Tough Job Market for New Grad NPs
I'm not going to lie to you, it's a tough market for new grads this year. I don't take any pleasure in telling you this, so please don't shoot the messenger.
Why are new grads having a tougher time finding work? It's a combination of several factors that are creating the perfect storm. One is that many experienced NPs are either losing their jobs or having their hours cut back due to funding issues. This means more applicants for each job.
These established NPs are also being more flexible, they are willing to drive farther and look at options they may have dismissed a few months ago. New grads come out of school rather idealistic about what they can expect from their first job. This can be off-putting to an employer already anxious in this economy. New grads should focus instead on what they bring to the table and keep all options open.
It's very possible we may be graduating more NPs than the market can absorb right now. I have heard NP leaders say that as long as there are patients who need care, there can never be too many NPs. In a broad philosophical sense that is true, but unless someone is going to pay you to care for those patients, it becomes a moot point.
The good news is that the market usually corrects the "oversupply" problem. We've seen this happen in nursing many times. In an odd twist the down economy may help too because many RNs may choose to delay graduate school until their finances are in a better place.
What can you do if you are a new grad? Spend this time creating a solid job search plan, think about what skills you can emphasize and why an employer might want to hire you. Take the time to do some soul searching about what type of position you might be willing to take as your first job. Be realistic in your job "wish list." Sit down and craft a really good cover letter and resume. I can't stress enough the importance making a great first impression on paper.
And lastly, NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK.Do you have a question for the NP Career Coach? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org