Nursing Job a Sure Bet? Think Again

For now, Rosseter recommends that recent nursing graduates expand their job searches to look beyond sought-after positions at hospitals and consider jobs at nursing homes, home health aid agencies and other businesses.

Job candidates also could look across state lines: Rosseter said that states like Texas, Missouri and North and South Dakota still face nursing shortages.

But not everyone is willing to travel. Some Minnesota nurse union members say they would never consider leaving their hospitals because conditions seem to be the same or worse elsewhere.

"The places that have the most trouble attracting and retaining nurses are places where conditions of care critically unsafe," said Nellie Munn, 33, a nurse at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. "Nurses feel tremendous guilt when they can't fill patient needs. I would never want to put myself in a situation like that."

Abdi, meanwhile, said she won't apply for jobs outside of Minnesota because she doesn't want to move away from her tight-knit Somali family, which immigrated to the U.S. before Abdi started college.

Abdi, who recently won St. Catherine's most prestigious award for graduating seniors, traces her passion for nursing to her childhood in Somalia, where she experienced the country's scarcity of health care resources.

Someday, she said, she wants to go back to her home country to provide medical care. But for now, she's concentrating on finding that elusive first job.

"I haven't lost hope," she said.

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