Cautious Optimism for New Grads

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Cautious Optimism for New Grads

Surveys show improved job prospects

By Working Nurse
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According to the most recent California New Graduate Employment Surveys, it’s getting a little easier for RNs to find their first nursing jobs. The latest results bode well for the future of our state’s nursing supply.

More Jobs, Better Jobs

Each year, HealthImpact (the new name for the California Institute for Nursing and Health Care), the BRN, the Association of California Nurse Leaders and the California Student Nurses Association survey a sampling of newly licensed RNs about their efforts to find nursing employment.

The most recent survey, conducted last fall, found that 76 percent of ADN-prepared respondents and 78 percent of BSN-prepared respondents had successfully secured their first RN jobs. The overall average was 74 percent, up from 65 percent in the previous year’s survey and 59 percent the year before that.

Of respondents who had found nursing employment, 65 percent had gotten their first job within three months of licensure and another 21 percent had found an RN job within six months. Better still, 74 percent said they had found a “job of choice.” In the 2012–2013 survey, published in 2014, that figure was only 62 percent.

Good News

The researchers had previously characterized the upward trend as a “cautiously optimistic indication of positive change.” Although they still warn that the margins of error demand caution — this year’s survey got only 670 responses — the researchers now conclude that overall, “future workforce demand and current nursing education supply are currently in balance.”

Still, nursing jobs aren’t evenly distributed. Recent grads in rural areas like the San Joaquin Valley are much more likely to be working as RNs than their colleagues in more populous regions like San Diego and Imperial Counties. Los Angeles County is about average, neither the best nor the worst in the state.

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