If you’re a recent nursing school graduate, it can be tough to land that first job. Even though the field has a very low unemployment rate, most positions at physician offices, hospitals and other healthcare organizations are filled by experienced nursing professionals. The “supply” situation has also changed in recent years, with far more men and women entering the field. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there were 169,000 students enrolled in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs during the 2010-2011 school year – more than twice as many as the 78,000 students in the late 1990s.
One recent survey by the American Society of Registered Nurses found that about 43 percent of newly licensed RNs were still looking for jobs 18 months after earning their degrees. Other studies indicate that the U.S. economic recession and slow recovery over the past five years have led many older nurses to return to the profession. In fact, an estimated 25 percent of RNs today are over age 50, and likely to retire in the next decade.
Certainly, the long-term outlook for nursing positions remains strong. Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the RN workforce would be the top occupation in terms of job growth through 2020 with a 26 percent increase in the number of employed nurses from 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020. In addition to that increase of 712,000 RNs, another 495,500 nurses would be needed to replace retiring professionals for a total of 1.2 million new positions by 2020.
But that projected growth in the profession doesn’t help those inexperienced new RNs who are looking for an immediate position. Therefore, one of the best employment strategies for new nurses is taking a temporary position at a local healthcare organization. This allows newcomers to get their foot in the door, start building their “real-world” skills and add the word “experienced” to their resumes. As a nationwide healthcare staffing firm, All Medical Personnel can assist nurses in finding temporary positions and take the next step in their careers.