AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
I graduated with an associate's degree six months ago, but so far I've been unable to secure my first nursing position (“Changing Trends in Newly Licensed RNs,” February). During my job search, I've had several interviews and the opportunity to speak with many managers and nurses. The managers tell me they receive 200 or more applications for one or two positions and that I've been lucky to even schedule interviews.
One hospital in my area pays for relocation fees and hires nurses from all over the country. The desire for nurses who have a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is very strong here, just as it is nationally: a survey of 501 schools of nursing found that 39.1% of hospitals are requiring nurses they hire to have a BSN, whereas 77.4% strongly prefer nurses who've graduated from BSN programs.1
The community college I graduated from recently expanded its nursing facility and has increased the number of students allowed in the program. How many of these graduates will also struggle to find a job? At what point will there be a reduction in associate's degree programs?
More attention must be given to this issue to assist new graduates in becoming working nurses.
Laura Miller, RN