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It puzzles me why there is no desire to hire new RNs like myself. What does an RN have to do to land a job that will pay a desirable and livable wage in this economy?

Thursday October 11, 2012
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Dear Donna,

With all the talk of the baby boomers getting ready to "age out" of the nursing profession for their well-deserved retirements, it continues to puzzle me why there is no desire to hire new grads or a new RN like myself, who obtained my license last year. My experience is not solely in nursing, as my BSN degree is my second bachelor’s — but as someone who has been in the professional setting for quite some time, I would think I could negotiate more than the minimum base wage. What's an RN to do to land that job — and more importantly, land one that will pay a desirable and livable wage in this economy?


Dear Donna replies:

Dear Puzzled,

In a tight and competitive job market such as the one we currently have, a new nurse, regardless of prior experience, has less of an advantage. That being said, I wish hospitals would hire more new nurses, because eventually the older nurses will retire or find employment outside of the hospital. We will be in for a crisis down the road if there aren't enough experienced nurses to fill their shoes. A similar thing happened in the ‘90s, but for different reasons. It's all about supply and demand.

Also, many baby boomers who were predicted to retire at the traditional retirement age have decided they want or need to keep working. The whole concept of retirement is being redefined in the U.S. So things did not play out as some had predicted, or at least not as soon as they expected.

Hospitals are not the only places to work. The job market for all nurses is shifting out of the hospital into alternative inpatient settings, the home, the community and various other outpatient settings. Read the article “New nurse, new job strategy” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies).

All nurses, novice and experienced alike, need to look in new directions for employment and need new skills to find those jobs. Your nursing career may not start off as you had imagined, but there is a place for you in the system. Things will only get better as time goes on. Persistence and determination will always win out.

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.