Changing Job Market Challenges Nursing Grads

A recent report from the Oregon Center for Nursing indicates there’s a nursing shortage, but new graduates are having a difficult time finding work

By: Christen McCurdy with The Lund Report

November 10, 2011 — It took Jennifer Wieczorek, a 2008 graduate of Linfield College’s nursing program, a year and a half to find a job using her degree – and she was the last person in her cohort to do so.

While in school, Wierczorek had a verbal agreement with Legacy Good Samaritan that she’d work there as an operating room nurse upon graduation. But it took longer than expected to pass her board certification exams, and by the time she did, Legacy didn’t have a position for her anymore.

Newly graduated nurses face many of the same challenges as other college graduates, said Mary Rita Hurley, executive director of the Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN), a nonprofit nursing advocacy organization. When she graduated from nursing school 33 years ago, hospitals aggressively recruited nurses, she said.

After working as a nurse at a summer camp in Wisconsin and working for the in-home health industry, Wierczorek eventually got a job offer for what she had set out to do — as an operating room nurse for Legacy. (Read full article)