Nursing students graduate without jobs

December 5, 2008 5:52:38 PM PST
Future nurses are honing their skills at City College of San Francisco in a lifelike hospital ward, but it can be hard to focus on saving lives when graduation is looming without a job in sight.

"I think it's my calling, I really want to be a nurse," nursing student Jenny Leung said.

The problem: as Leung prepares to graduate in two weeks, there does not appear to be a job for her.

"It's a little scary; it shows the economy is not doing well," Leung said.

Last semester, 700 qualified students applied for 48 spots in the nursing school. But graduates must wait for baby boomers to retire. And now, the college must cut its night nursing program for lack of funds.

"Well, hopefully they are in our program to take care of people, not just because they just want jobs," nursing instructor Agnes Leong said.

But jobs fuel economies and City College wants to be ready. As stem cell research ramps up, the college now has a program that certifies technicians.

Many students have returned to academia. Patrick Hall has degrees in Chinese language and literature and worked in computer programming.

"My original intention in coming here was to find somehting interesting, a job that I liked," Hall said.

Hall has his degree as a technician and is now waiting for the business to catch up. Just like the rest of the world, for medical people, a new way of looking at patience.


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