Nurses Are Talking About: Jobs for New Grads

Laura A. Stokowski, RN, MS


December 12, 2011

In This Article

Back to School?

Many new grads who are unable to find nursing work consider continuing their education, if they can afford it. Associate-degree nurses often wonder whether the job offers would materialize if they had their bachelor's degrees. On this subject, several readers chimed in:

To people asking if they should get their BSN, don't bother with it; you might as well just set a giant bag of money on fire. Maybe employers are telling you that they are only looking at BSNs, but the truth is, that's just an excuse. Even with a high GPA in a BSN program, if the industry says you need experience to get a job, you won't get a job if you don't have experience."

"I also have a BSN and, as a new grad, have found it next to impossible to get a job. I have been looking for over a year with no luck. Employers do not want to hire new grads without experience, as I am told by the numerous recruiters who have turned me down. You can return to school for a BSN, but don't expect it to make landing a job any easier."

Many nurses who would like to go back to school for their bachelor's degrees find this path blocked by a lack of funds:

"I really would like to go back for my BSN but can't afford to because of the huge student loan debt I already have."

"I guess I could get a job at Walmart to help pay for my BSN but I am afraid that I will just be wasting another 2 years of my life."

New Grads

Imagine the frustration of waiting for a year or longer for jobs to open up in your local hospitals, worrying about the loss of the few skills you possessed when you graduated, only to find out that the hospital is hiring only nurses who just graduated.

"I've been hunting for almost 12 months. Now I can't get a position because I'm not a 'new' new grad. They only hire from a pool of the 'recently graduated.' More discrimination."

"I have a lot of classmates who are still unemployed after 2 years. What happens to them? When hospitals resume hiring new grads they will be looking at the students who are doing their Capstone semesters at the hospital long before they will consider students who have been out of school for awhile."

And what about nurses who are trying to get back into nursing after an extended break in employment? Lacking recent clinical experience, nurses who complete refresher RN programs may have just as much, if not more, difficulty as new grads in landing a job.

"Some employers have jobs for new grads but can't hire me because I had been an RN for longer than a year. I spent 9 months and 160 clinical hours in a refresher program, yet employers demand 1-2 years of current experience. I'm not sure how I'll get a job."


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: