By now, it’s no secret that burnout and staff shortages are dominating the concerns of today’s nurses. But they’re not alone. Those same issues weigh heavily on recent nursing school graduates, posing serious questions about the field’s long-term employee pipeline and the impact that will have on patients, health systems and nurses themselves.
Today’s nurse graduates are tomorrow’s nurse leaders. To better understand their states of mind, we conducted an analysis of data from 400,000 nurses on the Incredible Health platform as well as a study of recent nursing graduates. Notably, the majority of these students are the next generation entering the workforce, Gen Z. Gen Z nurses are the fifth generation entering the current U.S. nurse workforce and come with a new set of challenges and expectations for their jobs.
The overall results of the study are concerning and reveal a generation entering the field in a state of anxiety:
- 75% of those surveyed cited staffing shortages as their main concern.
- 55% of the new graduate nurse population plans to leave the field before retirement.
- Only 15% of recent nurse graduates feel highly confident in finding a job that will meet their expectations.
Helping new nurses thrive
New nurses, Gen Z or otherwise, largely want the same things when starting their careers: effective onboarding and training, a supportive work environment, and a manageable caseload.
That sounds straightforward, but we’ve heard from many nursing grads that finding such a position is frustratingly difficult.
Patricia R., a Gen Z nursing student who graduated about six months ago, told us, “A lot of places are understaffed and don’t have the resources that they would usually have, like a formal orientation that’s long enough for a new graduate.”
That matches our survey data: 79% of new nurse respondents reported feeling overloaded or overwhelmed during their onboarding process and noted inefficient training systems as another common challenge.
Jennyfer G., another recent nursing student graduate, told us that it was common for new grads to train one another. That is particularly concerning since 41% of new nurse respondents to our survey said on-the-job training was the most important consideration when considering resources provided by employers.
Building Products for New Nurses
To better serve the new nurse grad population, we launched our New Nurse Graduate Suite – a free suite of products that includes the expansion of the Incredible Health hiring marketplace and job matching to support new graduate nurses, individualized career support, and a personalized advice platform. Empowering nurses with tools designed specifically for them to find a career that exceeds their wants and needs is critical to retaining this desperately-needed talent within the field.
We’ve already seen great success with these new products for both nurses and providers:
- A hub for new nurse talent: Since the products were introduced in March 2022, Incredible Health has increased the number of new grads on the platform by 200x and as much as 20% of new talent registrants on our platform are new graduate nurses.
- Where employers find who they need: Almost a third of employers on Incredible Health are hiring explicitly for new graduate roles. Of those, nearly 60% accept associate’s degrees as a minimum education requirement.
- Enabling nurses to live where they want and learn what they want: One in four candidates hired via Incredible Health changes states for a new job and 62% of employers on Incredible Health are open to cross-training.
- Finding nurses the specialties they want: We’re seeing new nurses hired into a wide range of specialties, including medical-surgical, labor & delivery, and telemetry.
New nurses deserve to feel supported during their job search and on the job. At Incredible Health, we hope our products will ease their anxieties about the industry, alleviate burnout, and accelerate their careers. With the launch of our New Nurse Graduate Suite, we are committed to providing a delightful experience for nurses and hospitals alike, continuing to improve the job search process for new nurses, and decreasing burnout in hospitals across the nation.
If you’re a new nurse looking to start your career, check out our job search resources here: https://www.incrediblehealth.com/new-grad/