By now, most students are aware of the statistics about a huge increase in the demand for nurses both now and in future years.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates a million jobs will be unfulfilled in ten years; a number that doesn’t include critical roles for nurses in the education system.
It is also true that many nursing school graduates are finding it difficult to find work after graduation. Is it the fault of the economy, location, or are nursing schools simply not preparing students for the real-world of health care. Is seems to be a little bit of all of these things when we break the problem down into consumable parts.
Perhaps one thing that nursing schools should talk to their students about is flexibility. While nursing graduates hear of the high-dollar salary or hourly positions that are possible with their degree, they should not realistically expect to make that amount directly out of graduation. It takes time to build up a respectable income, so students might want to take that lower paying job if for no other reason than to gain work experience they can take to a higher paying institution.
Nursing schools are part of the process that students go through when they are consciously setting expectations of the future, so honesty is a good policy when it comes to the reality. There may be a national shortage of nurses, but that doesn’t mean that their city does. Moving may be necessary to advance their careers.
Finally, nursing schools should mention (and many do) to students that there are more options than working at a hospital or doctors office. Nurses are needed everywhere – from public sporting events to the classrooms in which they attend nursing school. By becoming a specialist in a discipline of nursing, students become more marketable right out of college.