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WARNING: Phoenix area is a TOUGH market for new grads


Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych. Has 28 years experience.

I've come across several postings fairly recently from new grads wanting to move to the Phoenix area and I want to make them aware that the job market here is very competitive. Unless you are an experienced nurse, have great luck, or a strong hospital contact, new grad hospital positions are very hard to come by. I know several that have had to leave the area to find jobs.

I'm not trying to be a downer, but in this economy Phoenix is NOT the place a new grad wants to be.

Edited by dream'n

fromtheseaRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma.

yep. i have a strong contact who is in corporate and head of the HR division, and i can't get an interview even with him harassing all the NMs. i'm fortunate enough to have made it to my final interview with a women's clinic, but it's PRN and non-benefitted. i've applied to 107 jobs as of today.

edited to add: the phoenix area produces 800-1000 new grads every semester, according to the board of nursing. i think that that number alone, more than anything, gives one an idea of how hard it is to get a job.

I have volunteered at 2 phoenix hospitals and they won’t touch me with a barge pole because I am a new grad. I have spoken to the clinical managers for whom I have volunteered for 250 hours and they just look at me with disgust. (Banner). The same with Phoenix Children’s Hospital. I have applied everywhere and don’t even get a response. New graduates are like pariahs to the hospital world in Arizona. Do not think about moving to Arizona unless you already have, by some miracle, a job in hand because you won’t find one. It is the worst state in the nation for new graduates: The AZBN published a paper on the fact.

It’s like a fad here, Hacienda HealthCare used to take new grads, but last June thay got a new (very young) HR person whose first thing that she did was to state that she will NOT TAKE NEW GRADS. Closing yet another door.

Is there any state west of the Mississippi that a new grad can get a hospital job in? I am willing to move. Years of school and a nursing shortage and yet you can’t get your foot in the door. Hospitals would rather pay sign on bonuses than train a new graduate. I have taken a job with a home health agency, but very low pay, no benefits and no guarenteed hours. I was hoping that the experience would help, but its not that precious "acute care experience" that hospitals demand.

What do you do that can help get in that magical hospital door? Frustrated in Phoenix.


Specializes in Cardiac Care.

frodo-dog: I have seen positions in Yuma and in Kingman that have had postings for RN positions who will hire new grads. Of course those are limited and have probably about 100:1 ratio of applicants to positions as well.


Specializes in burn ICU, SICU, ER, Traum Rapid Response. Has 16 years experience.

is there any state west of the mississippi that a new grad can get a hospital job in?

*** yes. as has been posted here on an a number of times beautiful north dakota is looking for nurses with many openings.


i am willing to move. years of school and a nursing shortage and yet you can’t get your foot in the door.

*** you must realize by now that the supposed nursing shortage doesn't and didn't exsist and is nothing but self serving propaganda put out by those who stand to gain financialy from a glut of nurses?

Is there a difference in hiring new grads if they have a BSN rather than an Associates degree? I was accepted to a school in Phoenix for summer start but I am also rethinking my career choice due to getting a job? Is there anyone in that area that did get a new job as a new grad and have any insight on how or why you got the job? Thanks!

dream'n, BSN, RN

Specializes in UR/PA, Hematology/Oncology, Med Surg, Psych. Has 28 years experience.

BSNs have the same problems finding new grad positions.

It's June 2013... I have seen New Grad positions for Abrazo, Maricopa Intergrated Health system, John C Lincoln New Grad, Phoenix Children's Hospital Gap program, Scottsdale Health care New Grad, Banner New Grad, Chandler Regional Medical Center New Grad, MGA home Health takes new Grads, Care Minders Home care, Scottsdale Herritage Court, Human resource Network, spectrum home health

best thing is just to google "new grad phoenix" and apply to as many positions as you can! Good Luck new Grads.

laflaca, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

I've been watching trends in Phoenix very carefully for two years, hoping to move there myself. I've come to the conclusion that I'm better off staying where I am (Raleigh/Durham NC) and getting a year or two of experience. Hopefully the economy will recover more and/or my skills will be more marketable.

PhoenixRN, not sure where you saw listings - but the Scottsdale Health Care website specifically says they only hire from internal candidates (their staff CNA's who went to nursing school, generally) for new grads, Mayo suspended their new grad program earlier this year, and some of the others haven't actually posted new grad jobs in a long time, even if they theoretically still have programs. I know I've seen postings at times for Abrazo and Banner, but it looks absolutely brutal out there


Has 9 years experience.

It's also scammy and highly unprofessional. I have been offered full time jobs, turned down other potential jobs, only to have the offer rejected and changed at the last minute. One went from FT in a great area to PRN, low pay, and not a good section of the facility. Another one told me I was hired, then 4 days later, after I called them, informed me that the position was already filled. There were 2 positions posted mind you. I'm sorry to say that I regret going into nursing. It is a field of opportunists and cutthroats who look at you as just another number.

Another issue is the lack of willingness to train. Most of the people I know who found work at desirable hospital positions weren't trained as promised and dislike their career. I know someone hired in another state who was promised a great deal of training and did not receive more than a few days worth.

My experience with the job I did find was pure misery. An administrative job with little patient contact that demanded a minimum of 10 hours a day just to complete 50% of the workload. It was a low-pay salary job as well. I had no choice but to quit. The work was so far behind I could've worked 7 days a week 12 hours a day and never caught up.

Ever since has been nothing but lies and let-downs by companies. I truly wish I could go work in another field.

My best advice to new Grad Rns who do not make it past interviews at hospitals is to go work HOME health. There are so many companies that will definitely hire a BSN RN and LPNs too. I just got a call from one more this morning. MGA homehealth hires and trains you. Spectrum home health hires and trains you. I just got a call from Alarys home health. Post your resume on Career Builder etc so they can just Call you. Apply everywhere that doesn't explicitly say must have 5 years experience or no New grads. Be confident during your interview process and professional. Be positive. Search google everyday for example. "new grad phoenix" and look at indeed listing.. right now I can tell you there are still taking applications for Abrazo Rn Development Academy. Be POSITIVE. You were able to get good grades and get into nursing school, pass hard curriculum, Take an NCLEX. Get your license. You deserve the job and satisfaction of achieving your dreams and never let anyone or any obstacle stop you from achieving those dreams.

The hospital websites are confusing. Just apply anyway. I did not know the Phoenix Childrens hospital does not post a GAP program position with words NEW GRAD.. they just list certain positions and if it says 1 year experience "preferred" than apply because if they want you and interview you.. they will send you their program. John C Lincoln trains new grads and posts positions with New Grad but will also train you if you apply as a new grad for positions that say 1 year experience preferred. If you want to work at Banner than apply to every job that says New grad "yes". Abrazo is specific with their new grad postings and seems to be the fastest in sending you a rejection letter email stating please see our development academy every three months. Chandler Regional Medical Center has a New Grad program. Maricopa Intergrated Health has a new Grad program. Aurora Behavioral Health (If you want Psych) advertises they hire new grads on their website. Yuma has a new grad position I was emailed to write them back to further interview process but I realized it was 3 hr. drive.. ya i can't do that. My point is apply apply apply.. and BELIEVE

According to Discover Nursing there are 104 specialties. Explore Specialties | Discover Nursinghich to me means the Possibilities are endless. If you are called to be a nurse and it has always been your dream than go for it. Don't let fear of failure hold you back. Don't let the self doubt and nay saying of others stop you from doing what you always wanted to do.

AZ continues to be a tough nursing market. Challenges include the federal budget sequester, slow economy (no growth), reduced reimbursements, restrictions and penalties for hospital 30 day readmits or deaths, etc.

I should add, hospice and home health referrals are also down. Hospitals are trying to cut there losses anyway they can. One of the largest valley hospitals has a strict no external referral policy (probably illegal too).

Edited by Kabin

Hey there!

I see this post is kinda old. Does anyone have any input as to the current market? I graduated in SF but have had no luck finding a position in 8 months. I am now considering leaving the area and would like to go where I have family.

I applied for a AZ license by endorsement. Applied to a couple jobs and one I got an instant (

Thanks for the input!

Also I have a BSN, not sure if that matters.


Specializes in Labor and Delivery. Has 1 years experience.

From what I know and hear from others, the market is still pretty tough here. I know a couple people working as nurses but they volunteered all throughout school at that hospital and even then still had a tough time getting a job there.

Some of the listings say new grad or open to new grad. Just have to do a lot of searching! But if you're after an easy market, I don't think Phoenix is a fit.

Thanks AZBlueBell! Yea, fools paradise when job hunting. We'll I appreciate the response and wish you luck in your job hunt or nursing career!

It took my roommate about 5 months to get a job after licensure last year. My other friend was licensed about 7 months ago and nothing yet either. Its tough. I'm considering applying for jobs in different parts lf AZ or just moving out for a little bit :(

Chikia, it's tough. I can understand that. I've been graduated for 10 months and haven't landed a nursing job yet. I also have been limiting myself to the Bay Area since about 2 weeks ago. It's hard when everyone's only real answer seems to be "move". We'll moving isn't always in everyones' best interest. Also, moving also doesn't really promise anything. Sure theres days where I question why I worked hard, went to school and became a nurse. Guess it's about perseverance. Only you know if moving is the right decision for you. You also loose nothing by applying and then seeing what happens. My classmates that moved, most found jobs. Granted they had to move to random, remote locations and take whatever was available.

Sometimes it makes me smile to think someday these hospitals that reject us and treat us like we are bothering them when we call, will be begging us to work for them when all those nurses retire. I will quickly forgive them for an amazing job offer. LOL

Best of luck to you!