Nursing Jobs Not As Easy To Find As New Nurses Expected

Nursing jobs. Academic counsellors have told prospective students for years that they’re a safe bet and that just about anyone with a nursing degree can land a decent (if not great) paying career. In fact, nursing jobs are one of the few careers expected to show continued growth as the baby boomer generation finishes its mad dash towards retirement. That said, there are many changes coming to nursing jobs, and many new nurses are finding it harder to find employment than they had expected.

According to a report on Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS-TV that delves into the area’s nursing shortage, however, most of the job openings for nurses — at least in the Las Vegas area — are for experienced nurses. Much of the rest of the country mirrors the situation in Nevada. New nurses need not apply. There are simply more nursing school graduates than there are entry level nursing jobs. The report puts a positive spin on the situation, with the Dean of the UNLV nursing school saying:

“Our students don’t generally have a problem getting jobs, but they can’t get any job they want. I can’t say there’s a nursing shortage right now. I think we have a sufficient number of nurses. What we don’t have is a sufficient number of experienced nurses.”

She goes on to explain that there will likely be a lot more nursing jobs available as more people benefit from the Affordable Care Act, as obesity problems in the United States increase and as our population continues to age. Many of these jobs, however, are likely to be in retirement communities, extended care facilities and other non-hospital settings.

This presents a bit of a problem for nursing students, many of whom invested a good deal in their college education hoping to land nursing jobs in the hospitals, which traditionally pay considerably more than nursing homes, private medical practices and other available nursing jobs.

The shortage of nursing jobs available to new graduates comes on top of the bottleneck many nursing students experience when trying to pursue their education in public universities. Most state universities and community colleges typically have many more students than openings. The problem is especially acute when nursing students are trying to get into clinicals — an important requirement before graduating and entering the work force in any nursing job.

This article in Medscape gives a more detailed analysis of the nursing job prospects — or lack or prospects — that recent nursing graduates face. It goes so far as to suggest use the term “the big lie” to refer to the idea that nursing grads can to find nursing jobs waiting for them.