Why Cincinnati Hospitals Are Hiring More Recent Grads


By Barrett Brunsman

Recent nursing school graduates are landing more jobs at local hospitals, boosting the average education level of the workforce, according to a study by the Greater Cincinnati Health Council.

New graduates represented more than 40 percent of all nurses hired in 2012 and 2013, up from less than 30 percent in 2010 and 2011.

Last year, the number of nurses at local hospitals who had bachelor's degrees increased to 50 percent, up from 43 percent in 2012 and 33 percent in 2008, according to the Health Council's 2014 Nursing Supply and Demand Study for Acute Care.

A registered nurse can have either a bachelor's or an associate's degree and is required to pass a state licensing exam. A licensed practical nurse must pass a state exam.

"Some hospitals now prefer to hire RNs with a bachelor's degree, and the growth of professional RN students suggests that numbers of those with bachelor's degrees or higher is likely to continue climbing over the next several years," according to the Health Council study. "Hospital support of advanced education plus flexible online education will allow nurses additional opportunities to pursue advanced degrees in the coming years."

The number of nurses with master's degrees rose to 20 percent last year, up from 8 percent in 2012 and 3 percent in 2008, according to the Health Council, a nonprofit that includes all 31 hospitals in the region and more than 100 long-term care, home health and other health care providers in Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana.

A 2011 report on the Future of Nursing issued by the Institute of Medicine recommended that hospitals boost the number of registered nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing degree to 80 percent by 2020.

"Current research supports this recommendation by establishing evidence that reveals lower complication rates and mortality rates in hospitals that have a higher percentage of registered nurses with higher degrees," said Mary Irvin, chief nurse executive at TriHealth, which includes Good Samaritan Hospital, Bethesda North Hospital, Bethesda Butler Hospital and TriHealth Evendale. "Many hospitals in our region are looking to hire nurses with a BSN as the minimal education for acute care in hospitals."

The survey noted that some local hospitals now have Magnet certification, which requires them to continually increase the numbers of RNs who have a bachelor's or higher degree. Magnet certification by the American Nurses' Credentialing Center recognizes nursing excellence and the quality of patient care, and hospitals tout the award in marketing their services to patients.

The Health Council surveyed local hospitals and nursing schools from September to December 2014. It analyzed the area's current nursing workforce and hospital demand for nurses, student admission and retention, and current nursing faculty.

As a result of the increase in hiring of new graduates, more than 30 percent of all local nurses are between the ages of 25 and 34. There are now more nurses in that age group than any other, the survey found.

More than 17 percent of local registered nurses are 55 and older, and retirements are expected to increase in the coming years. The retirement rate for RNs increased to 0.93 percent in 2013, up from 0.77 percent in 2011 and 0.51 percent in 2010

Among nurses employed by local hospitals last year, 7.3 percent were men. There was little change in race or ethnicity from 2006 through last year, with non-Hispanic whites representing more than 90 percent of RNs. Non-Hispanic blacks represented 6 percent, and all other minorities represented 3 percent.

Health care providers that participated in the study included TriHealth, Christ Hospital, UC Health, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Highland District Hospital, Margaret Mary Health and Summit Behavioral Healthcare.

Nursing schools that participated included Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Galen College of Nursing, Gateway Community and Technical College, Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science, Miami University, Mount St. Joseph University, Northern Kentucky University, UC College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, and Xavier University.


Articles in this issue:


  • Masthead

    Editor-in Chief:
    Kirsten Nicole

    Editorial Staff:
    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Robyn Bowman
    Kimberly McNabb
    Lisa Gordon
    Stephanie Robinson

    Kirsten Nicole
    Stan Kenyon
    Liz Di Bernardo
    Cris Lobato
    Elisa Howard
    Susan Cramer

  • I am an \'old\' school RN and concerned by the calibar and actual patient interaction from BS degrees. I have had several hospitalizations over past 10 years and find the new grads have fantastic knowledge of diseases processes and their possible outcomes but have diffuculty in transposing it to patient care. By offering education with immediate exposure to the surgical or medical condition(s) nurses they can imprint the educational exposure to the medical/surgical proceedure(s) and how it is exhibited in an individual. This process holds true for mechanics, computers, engineers, and many other disiplines of education. I no longer am in the work force but do know several nurses, from major hospitals where I\'ve been a patient, are fantastic but have had several who really needed more \'hands on\' before being allowed to care for me. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. Marsha Ward, RN, PN

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