Tough job hunt for nurses

Many nursing students unemployed following graduation

Despite widespread predictions of a nationwide nursing shortage, many nursing students in California and other states are having difficulty finding jobs after graduation.

According to the National Student Nurses Association, 25 percent of new nurses are unemployed four months after graduating, while 13 percent are unemployed after six months. David Auerbach, a researcher at think-tank nonprofit RAND, offered two explanations for why nurses are having trouble landing jobs—the economic downturn has caused many older nurses to delay retirement, and, ironically, nursing schools have accepted more students in anticipation of a nursing shortage.

A RAND study found that the number of nurses still working at age 69 has doubled over the last 20 years, according to California Healthline.

Wendy Sutherland, a recruitment manager at Kaiser Permanente, said the number of applicants for nursing positions has “doubled to tripled” in recent years. “Unfortunately, without a lot of people leaving or retiring, it has created not enough openings for as many graduates [as] we have coming out,” she said.