2012 Nursing Graduates Face Better Job Prospects Than Previous Class

By Chris Hassan
Posted January 17, 2013 11:00 AM

Job prospects good for recent nursing school graduates.
Job prospects good for recent nursing school graduates.

No matter what students study in college, very few of them go through their programs thinking they are guaranteed a job after graduation. However, there is plenty of data that suggests individuals' job prospects in some fields, such as nursing, are much better than they are in others.

Positive Projections and Results

Registered nurses, who typically hold a diploma, an associate's degree or bachelor's degree, are among the nursing professions that are expected to see an increase in job opportunities in the years ahead. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of these care givers is projected to grow by 26% through 2020. For students working toward assuming the roles of registered nurses, this is good news in less than desirable economic conditions, as this growth is considered to be faster than the average of all occupations.

While projections are one thing, future nurses would probably feel more satisfied seeing actual employment data. A recent press release from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) shared the type of information these individuals might seek.

Based on responses to the AACN's 2012 annual survey from 664 American nursing schools, the graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs are twice as likely to have jobs when they graduate than those who trained for other fields. Overall, employment for these individuals increased from 56% in 2011 to 57% in 2012.

Class of 2012 Faces Good Job Prospects

The AACN's data is certainly reflected in the employment situation for 2012 graduates of the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. According to The Daily Pennsylvanian, 75% of these individuals managed to land a full-time position upon the completion of their studies - a significant increase over the 59% of graduates who did the same in the class of 2011.

Despite the BLS' strong predictions and the AACN's data, recent years have not been easy for all graduates of nursing programs.

"Over the past several years, there has been an issue with the job market for our new graduate nurses," Sharon Fleshman, senior director at Career Services for the School of Nursing, told the Pennsylvanian. "Based on the recession, there has been less retirement and less turnover with registered nurses, with nurses coming back to the workforce."

Still, based on employment activity in the nursing industry, there is no denying that nursing is one of the stronger fields students could enter.

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