I live in California, which has mandatory staffing ratios, and one of the worst glut of new grad nurses with no job possibilities.
I got my license in early 2013 and began applying to new grad programs (which typically had hundreds of applications for a handful of openings.) Same response each time: "more experienced" candidates were chosen for the new grad positions. I did some per diem LVN-level wellness clinic work. Then I finally got my only other interview and subsequent job offer for outpatient psych. I wanted no part of outpatient nor psych, yet that is what I took because it was an RN job.
I did that for over a year, and to my surprise, I liked it. It was not my dream job, but I learned a lot. I just capped off a 3-month job search with an offer for inpatient geri med-psych. I accepted gladly. I actually still have one interview pending, with an actual new grad program. I couldn't even get an interview for a new grad program when I was an actual new grad. It took 18 months of experience as an RN to qualify for an interview for a new grad program, heh.
My employed nursing school classmates either moved out of state, joined the military, or had the good sense to be trilingual former RTs-turned-RNs to qualify for new grad programs.
Anyway. Long-winded way of saying staffing ratios clearly aren't working magic here.