In case you’re not already aware of this, the job market for ALL nurses across the country is very tight right now with a few exceptions such as Texas, New Mexico, Phoenix area and a few others. Some new nurses think this challenge exists only in their home state. And some seasoned nurses think new grads are having trouble finding work because they’re being too picky. Neither of these perspectives is accurate. We all, new and seasoned nurses alike, must face the reality of the current job market and do what we can to support one another, especially our new nurses. New graduate nurses are being affected most profoundly, as many cannot find nursing jobs. Some are still looking for work a year or more after graduation.
Before I continue, let me be clear that this situation will reverse itself any time as economic conditions improve and older nurses start to retire. Of course that provides no solace to those currently unemployed, underemployed, or those about to graduate. But take heart that the situation will improve.
That being said, new nurses must change their mind-set and their job finding strategies in order to move forward in their careers. While many of us come out of nursing school having been groomed primarily for traditional hospital positions, those jobs simply aren’t plentiful right now, especially for new nurses. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a hospital job. It does mean that you have to go beyond submitting applications online and sending out resumes by mail. It also means that many new nurses will need to explore other employment settings and non-traditional specialties. And since care is continuously shifting out of the hospital into alternate care settings, out-patient treatment centers, and the community, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Some experts predict that hospitals will eventually be just one big ICU where only the sickest patients go for treatment. So why not get on the bandwagon and explore other options beyond the hospital walls now?
Part 2 of this series will enumerate the most effective ways to find and get a job. In subsequent installments I’ll suggest many different areas/resources to seek work beyond the hospital.