SPOKANE, Wash. — As the economy falls and layoffs affect countless Americans, nursing students at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington State College of Nursing are choosing between multiple job offers as graduation approaches. The ever-growing nursing shortage continues to offer students a bright employment future. Providers from throughout the state and region are lining up to recruit skilled and able nursing graduates.

Thursday (Nov. 15) marks the fourth semi-annual Intercollegiate College of Nursing/ WSU College of Nursing Career Fair. With health care organizations coming as far away as Portland, Ore., and Boise, Idaho, to recruit nursing graduates, students can be discipline selective as well as geographically selective. Recruiters representing hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies will vie for each student’s attention, college representatives say.

This year’s career event will be the largest yet, with more than 30 different health care providers represented. The career fair will take place at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing campus located at 2917 W. Fort Wright Dr., from 1-4 p.m.

Student organizers have increased the pool of nursing graduates by extending an invitation to associate-degree nursing students from Spokane Community College and North Idaho College.

“We want to use this opportunity to build bridges across the nursing profession,” said Jenny Marko, senior class president. “Inviting an expanded student base provides agencies with a greater breadth of graduates to draw from and, in turn, offers a greater service to the community.”

The College of Nursing continues to achieve a 100 percent placement rate with many students receiving multiple professional offers upon graduation. An international nursing shortage has given rise to enticing incentives such as tuition reimbursement, relocation reimbursement and signing bonuses.

Health care providers attend the career fair confident they will find prepared nursing professionals. “We love to have nursing students from the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing both during their clinical schooling and after graduating for permanent employment,” said Kathy Lawhead, human resources recruiter for Deaconess Medical Center. “We want nurses who are team players with strong clinical knowledge and professionalism.”