Nursing graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees are finding jobs soon after they graduate, according to a recent survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
The survey was conducted in August 2013 among deans and directors from U.S. nursing schools offering entry-level baccalaureate and graduate programs. Here are some of the survey’s key findings:
- At the time of graduation, 59 percent of new Bachelor of Nursing Science (BSN) graduates had job offers. Four to six months after graduation, 89 percent of new BSN grads had secured a job in nursing.
- Graduates with a Master of Nursing Science (MSN) had even greater success finding employment. Data showed that 67 percent of MSN graduates had jobs at graduation, while 90 percent had jobs four to six months after graduation.
- Based on the responses, 43.7% of hospitals and other healthcare settings are requiring new hires to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (up 4.6 percentage points since 2012), while 78.6% of employers are expressing a strong preference for BSN program graduates.
Compared to the national average, nurses are finding jobs much quicker than graduates in many other fields. Just 29.3 percent of the country’s new graduates across all disciplines had job offers at graduation, according to a similar study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
The AACN survey indicated new graduates in the South and Midwest were able to find nursing jobs faster than those in the Northeast and West. The percentage of BSN graduates with job offers at graduation were 68% in the South, 59% in the Midwest, 50% in the Northeast, and 47% in the West. At four to six months after graduation, that job offer rate rose to 93% in the South, 90% in the Midwest, and 82% in the Northeast and West.
Many registered nurses who have received their ADN are faced with the decision of going back to school to advance their education.
As other nurses may begin to pull back from their professional life after thirty seven years of practice, current RN to BSN student Peggy Dyer has remained fully engaged as an oncology nurse coordinator at Methodist Hospital. In fact, she has been described as reinvented.
Peggy was recently presented the Clinical Excellence award from the March of Dimes. This award recognizes a nurse whose entire career has been spent in direct patient care providing the highest level of care and compassion for five years or more. She also was honored as the Methodist Health System employee of the month in June 2013.
An interest in education has reignited a passion for nursing as she has come to the realization that there is much more that she wants to accomplish professionally.
We took a few minutes to talk to Peggy to get her thoughts on the subject.
It Was All in His Plan
I graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing in Grand Island, Nebraska in 1976 and have worked as a registered nurse ever since. My decision to get my BSN was a hard one to make. I had lots of support and I really believe God puts people in your life for a reason.
I was fortunate enough to attend the AgeWise Summit with [NMC faculty] Deborah Conley and Fran Henton in 2010. The conference was full of well educated professionals and it was then I told my supervisor, Vici Sortino, that I felt like I was the least educated person there. One of the leaders of AgeWise challenged me to further my education.
Being a graduate of the AgeWise program reinvented my passion for nursing, especially the end of life aspect. I learned so much in that program. I voiced interest to one of the nurse practitioners who was developing the palliative care program at the hospital. Her response was "You don't have your BSN."
Then the hospital announced that all core nurses had to have their BSN by 2018 or step down from that position. The following year I attended the AgeWise Summit again and was approached me about my education. I declined the challenge at that time, but God knew what He was doing.
My current supervisor encouraged me as well as the others I mentioned to pursue a BSN degree. She reminded me that I had a lot to offer and other opportunities could open up with more education. After several discussions with my husband we decided continuing my education was right for us.
It's All a Balance
Managing the coursework varies from class to class, but I try to dedicate certain days to homework. I have not missed out on any family functions, but will admit some have been shortened because Grandma has to do homework. I have always studied in late evenings or into the night.
I do not have to take NRS 480 because I am an AgeWise graduate. I will graduate with my BSN in August of 2014.
Nebraska Methodist College’s Professional Development department offers a number of live and online programs in order to help nurses and health professionals grow their knowledge and skills to enhance their careers. NMC’s Professional Development offerings include both Continuing Education and Professional Education programs.
Earning a degree in nursing or Allied Health is a major milestone, but by no means is it the last step in the learning process of your healthcare career. Healthcare is an evolving industry, and staying up to date on the latest research and best practices is important to providing high-quality care and achieving successful patient outcomes.
A few examples of NMC’s Continuing Education programs include:
- Research Day, a day-long conference where nurses present evidence-based practice research findings;
- Lung, Head & Neck Symposium, an oncology symposium providing information on current practice guidelines and outcomes for caring for patients with thoracic, head and neck cancers;
- Basic EFM and OB Fellowship, a three-day event that prepares new labor and delivery nurses;
- A variety of one-hour programs geared toward all health professionals on specific topics, such as the Anticoagulation Update, which is attended by all types of allied health professionals, doctors and nurses.
Through NMC’s Professional Education programs, nurses and healthcare professionals can receive training in a variety of areas specific to their healthcare specialty. NMC offers certifications in Basic Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Neonatal Resuscitation, among others.
Other programs teach healthcare professionals everyday skills they will need to be successful in their careers. One example is NMC’s online Excel course, which is for healthcare professionals who utilize Excel in their role but need more advanced skills.
NMC’s Professional Education programs even prepare students to begin new careers. Certificate programs such as Certified Nursing Assistant and Medication Aide offer students the opportunity to quickly jump into the healthcare field with minimal time and financial investment.
Coming in 2014
In 2014, NMC’s Professional Development department will offer high school students a unique opportunity — Healthcare Career Camp. The weeklong summer camp, held on the NMC campus, will allow students to get hands-on experience in all of NMC’s degree programs.
Also in 2014, the Professional Development department will partner with the Wellness Council of the Midlands (WELCOM) to offer the first annual Pathways to Wellbeing Symposium. The symposium, which focuses on the integration of wellness in the workplace and community, will be held as part of WELCOM’s Well Workplace Awards Luncheon on April 2.