JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - At a time when health care jobs are a dime a dozen and there's always news about a shortage of nurses, students graduating from nursing school are having trouble landing a job.
A new survey from the American Society of Registered Nurses finds nearly half of newly registered Registered Nurses don't have jobs three months after graduation.
The Director of the Nursing Program at the University of North Florida said students graduating from the program are fairing a little better than the statistic the survey drew up.
She said last May's graduates are all employed now, but after a much slower process.
"The trends in our nursing students and job placements is probably five to 10 years ago, our students, every single one of them, probably had a job before they graduated," Director for the School of Nursing at UNF Li Loriz said.
The times are changing and the recession has truly affected everyone, including the nursing industry.
Since the recession, the health care sector has seen the most growth. But that doesn't mean it's not hard to get hired.
About 43 percent of newly licensed RNs do not have a job within 18 months of graduating, according to a new survey conducted by the American Society of Registered Nurses.
Loriz said the problem began before the recession, with news there weren't enough nurses.
"You had individuals that realized theres a shortage, we can get jobs," Loriz said. "Then that was a demand for more nursing programs so we have had a number of nursing programs that have opened throughout the state of Florida in the past three years."
The recession magnified the problem. More schools means more graduates. Nurses who were planning to retire or go part part time stayed on the job or increased their hours instead because of financial uncertainty, leaving less job openings for new nurses.
"The new graduates bring a lot of new technology, new ideas and enthusiasm, but they also lack the experience," Loriz said. "So that's why the hospitals like to have a good balance between your experienced nurse and new graduate."
Loriz said the nature of the market has just changed.
She's worked with nursing students for 16 years and said students used to have a job before graduation and now she said that's usually never the case.
But she also said the jobs are still there, especially in Jacksonville. The last graduating class all had jobs within three months of graduating.
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