. I had to take a LPN job in a local nursing home because I could not get into the hospitals.

I did make rounds to all the hospitals in the area pretty regularly and finally got into a hosp after 9 months in the nursing home.

I finally called directly to the floor and spoke with the nurse manager.

I did find out after I got my hosp job that you get noticed much quicker if you apply the routine way then call the nurse manager for that perticular floor and speak to them. :idea: :idea:


159 Posts

Lots of jobs out west. Their down on one knee asking nicely for you to work for them! I will go when there down on both and ready to kiss my you know what then i MIGHT go work for them.

Quickbeam, BSN, RN

1,011 Posts

Specializes in Government.

In 1992-3, there was a supposed "glut" of nurses and you couldn't get arrested let alone hired in some parts of the country. I was forced to take a reduction to .8 from full time.

Recently I was looking for some part time clinical work, every Fridays, to supplement my consulting job. I was essentially looking to be a .2 on a regular basis (2nd or third shift). I couldn't get a returned call, let alone any offers. I heard about 10 times: "that's too much work to set up". I gave up...didn't really need the cash, just wanted to keep my hands in clinical practice.

nialloh, RN

382 Posts

Specializes in IMCU/Telemetry.

I graduated in 2001 in NJ and was snapped up, as was my whole class. The next 2 classes of graduate nurses are even being given signon bonuses. So don't worry, there are lots of jobs going.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

My job is to help my hospital cope with the nursing shortage -- which includes keeping up on all the latest information, etc.

Yes, the nursing shortage is real -- it's just more complicated than some people would like to think. For example, it's worse in some areas of the country than in others -- and worse in some towns than in neighboring towns, etc. Similarly, some particular hospitals and some particular specialties are harder hit than others. That's why some people may have trouble getting the particular job they want in spite of the fact that overall, there is an international shortage.

For example, I work at a major children's hospital that pays competitive wages, is considered to be a good place to work, has good nurse/patient ratios, etc. Our turnover rate is acceptable. Most of our units are well-staffed and we have little trouble filling the vacancies that naturally occur as people move away, retire, have kids, etc. However, like many hospitals, we have significant problems with our PICU, NICU, ED, and OR. These units all have patients with extreme acuity, high stress, and/or require a lot of extra education for the staff. Very few new grads are adequately prepared to enter these fields right away and only a few experienced nurses want to switch specialties after they have gotten comfortable on their general med/surg units. This makes it hard to find RN's for these specialties in spite of the fact that we pay a 5% differential for working in them.

Finally, we have learned through experience that it's not worth it to hire "simply anybody" to fill an open slot. If that person is not a good match for the job, it will only cause pain for everyone (i.e. preceptors) involved if we try to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. We therefore turn away a few nurses who apply in spite of having open positions.

So ... some people might have trouble finding a job in spite of the shortage. They may be living in an area where the shortage is not severe, looking for a position in a popular specialty that yields lots of applicants, or applying for a particular position which requires experience they don't have. That doesn't mean there is not a shortage.

If you are having trouble finding a job, I suggest you do a lot of research into the particular supply and demand in your particular area. Talk with people knowledgable about the job market in that area so that you can make a plan to meet the qualifications of the jobs available. If there really are no jobs available in your town that interest you, then you will have to make some difficult choices about either switching specialties or looking elsewhere. The jobs are there ... they just might not be exactly where you want them to be.



35 Posts

Thank you all for your responses and Thank you llg for your very direct and informative response. I am still looking for a nursing school to get into but I wanted to make sure that I was not going into this with any misunderstanding of the job market.


363 Posts


Part of this goes back to whether a person it motivated enough to work. Many new graduates do not know what is involved in job hunting. If you want a particular job, you need to do all that you can to attain that particular job. That means hounding the human rescources department and nursing managers until they get the ball rolling for you, or at least until they give you a postive answer. I find that many people simply fill out the application paperwork, and then simply wait to be called. By the time that application actually hits someone's desk, it could have been a week, and by the time it hits some nurse manager's desk, it could have been 2 to 3 weeks or more. People need to be more persistant when going for jobs. I have several classmates who simply waited around for people to call them about new job openings. In the meantime, those job openings were being filled because they were sitting at home on the sofa with their thumbs you know where. It is also more than simple application and persistance. It is emphasizing your willingness to adapt to the environment you are applying too. This means antying up on the education where your interest lies, and using that education as a means for obtaining the job.

Happy Job Hunting!

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

You raise some good points, Pete495 (or David, whatever your name really is.) :-)

Many people think that all they have to do to get the job of their dreams is to fill out an application form, then wait for the employer to show how grateful they are that you applied. Nursing is no different than any other profession -- the most desirable jobs often have many people applying for them. If you want one of those popular jobs, you have to make yourself stand out among the competition as being the best person for the job.

If a perspective employer is so desparate that they will hire "anybody" who applies, you should stop and ask yourself why no one else wants the job before you accept it. The same can be said for hiring bonuses -- as many nurses have begun to find out.


neneRN, BSN, RN

642 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, Trauma.

I think the best way to go is to apply at a hospital while still in nursing school-as an intern, tech, PCA, whatever. That way you get a realistic picture of the work environment while getting your foot in the door. Every fellow student I knew was offered a nursing position in the unit they worked in as a nurse intern during school.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

97 Articles; 21,237 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

I graduated in 1992 with an LPN and got work right away, when I finished the ADN in 1994 - it was harder to find a job. However, I've been an ER nurse for over 7 years and get offers all the time! Sign on bonuses, etc. However, I have really worked at it too. All the certs (CPR, ACLS, ENPC, PEPP, PALS, BTLS, TNCC, TNS, CEN, Pre-hospital RN, etc) are difficult to keep up to date. You spend a lot of time doing this. Plus, I'm in school for a combined BSN/MSN too. Its not easy, but its worth it. However, we hired some new grads this year that after we hired them, they said, "we only do days, no weekends either" Come on - what are nurses being told in school? Needless to say, we are rethinking our policy of new grads.


573 Posts

Specializes in CICu, ICU, med-surg.
Originally posted by traumaRUs

"we only do days, no weekends either" Come on - what are nurses being told in school?


Unfortunately, I don't think this sort of thinking is limited to nursing students. I love sitting in my non-nursing courses and listening to some of the students talk about the big, high paying jobs they expect to get upon graduation. I guess no one has told them that an undergraduate degree in business doesn't guarantee you success.

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