Gaining Experience in Specific Population Focus Areas Can be Tricky

All over the country the nursing profession seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. In fact the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19 percent growth in nursing through 2018, far more than most other professions. But though nurses saw increased demand for their services during the Great Recession, many newly qualified nurses are now challenged when trying to secure positions which are worthy of their training. The job placement situation is complicated for new nurses as a result of a mixture of competition and choosy employers.

While their enthusiasm is high and their desire to get into permanent positions is strong, new nurses often face the stumbling block of not having much prior experience.  So while there are hundreds of new nurses passing the exam every year, some are experiencing difficulties securing opportunities to gain the necessary experience to progress from entry level positions to advanced practice roles.

In some instances the lack of long-term experience in their specific patient population focus area can slow the process by which RN’s advance to become APRNs, GNPs, PNPs or PMHNPs.

Some have even found the need to move to another state in order to achieve their goals and further their careers. Other nurses have been able to gain valuable experience by being able to intern at various medical centers, which also helps to continue their training while giving them an opportunity to show what they are made of. Overall employers say that it is better to show internship experience on a resume than to have graduated from nursing school and failed to have found work altogether.

According to Sydney Duke, of Las Vegas based University Medical Center, the entry level nursing positions seem to be far more competitive than those for experienced nurses. As an anecdote, she cited the fact that a recent posting for an experienced nurse garnered six applications, while a posting for an entry level position garnered 125.