I live in the NY Metropolitan area and we've never heard of new grads having as difficult a time finding work as they have had until the Fall 2008 when the banking world collapsed. It was the first time in 5 yrs that not all new grads were able to find work prior to graduation. This area is saturated with new grads looking for work. Hospitals which are trying to attain Magnet status need to have a certain percentage of nurses with a BSN. From my experience, the hospitals I've looked into won't hire a nurse with an ADN.
I just returned from attending the Advance Healthcare Job Fair in NYC today. This is what I was told by the hospital representatives so please don't shoot the messenger. When you approached a booth, they would ask if any new grads were present and then speak to you as a group. Memorial Sloan Kettering stated that they hired 100 new grads last year and that they are not hiring new grads currently. They feel very badly about the situation as did all the other major hospitals, but did encourage us to consider applying out of state in order to get the mandatory 1-2 yrs experience. They said in the past nursing has had its ups and downs where hiring was concerned, but this time due to the economy it hasn't rebounded. They said things do not look good this year nor next. In fact, they predict that the current situation will last until at least 2015 (not a typo)! I asked if they would consider it experience if someone worked in LTC (I'm guessing not really by her facial expression but she was trying to be nice.). Staffing agencies (e.g. Bayada, White Glove, and Winston Staffing) including VNS will not consider you either without 1-2 yrs of experience. Another example from today...a gentleman who was an LVN approached a recruiter from Mt. Sinai which is a Magnet facility. He asked if they hired LVNs. The man told him absolutely not. He told him that he personally hired the last LVN to ever work there and it's so long ago he had forgotten when it was.
Again, this was the reality reiterated by various major hospitals (e.g. North Shore-LIJ, Mount Sinai, Greenwich Hospital in Conn.) Many of the new grads I spoke with were very disheartened, discouraged and genuinely worried about not being able to repay their student loans. NYP (Weill and Columbia) were not in attendance. Most hospital recruiters wrote on top of resume "New Grad." They encouraged you of course to apply online, but you know what happens when you receive thousands of applications via email. In all fairness though, they were very sensitive to the plight of new grads and treated us with kindness while lowering the reality boom.
Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to move since my husband has his own business here. I graduated in Dec. 2009 with a BSN (3.87 GPA) and have heard most of my graduating class (150+) have not found work yet. When the economy took a turn for the worse, I was already in my 3rd year. I would have needed a crystal ball to have predicted this outcome. Good luck to all and I hope this post has shed some light on the job search in this area.