Job crisis in nursing

These are very interesting times in the world and in the nursing profession. We continue to read about the severe nursing shortage and how it will get even worse. And yet last week I spoke at an open house event for a NJ hospital and the majority of nurses in the audience, both new graduates and experienced nurses were unhappily unemployed.

The new graduates in this part of NJ are having difficulty finding a hospital job as outlined in my post from May 8, “Ailing Economy Easing Nursing Shortage.” But in addition to the reasons listed there, other hospitals are telling me that they need nurses but because they have staffing shortages, they cannot take on new graduates because they have no one to precept them – a catch 22 situation if I ever heard one.

Because of insurance cutbacks and other economic factors, some hospitals are closing their doors. In NJ, several hospitals just closed and many nurses were let go from their jobs. With a sudden outpouring of nurses into the marketplace, it has been very competitive.

All of the above was an unforeseen and unpredicted outcome of the current economy. And yet in other parts of the country, hospitals are still desperate for new grads and experienced nurses alike.  Quite a dichotomy. What’s happening in your neck of the woods?

Comments

  1. I graduated from nursing school a year and a half ago in northern New Jersey, so I can relay my own experiences with hunting for nursing jobs as a new grad. Forget about wanting to work in a specific specialty, (such as labor & delivery), as you are lucky to get any job at all. When you do get hired, expectations are very high and you are expected to carry your weight in your unit as best you can. This can mean a very short orientation, and then carrying a full patient load comparable to other nurses in your unit who may have years of experience. Let’s face it, patient to nurse ratios are high. It takes time to for a new nurse to get up to speed, and to learn how to prioritize & organize the care of your patients while learning some new skills. I guess its a dream, but there is a real need for programs at hospitals with longer orientation and education for new nurses. There are very few of these around this area.

    I found acute care nursing to be very demanding physically and emotionally. I’m now seeking jobs in other settings such as subacute/rehab/long term care. But I’m not giving up on nursing; I’m trying to find a job where I would be most effective and satisfied.

  2. I graduated last May in Southern CA and have worked in a hospital for half year; then I relocated to Northern CA where I have been looking for jobs for more then half a year. I tried everything I could including applied every single hospital and seeked help for staffing agents, but I just could not find one. I have been to some interview and open house. I was told that they only hire experienced nurses, and they told new grads go south to have experienced then come back. It’s so humiliated. I never know Southern and Northern CA would be that much different. I got hired as a new grad right on the interview. People find it hard to believed my story because the public was always told nurse in demand.