California nursing graduates are having trouble finding their first job, reports the Sacramento Bee. As experienced nurses delay retirement and hospitals try to avoid training expenses, nursing graduates are working unpaid internships to break into the profession.
Barbara Elwell earned an associate degree in nursing in May from the College of Marin, but she’s still job hunting.
“We’ve gone through all these classes and this training, and yet, I’m a licensed RN in this country, and I can’t find a job.”
California doubled the number of nursing graduates, reports the Bee.
As recently as three years ago, hospitals were offering moving expenses, housing allowances and signing bonuses to recent graduates of nursing schools.
Veteran nurses who need no training are still in demand, but new nurses are volunteering or taking part-time jobs to gain experience.
In the next 10 years, baby boomers will retire, the state’s insured population will grow and nurses will be in short supply again, predicts Timothy Bates, a program analyst at the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco.