Employment Status and Preferred Employment of 2012 Baccalaureate of Nursing Graduates from the Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba

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1 Employment Status and Preferred Employment of 2012 Baccalaureate of Nursing Graduates from the Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba Survey at Program Exit May 2013 Report prepared by the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research (MCNHR) Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba Contributors: James Plohman, MSc, Research Technician Nadia Green, Research Assistant Diane Cepanec, MA, Research Associate Diana Clarke, RN, PhD, Associate Dean, Research 2013

2 INTRODUCTION The Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research (MCNHR), a research unit supported by the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Manitoba, conducted a survey on the employment status and preferred employment of 2012 Baccalaureate of Nursing graduates as they were exiting the four year undergraduate nursing program. Graduates were also asked to give their perceptions of the employment opportunities and challenges for new nursing graduates in Manitoba. METHODS The MCNHR surveyed undergraduate nursing students who completed the four-year Baccalaureate of Nursing in December 2011, March 2012, and July 2012, with subsequent graduation in February 2012, May 2012, and October 2012, respectively. Nursing students were asked to complete a self-administered questionnaire at their final evaluation meeting with their faculty advisor just prior to, or shortly after, their completion of the final course in the nursing program (senior clinical practicum). An online version of the survey was also sent to graduates University of Manitoba addresses. Of the n= 310 graduates in 2012, n=207 (67%) responded to questions on their employment status and preferences 1. RESULTS Satisfaction with BN Program (n=207) Graduates were asked how satisfied they were with the nursing education they received at the University of Manitoba (Table 1). Table 1 Graduates level of satisfaction with their nursing education program (n=207) Rating N Percentage Very satisfied 44 21% Satisfied % Somewhat satisfied 38 18% Dissatisfied 4 2% Very dissatisfied 2 1% Total % Most graduates (n=163; 79%) indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied with their education experience. An additional thirty eight participants (18%) were somewhat satisfied and only six (3%) were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their education. Graduates were asked how well they felt their nursing program prepared them for nursing practice. 1 Several of the questions for this survey were developed as part of National Study of Nursing Graduates led by Dr. Andrea Baumann at the Nursing Health Services Research Unit, McMaster University. 1

3 Table 2 How well prepared graduates felt they were for nursing practice (n=206) Rating N Percentage Very well prepared 36 17% Well prepared % Somewhat well prepared 53 26% Not well prepared 4 2% Total % As shown in Table 2, about three-quarters (n=149; 72%) felt very well prepared or well prepared for nursing practice. In addition, 53 graduates (26%) felt somewhat well prepared. Four grads (2%) felt not well prepared. One survey participant did not provide a response to this question. The overwhelming majority of the graduates (n=191; 95%) would select a career in nursing if they had to choose again. Five didn t answer this question. A similar number (n=196; 95%) would encourage others to pursue a career in nursing. One did not answer this question. 2

4 Opportunities and Challenges in Seeking Employment (n=207) Graduates were asked to identify from a list, the opportunities they felt are available in the current job market for new nursing graduates. They could select more than one opportunity. The frequencies of their responses are shown in Table 3. The most commonly identified opportunities were the variety of specialties (n=160); abundance of choices in the profession (n=144); and availability of continuing education (n=142). Table 3 The frequency of graduates that identified the following as opportunities for new nursing graduates (n=207) Opportunity Frequency % of Total Grads Variety of Specialties % Abundance of Nursing Positions % Availability of Continuing Education % Abundance of Choices in the Profession % Mobility or Travel as a RN % Availability of Employment in U.S % Graduates were also asked to identify from a list the challenges for new nursing graduates in the current job market. They could select more than one challenge. The results are displayed in Table 4. The most commonly identified challenges were: lack of experience (n=137); lack of permanent positions (n=128); and lack of full-time positions (n=107). Table 4 The frequency of graduates that identified the following as challenges for new nursing graduates (n=207) Challenges Number % of Total Grads Lack of Experience % Lack of Permanent Positions % Lack of Full Time Positions % Lack of Jobs in a Specialty Area 54 26% Amount of Casual Nursing Positions 42 20% Lack of Jobs in a Specific Region 36 17% Holding Multiple Nursing Positions 16 8% Employment Instability 11 5% 3

5 Employment Status Figure 1 - Employment Status (n=204) of new graduates at education program exit At exit from their education program, 44% (n=91) of the surveyed 2012 graduates were working as nurses or had been offered a position in nursing (Figure 1), while 55% (n=113) were unemployed but looking for a position in nursing. Three surveyed graduate (1%) did not answer this question. As this survey was conducted when the graduates were just completing their senior clinical practicums, the graduates would not have had much time to obtain a nursing position and had not yet written their Canadian Registered Nurse Exam (CRNE) to obtain their Registered Nurse designation. Employed Graduates Characteristics (n=91) The 91 employed nursing graduates were asked to select from a list of deciding factors that may have been involved in their decisions to accept their first nursing positions. More than one deciding factor was chosen by most of the graduates. The most commonly selected deciding factor was having completed their senior clinical practicum in the facility/organization in which they are employed (n=77; 84%). The number of employed graduates that chose each deciding factor is listed below in Table 5. Table 5 Deciding factors in employed graduates accepting their first nursing positions. (n=91) Factor Number % of Total Employed Grads Had senior clinical practicum there First place to offer employment Positive reputation of the facility/organization Position is close to home Had student clinical placement there Work on another unit within the same facility/organization 9 10 Worked on the unit in another role 9 10 Recruitment strategies of facility/organization (ie. employment type, signing bonus) 9 10 Supportive Staff and Work Environment 4 4 Other 2 2 4

6 Figure 3 Employment Location (n=91) As indicated in Figure 3, of the 91 graduates who were working or had been offered work, 82 (90%) had obtained positions in Winnipeg and nine (10%) reported working in Manitoba, outside of Winnipeg. Figure 4 Employment Type (n=87) Figure 4 shows the type of employment held by employed graduates. About one-third (n=34; 37%) of the 2012 graduates who were working or had been offered a position in nursing were in permanent positions, including both full-time (n=15; 16%) and part-time positions (n=19; 21%). Ten graduates (11%) reported working in full-time term positions, 26 (29%) were in part-time term positions, and 16 (18%) were in casual positions. Four working graduates did not answer this question. The Equivalent to Full Time (EFT) levels of the 45 employed part-time graduates are displayed in Table 6. 5

7 Table 6 The number of graduates working or offered employment in part time positions at various EFT levels (n=45) EFT Part Time Permanent Part Time Term Casual 0 0 Multiple 1 0 No Response 1 1 Total Most of the employed graduates (n=79; 88%) reported being satisfied with their current employment status; very few graduates were dissatisfied (n=11; 12%). One employed graduate did not answer this question. Almost half (n=43; 48%) of the employed graduates indicated that although they were currently employed or had been offered a position in nursing, they were looking for another position. Twenty-one of these graduates were looking for a permanent position, 7 were looking for full time positions, and 9 indicated an interest in working in a particular area. Six working graduates wanted to change other aspects of their employment. Unemployed Graduates Characteristics (n=113) One hundred and thirteen graduates (55%) were not working at the time of the survey but were looking for a position in nursing. Some were looking for employment in more than one location. Most unemployed graduates (n=102; 90%) were looking for nursing employment in Winnipeg. Twenty-three graduates (20%) were seeking employment in at least one health region of Manitoba outside of Winnipeg, while 2 (2%) were seeking employment outside of Manitoba only. 6

8 Figure 5 Employment Type Sought by Unemployed Graduates (n=113) As shown in Figure 5, more than half of the 113 unemployed graduates that were looking for work at the time of the survey were seeking full-time permanent or term positions (n=58; 59%). Opportunities and Challenges for Employment Outside of Manitoba Few of the surveyed graduates indicated an interest in working outside of the province. Of the total graduates who completed the survey (n=19; 9%) reported seeking employment outside of Manitoba. Of these 19, three were currently employed in Manitoba and 16 were unemployed. Fifteen reported seeking employment in other provinces, two are seeking employment in the U.S., and two are looking for employment in other countries. When asked to select from a list of opportunities that were attracting them to work outside of Manitoba, the most commonly selected response was family/personal reasons (n=12). The selected opportunities are summarized in Table 7. Table 7- Opportunities that are attracting graduates to seek employment outside of Manitoba (n=19). Multiple opportunities selected. % of Opportunities Number total Family/Personal Travel & Weather Pay & Benefits 6 32 Professional Opportunities 5 26 Recruitment Strategies 3 16 Workload/Work Conditions 2 11 Other (Graduate Degree in other province) 1 5 Cost of Living 1 5 7

9 Graduates that that were seeking employment outside of Manitoba were also asked to select from a list of challenges that were encouraging them to seek employment outside of the province. The most commonly selected challenge was a lack of full time employment (n=5). The challenges selected are summarized in Table 8. Table 8 Challenges that are attracting graduates to seek employment outside of Manitoba (n=19). Multiple challenges selected. % of Challenges Number total Lack of Full Time Employment 5 26 Family or Personal Issues 4 15 Weather 3 16 Lack of Employment in Certain Specialty Areas 3 16 Lack of Employment in Certain Locations 3 16 Other (administrative reasons) 3 16 Travel/Adventure 3 16 None of the Above 2 11 Lack of Permanent Employment 2 11 Cost of Living 1 5 Not Feeling Valued 1 5 Lack of Educational Opportunities 0 0 Work or Workload Conditions 0 0 8

10 SUMMARY This study describes the employment status and employment preferences of graduates just prior to or shortly after completing the final course in their nursing program (senior clinical practicum). At this time, 44% of surveyed graduates from 2012 were working or had been offered a position in nursing. One-third of the employed graduates (n=34; 37%) were working in permanent positions (full or part-time). More than half of the unemployed graduates that were seeking a nursing position at the time of the survey indicated a preference for full-time permanent positions (n=45; 59%). The majority of graduates reported working and/or seeking employment within Manitoba with only 19 (9%) seeking employment outside of Manitoba. Further information on this survey can be obtained from the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research (MCNHR), Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba. Manitoba Centre for Nursing & Health Research Tel: (204) Faculty of Nursing Fax: (204) Helen Glass Centre For Nursing Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Website:

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