The state of nursing jobs in Virginia - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

The state of nursing jobs in Virginia

ROANOKE -

Betty Norris is ready to go home and for Kaitlyn Mallon interacting with patients is one of the best parts of her job as a registered nurse.

She says, "I think just getting to interact with patients and just kind of answer their questions and serve."

Both Mallon and Rachel Mills say they developed the work ethic at Liberty University before getting their jobs with Carilion Clinic at Roanoke Memorial Hospital.

Mills explains, "I grew up in Virginia. I didn't really have the desire to go anywhere else, but I have heard people that I went to school with were having a very difficult time up north finding jobs."

Dr. Rebecca Greer heads up the BSN Nursing Program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Greer says, "The down turn in the economy has led to people holding onto their jobs and delaying retirement."

There are some new trends affecting the job search for future nurses.

Deanna Brit heads up Liberty University's nursing department and explains:

* Many hospitals want a magnet designation which requires eighty percent of their nursing staff to have a BSN

* Many hospitals now require a nurse to pass the registered nursing certification exam before starting work.

Greer points out that according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2011, "Fifty seven percent had a job at graduation and eighty eight percent had work 4-6 months later. A national survey of colleges found college grads across the board had a 25.5 percent graduation rate. So nurses clearly are finding jobs at better rate than college graduates over other disciplines according to comparison surveys."

Greer says the forecast for nursing jobs is good saying, "I think we will see this huge nursing shortage if the economy improves we are going to see an increased demand for nurses as the baby boomers retire and age. Also, with health care reform and more people being covered by health insurance we are going to see more need for nurses."

Meaning those who are studying now, may have job security for years to come.

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