I graduated last year and applied for the OPT. Finding a job took MONTHS. I started job searching a couple of months before graduating. I was actually cutting into my OPT time searching for a job. I finally found a hospital job about.. 80 days into my OPT. You are only allowed 90 days of unemployment while on your OPT, although I had already applied for Mollen Immunization Clinics and gotten that job as well.
I have two friends who are also on OPT. One was also able to find a job at a hospital and another found a job in a clinic.
Both of them spoke to immigration lawyers and pretty much found that there was nothing they could do to be sponsored. If you were a charge nurse, it would be a different story, but we are all new grads.
One of my friends is going to go to grad school to buy her more time in the US, I guess while she figures out what to do... The other may get married. As for me? Well, I applied for the green card lottery and in the mean time I'll be moving to Europe with my boyfriend. We both have EU passports. He also has an American passport but we aren't going to get married just so that we can stay here. We'd like to see the world while we are young...also the idea of marriage is a little scary. At least for me it is.
Many places I interviewed for would straight up ask me what my status is. Once they found out about the OPT, they pretty much told me I wasn't going to be hired. The one place that hired me did not ask me. You just gotta apply ALL over the place. I even applied to Alaska (I was living in Florida).
So, Good luck to you! Let us know how it works out for you.