Demand for trained nurses remains high and every day thousands of people enter training in the hope of having a nursing career. Whether that involves studying to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) as a prelude to nursing school or entering a nursing school immediately, the path to a nursing career may be a difficult one.

This is because although demand for nursing staff is high, the industry is highly competitive and it can be difficult for a newly graduated nursing school student to find a desirable position. Traditionally medical facilities prefer hiring practiced nurses to newly graduated students (unless they have a quota to fill) so it can initially be difficult to find a job at all. If you have performed exceptionally well in nursing school you may have more success.

However the fact that you will be compared to hundreds, if not thousands, of other potential nursing candidates, who may already be experienced, can be daunting. Often nurses who are already employed are seeking another position and you'll have to compete with them as well.

These nurses may be looking for a role in a specific location, for better money and / or benefits, better work conditions, to work in a different category of nursing or to work in a specific specialization. These nurses, often with extensive experience on their resumes, can be a significant competition for a nurse who is just starting out. However there is an alternative to looking for work yourself or using the facilities of the nursing school that trained you.

The other option is nurse staffing agencies: they specialize in placing nurses – be they new graduates or nurses with many years experience. Such agencies charge a fee for their placement services (either to you or to the employer) but this can be worth it to find a position that you are looking for or that is particularly desirable.

Not every job will be what you expected, particularly after you have been there for a while, and you need to decide whether it is worth paying a fee for placement in a position that you could find yourself. In fact some medical facilities prefer nurseries that do not use such agencies since this demonstrates perseverance and fortitude your part which are considered as desirable qualities.

Searching for work is always a challenge, whether you have just graduated or been in the nursing profession for many years. Even after finding a position that you like, the stresses of being a necessity, such as long hours, double shifts, overtime and the challenges of working with people, can create burn-out and lead to some people leaving the profession. Ultimatly wherever you have a great nursing career will depend on you and the attitude that you bring to the job.