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The Betrayal

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jayrn14 jayrn14 (New) New

Like many of the other new graduate nurses who post and review this board I am a new graduate nurse who is still unemployed after five months. Nursing is a second career, one that I had high hopes that would provide me with both emotional and financial rewards. As of right now it as provided me with neither. I must admit if my expectations are disappointed it's partially my fault. No not that the job market sucks and that hospitals and to a lesser extent other nursing facilities do not want to take on new graduates. My fault was not doing my research and seeing that this has been going on for a few years and likely would be occurring after I graduated. That being said, here is the hypocrisy that I find so offensive, the same hospitals that do not want to spend money on new graduate training, have no problems taking young students money, when they attend their nursing programs. Of course the hospitals will say that the nursing programs are separate entities, no rational person could buy that argument. Nursing schools and hospitals are so tightly connected they are like siamese twins. Many of the administrators have dual roles as nursing deans and professors. Of course this behavior, where the uneducated consumer is taken advantage of goes on all the time in our economy, in fact it's how our economy was formed and thrives. I just think that maybe they should stop selling nursing as a noble profession, where people genuinely care and describe it for what they have made it, a business, with ethnics no different then any other business.

I just think that maybe they should stop selling nursing as a noble profession, where people genuinely care and describe it for what they have made it, a business, with ethnics no different then any other business.

First, let me say I am sorry for your situation. It stinks to have your vision crushed by a hard dose of reality. I've been a nurse over 3 decades and have seen nursing, job opportunities, and hospitals change immensely, but I still believe nursing is a noble profession where people genuinely care. Most of us are not independent contractors and work for institutions that do run on a business model.

In spite of a much sicker patient population, higher volumes of patients, and often overwhelming patient assignments, nurses continue to advocate for safe patient care. They are upset when the level of care they were able to provide was what they considered substandard. I have witnessed colleagues who ensured that the right thing was done for a patient or family, even if it meant risking their job.

Nurses expose themselves to the tragedies of humanity daily. We see death, child abuse, people who do everything to try and stay alive against the odds and those that want to die in spite of us trying our hardest to save them.

Patients' dysfunctional family members, rude colleagues, poor pay, and long hours don't stop us from being who we are--nurses. They don't stop us from caring either.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

I understand your bitterness, it is true the "business" of nursing has taken away from some of the more meaningful sensitive issues that nursing is associated with. Yes, it is all about money, but it takes a special person to see beyond the money and give what is needed to provide optimal care for others. As a nurse for over three decades I have seen positions come and go, I have seen the marketing of nursing be lowered to the point of where I was wondering who were becoming the nurses that would be taking care of me??? The nursing profession is extremely rewarding and is lucrative. You came out at a bad time, and so have others before you. It will not be this way for much longer, you may not get the ideal position at first. Getting your foot in the door is the hardest part. If you are getting frustrated, which it sounds like you are, do something to keep yourself in the profession. See if there are some volunteer positions, how about a health fair at your church? I understand your goal of wanting to be gainfully employed and expecting nursing to meet your needs. Right now it is not only nursing, my daughter has finished ultrasound school and is also having problems finding work. Hospitals are a little skeptical with all the changes in the ways they were use to being paid, they are holding back. Keep applying, keep trying, it is true it helps if you know someone at the facility; it does not have to be a manager. Keep in touch with your classmates and see where they have been able to find work. You may have to relocate. The need is there, it is just finding the place with the need.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

Sorry don't mean to threadjack, but I feel the need to clarify re: relationship between schools & hospitals that host clinical rotations.

The only hospitals that have any financial benefit from nursing education programs are those that have hospital-based diploma programs. Although hospitals DO receive Federal financial incentives for participating in MEDICAL (physician) education, there are none for nursing. It is well-documented that the presence of nursing students has a negative effect on productivity in environments that rely on staff preceptors to guide and oversee student performance. Although there is some recruitment benefit, hospitals are not really hiring many new grads - so the 'cost' of teaching students still results in a net financial loss.

It is true that Nurse Executives are frequently asked to serve on Boards for nursing schools but these appointments are purely voluntary... with no financial benefit to the individual.

I know that is is very difficult for those of us that have been impacted by the shortage of jobs, but PLEASE try not to take it personally. This is not about you and has no reflection on your professional worth or value. I do agree with OP... schools should be more transparent in the information provided to potential students. Prior to making the significant commitment of nursing school, students should have a very clear and accurate picture of the employment situation.

Well most nursing schools are in university hospitals and the ones that are not are joint ventures between community hospitals and community colleges. Hospital do receive financial benefit from nursing schools. However, more to the point here is that they are well aware of the new graduate problem, yet they keep on increasing enrollment. The way the system is set up does not make any sense. If hospitals do not want to train new graduates, then prepare new graduates to start working day one. Let the students get the training they will need to start working as an RN during nursing school. Or if they do not want to do that, then decrease enrollments to what the market can handle. I would have rather not gotten into nursing school, then to work as hard as I did just to get out and be unemployed.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Well most nursing schools are in university hospitals and the ones that are not are joint ventures between community hospitals and community colleges. Hospital do receive financial benefit from nursing schools.

While that may be true in a few cases ... it is not the norm. Your perception of the relationship between most schools and most hospitals is not an accurate one in regards to the vast majority of institutions.

None of the approximately 8 RN schools in my region is part of a university -- and only 1 is owned by a hospital corporation. And as HouTx said, the cost/burden for those hospitals to provide clinical experiences for nursing students is significant. As the liaison for my hospital with the local schools, I have to work very hard to get departments to accept the students and hear all the time about what a waste it is to keep investing in these students who don't give us anything in return. The schools get all the money from the students and shares nothing of it with us -- not money, not faculty expertise, not library access, etc. It's pretty much a one-way relationship in which the hospital donates staff time and attention and the schools give nothing back. The recruitment potential is there for us, but that is something we don't need.

But I agree with you that schools should be more open with prospective students about the job prospects in their local community. Personally, I am often surprised by how little most faculty members know about such things. I guess they assume (wrongly) that students will do their homework and include a consideration of the job market in their decision of what type of education to get. Unfortunately, a lot of students either don't know how to do that or don't have the resources to do that homework well. Schools should help them out with that -- but that would be hurting their own employment situation, and few people are willing to do that to themselves.

LadyFree28, BSN, RN

Specializes in Pediatrics, Rehab, Trauma. Has 10 years experience.

The thing is, nursing is EVERYWHERE.

Try to seek positions outside of the hospital, if you haven't; REAL nursing occurs in Sub-Acute, LTC, home health as well.

My outside acute care experience has given me the opportunity to compete and be offered acute care positions; nursing practice transcends settings, even the corporization (my word) of healthcare.

Well most nursing schools are in university hospitals and the ones that are not are joint ventures between community hospitals and community colleges. Hospital do receive financial benefit from nursing schools. However, more to the point here is that they are well aware of the new graduate problem, yet they keep on increasing enrollment. The way the system is set up does not make any sense. If hospitals do not want to train new graduates, then prepare new graduates to start working day one. Let the students get the training they will need to start working as an RN during nursing school. Or if they do not want to do that, then decrease enrollments to what the market can handle. I would have rather not gotten into nursing school, then to work as hard as I did just to get out and be unemployed.

As already noted, most schools of nursing do not have any connection with any particular hospital, and the hospitals do not derive any financial benefit from hosting clinical placements. I have been a clinical coordinator faculty member at more than one school of nursing, and can tell you for a fact that the schools in which I taught had no connection with local hospitals, and the hospitals got nothing for allowing clinical placements (unless you count the doughnuts or snacks the students would bring to the unit for the nurses on their last day of clinical :)).

You are also inventing a relationship between education and employment that simply doesn't exist. Schools offer education to people who want it. There is no implied or explicit guarantee of employment afterwards. If colleges had to eliminate majors because the graduates had trouble finding jobs after they graduated, there would be no college left in the US that had a literature or fine arts department! (And we would all be the poorer for that.) It is the responsibility of the potential student to make informed decisions about what kind of education and occupation s/he wants to pursue, including what employment opportunities are likely to be available at graduation, and it is the responsibility of the student (not the school) to find employment after graduation. The school doesn't owe you anything other than the education they promised.

On the other hand, I will say that nursing used to do a better job of preparing new graduates to enter clinical practice, which I think is a shame. IMO, we have largely "thrown the baby out with the bathwater" in nursing education. I hope you will be able to find something soon. Is it possible that your search is too narrow? Are you looking for every possible nursing opportunity? Is it possible for you to relocate to take a job? Best wishes ...

GCar

Specializes in Mental Health, Medicine.

It is the responsibility of the potential student to make informed decisions about what kind of education and occupation s/he wants to pursue, including what employment opportunities are likely to be available at graduation, and it is the responsibility of the student (not the school) to find employment after graduation. The school doesn't owe you anything other than the education they promised.

..

When I started nursing school in 2010, I made sure to do my homework and research the market. But here's the thing, I became a nurse because I wanted to. If I wanted to simply to make money I would have done something that was easier within a short time frame. I understand that it is my responsibility to find a job and pursue my career, but as a new grad I feel misled. The faculty at my school often stated that now is the time to start nursing due to the baby boom generation ageing out. This misled me in many ways. You often hear stories of success and struggle. There are so many opinions that people provide but I trusted mostly those from whom I knew ( like my school). In some sense, I feel that my school did not prepare me for this rude awakening. I entrusted the school to provide me with the skills that I would need in order to be successful. In my opinion this includes the rough transitions that a lot of new grads face after completing their BSN. It would have been nice to even have a quick workshop on how to write a nursing resume. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way. Yes it is my responsibility but when I invested all my hard work ( I graduated with honours), I expect that the institution that I am representing prepares me well. At this point of the game I feel that I wasted time on my GPA when I could have been making connections through ESN (employed student nurse).

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

It is no different than college. You can major in almost anything. I does not mean that it will lead to a job. The departments will shrug and say that they are there to educate you, not train you for a job.

Once when having a college degree was a rare thing, and so it had market value. Add employers who were willing to invest in training, and a college grad had a good deal once that first job was landed.

Not so now. College degrees are far from rare, and there aren't enough jobs that even require a degree. Employers are not so willing to train anymore. Does that make universities limit the amount of grads?

Nursing is not immune to this. When there is a surplus of nursing, or the money is tight, training new nurses is an easy thing to cut in the budget.

I agree with the original post. I am a new nurse and having a difficult time finding a job. But I am sure this is no different than any other market. I will be patient and good luck to you.

Does anyone know how it is for doctors? They get assigned residencies--and are they guaranteed positions at the hospital after their residency? Do they have a problem with unemployment?

I feel the nursing education system we have these days is ridiculous. My school was a well regarded 4 year nursing program in the area, and yet I felt like my friend's associate degree program's clinicals were way better. I didn't really feel prepared when I graduated. I'd prefer if it was in the old days where you were like a working nurse on the unit while in school and when you graduated you were prepared to hit the floor. Hospitals prefer BSNs, yet they don't want new grads. They kick out LPNs who've been working there for years because they don't have a BSN. new grads who want to work in acute care end up working in LTC/subacute and getting trained by the LPNs who got kicked out of the hospital...hahaha ridiculous. And I by no means am saying this because I think LPNs are inferior and BSNs deserve better b/c of their degree. I've learned tons and continue to learn a lot from them. I think all this corporate bs is what it is....bs....

SionainnRN

Specializes in Emergency Room, Trauma ICU. Has 5 years experience.

As far as I know you aren't even guaranteed a residency as a MD. You have to match with a specialty and facility and if you don't, you're out of luck. If someone knows more please fill us in.

As for the rest: there is no conspiracy between hospitals and nursing schools. Hospitals do not make money off nursing schools. They are not required to hire new grads. And honestly if you didn't research the field you were going into, that is on you. You don't hear all the liberal arts graduates complain while they're making your coffee do you?

Does anyone know how it is for doctors? They get assigned residencies--and are they guaranteed positions at the hospital after their residency? Do they have a problem with unemployment?..

In my area of the country, a resident is NOT guaranteed a faculty position after they have completed their residency. They must apply for a position and sometimes those positions do not exist due to budget issues.

A recently graduated faculty member started at our facility in July. I asked him what brought him to this area of the country and he replied that our facility was one of the few places hiring his specialty.

Doctors sometimes have to think 'outside the box' to be employed. This may mean they go into private practice, work for a corporation, or do research. Just like nurses, not every physician works for, or is associated with a hospital. They have to relocate, practice medicine in rural, underserved areas, or be creative in finding a job to pay the bills. They don't get a free pass just because their initials say MD instead of RN.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

From jayrn14:

here is the hypocrisy that I find so offensive, the same hospitals that do not want to spend money on new graduate training, have no problems taking young students money, when they attend their nursing programs.

As others have pointed out, your argument that nursing schools and hospitals are inextricably entwined is a fallacy. And here's another: Hospitals DO spend money on new graduate training. The problem is, training new graduates doesn't really help staffing much. They come, they are trained (on our ICU 6 months is the norm) and then they leave, well before they've contributed to the staffing problems. New grads are leaving after 1-2 years (six months to a year and a half off orientation) to go on to "bigger and better things." At the two year mark, they're barely competent. So we hire more new grads . . . . and train them for six months and then are asked to write letters of recommendation for anesthesia school. Or for a new position where "the grass is greener." Job hopping hurts new grads because it makes institutions reluctant to take a chance on more new grads.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

From jayrn14:

As others have pointed out, your argument that nursing schools and hospitals are inextricably entwined is a fallacy. And here's another: Hospitals DO spend money on new graduate training. The problem is, training new graduates doesn't really help staffing much. They come, they are trained (on our ICU 6 months is the norm) and then they leave, well before they've contributed to the staffing problems. New grads are leaving after 1-2 years (six months to a year and a half off orientation) to go on to "bigger and better things." At the two year mark, they're barely competent. So we hire more new grads . . . . and train them for six months and then are asked to write letters of recommendation for anesthesia school. Or for a new position where "the grass is greener." Job hopping hurts new grads because it makes institutions reluctant to take a chance on more new grads.

I wanted to "Like" this multiple times, but can't. So I am just quoting and saying, ''How right you are, Ruby."

And those new grads don't always leave because they have been mistreated. Many of them plan to leave even before they start their first jobs. I work in Staff Development and help to orient new grads. I also work with other new hires and with nursing students. I also do a little research on nursing career planning. Finally, I hang out here a lot. One thing I see over and over is that many nurses take jobs they have no intention of keeping for more than a year or so -- and yet they expect the employer to shoulder the burden of paying for extensive orientation and even tuition reimbursement. That doesn't work for employers -- who need to see a return on that investment.

HouTx.......

This is not entirely true, especially in NJ. I attended a county college and the fee that we were required to pay to the associated hospital was between $5000-$6000 a semester, in addition to the college tuition and fees. My nursing pin has the college and the hospital.

I obtained my RN July 2011. I am doing Homecare and substitute school nursing. There is NO shortage of experienced nurses in NJ.

Also depends on who you know...

Edited by Kat091177
Did not finish post

Oh yeah, and I obtained my BSN in May 2013. This area is flooded. You def. need to work your way up.