Survey: No jobs for 43 percent of newly licensed nurses
April 23, 2012
• Lack of experience cited most often
• ‘Newly graduated RNs finding employment remains a pressing issue’
More than four out of ten (43 percent) of California nurses, who were newly licensed as registered nurses in the previous 18 months, say they could not find a job, according to a recent survey paid for by the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care.
"Newly graduated RNs finding employment remains a pressing issue. After years of investment in building the workforce and increasing educational capacity, the economy continues to impact hiring and undermine the progress that has been made," says Deloras Jones, executive director of the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care.
"An aging nursing workforce, along with health reform initiatives, will escalate the demand for nursing care in the future and California may again face a major nursing shortage," she says.
Lack of experience was the main reason cited by nurses for not getting a job (92 percent), 54 percent said that no positions were available, 42 percent said a BSN degree was preferred by the employer, and 6 percent said they were told that they had been out of school too long.
Other findings include:
• Among those working as RNs, 31 percent reported that it had taken six months or more to find a job; 40 percent found a job in under three months
• 77 percent of newly licensed nurses employed were working full-time
• Among new grads without RN jobs, 25 percent were either volunteering in a health care service or working as a non-RN in a health care setting
• 80 percent of nurses without RN jobs were interested in participating in a non-paying internship for reasons that included: increasing skills, exposure to potential employers, improving their resume, obtaining college credit applicable to a BSN or MSN degree, and deferring student loans while enrolled in an academic course.
"This survey was a snapshot of the hiring dilemma new RN graduates face in California. Its findings present a compelling case for nurse leaders to seek creative ways to employ new grads," says Ms. Jones.
Survey results may not fully represent all new nurses in the state. Nurses who have not found employment may have been more likely to answer the survey, and if so, the actual employment rate may be higher than reported.
The survey was sent to 7,890 nurses out of 15,780 that been licensed in California between April 2010 and August 2011. Among the 1,492 nurses completing the survey (19 percent response rate), 57 percent were under the age of 30; 87 percent were female; 49 percent were White, non-Hispanic; 16 percent Filipino; 13 percent Hispanic; and 4 percent Black/African American.