Why Is it Hard to Get a Registered Nurse Job?

Wondering why it is hard to get a job as a registered nurse? There are a variety of reasons. Read on to find out what they are.

Recent Changes in Healthcare


As insurance reimbursement has been directly linked with length of stay, hospitals are determined to move patients through the system as quickly and efficiently as possible. As a result of this, patients spend less time in the hospital and are discharged to rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, or their own homes sooner. This has caused a shift in available nursing positions in many areas. When searching for a nursing position, be open to different settings where you will still have the opportunity to master your nursing skills and gain experience. Many hospitals seek out experienced nurses because their patients tend to require more critical care, like when patients are moved from the intensive care units to the floor sooner while still requiring high levels of care.

Financial burdens have also greatly impacted the healthcare system and have resulted in numerous hospitals closing their doors or combining to be part of a larger institution. Hospitals have been forced to decrease their staffing and carefully monitor how every dollar is spent. Orienting an experienced nurse tends to take much less time, thereby costing the institution less money. That being said, there are still hospitals that hire new graduates — you will just need to stand out and clearly demonstrate your potential assets. While new hires cost more to train, their initial salary tends to be lower than an experienced nurse. When interviewing, be sure to state that you are committed to working and developing at the institution. If you plan to go back to school and move on quickly, or become a travel nurse or relocate soon, a hospital will hesitate to hire you as for they are more interested in a nurse who plans to stay and appears to be a good investment.  Always think about your potential responses in advance to enhance your chances of landing your first job.



While some areas may not have many jobs for new graduates, others may be facing a nursing shortage and will gladly welcome new nurses. Search out areas where nurses are in demand and consider relocating if possible. While you may be nervous, this can be an exciting adventure and provide you with numerous opportunities and experiences.

Job Requirements


When searching for your first job, be cognizant of the job requirements. As many institutions seek to be more competitive in the healthcare field, they may require nurses to have a bachelor’s degree, prior experience, or certification in their specialty. While some of these are required, experience is usually preferred, and a manager will likely consider a strong positive candidate with less experience. First impressions are very important and are often made while you are still in nursing school. Each time you arrive to a new clinical rotation, remember that this could be a possible place of employment for you. Put your best foot forward, be positive, helpful and make as many contacts as possible, Often when jobs are limited, managers consider the staff’s input, so impressing the staff could be your ticket in. On the unit I work, we always accept students during their final rotation, as for this gives us an opportunity to observe them directly and consider whether they will be a good fit on our unit.

Be Prepared

When large numbers of nurses are all graduating at once, it is important to be prepared to pass the NCLEX-RN and become licensed as soon as possible. Many institutions will offer new nurses initial interviews, but second interviews and job offerings are contingent on passing the NCLEX-RN. Once the available positions have been filled, new nurses will have to wait for additional opportunities which can be a lengthy process. Prepare in advance so that you have the most opportunities when you intially become a registered nurse.