Nursing grads must be flexible to find jobs in US

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 15 2010 06:07 PM | Updated as of Jul 16 2010 02:07 AM

DALY CITY, California – New nursing graduates are advised to be more patient and flexible in order to find jobs in the US.

Jaeann Milan graduated in 2008 with a nursing degree from the Philippines. She was expecting to find work right away when she went back to the US. Instead, she found herself applying and waiting for six months.

“I was discouraged, I almost moved to Los Angeles to try to find something there. But I just stayed here and waited it out. You just have to be patient,” said Milan.

A survey conducted in June 2009 by the National Association of Nursing Schools found that less than half of new graduates had no jobs by the time they finished school.

According to Priscilla Chua of Relief Nursing Services, hospitals are hesitant to hire new nurses because of the recession. She said hospitals spend an average of $50,000 to train each new hire.

With the high unemployment rate, many have lost their health care coverage. Also, budget cuts at state- and government-run hospitals have caused hiring freezes and hurt graduates’ chances for a job.

“I think there are still a lot of patients. It’s just that these nurses, they don’t want to change their jobs, they want to stay because of the recession,” Chua said.

But Chua said there are ways new nursing graduates can gain experience.

“You got to start somewhere. Start in long term care. Start through a nursing agency. Once you gain the experience, the hospitals will hire you. They’ll be more willing to hire you as a registered nurse,” added Chua.

Milan’s patience eventually paid off. She gained experience as a per-day nurse with a staffing agency and a job as a nursing school instructor. Milan has since become a full-time Registered Nurse at a hospital. Balitang America