SPOKANE, Wash. — Nearly 30 health care and nursing recruiters from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana will be at the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/Washington State University College of Nursing semi-annual career fair March 11. The event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the College of Nursing campus at 2917 W. Fort George Wright Drive.

Hospitals, nursing homes, home health care agencies and the Armed Services will be vying for the attention of the 103 Spokane-based undergraduate and graduate students scheduled to enter the workforce in May.

Recruiters in the hottest job markets, such as Nevada and Arizona, have been contacting students for weeks trying to interest them in relocating to their market, career fair organizers said.

Holly Radika, a 28-year-old undergraduate student who has been working as certified nursing assistant in the neurological unit at Sacred Heart Medical Center, will be looking for positions in specialty units. “I’m particularly interested in talking with recruiters who offer residency programs in the specialty areas such as cardiac, intensive care and emergency room. Most of these jobs are on the west side of the state, but I’d prefer to stay in Spokane if possible.”

The Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing students continue to receive multiple professional offers upon graduation. Placement rates average above 95 percent each semester. The growing nationwide nursing shortage has created opportunities for baccalaureate graduates to work in a variety of nursing fields, choose their location and often choose their area of specialty.

As a former Army field medic and paramedic, Jesse Byram, a 29-year-old undergraduate student, would like to work at a Level-1 trauma center. “My senior practicum will be at Harborview Medical Center in the Seattle area, and I’m hoping, by the end of the practicum, they’ll offer me a position. However, I’m open to any number of possibilities, including moving where they’re desperate for qualified nurses and where it’s warm, like Arizona or Nevada. I’m also thinking about the traveling nurse positions because the pay is great, the benefits are excellent and I’d be able to experience different hospitals and see different parts of the country.”

The spring 2004 graduating class includes 126 baccalaureate- (BSN) and 28 master’s- (MN) prepared students from throughout the state, including Spokane, Tri-Cities, Vancouver, Walla-Walla and Yakima. These students will graduate May 8 and will then take their licensure exam.

In order to receive a license to practice, registered nurse candidates take a test known as the National Council Licensure Examination, abbreviated to NCLEX ®. The test is given to assure that entry-level nurses are competent to perform effectively and safely. The Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing continues to have one the highest first-time pass rates for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. December 2003 graduates achieved a 94 percent pass rate on the exam.

Established in 1968, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing is the nation’s first, oldest and most comprehensive nursing education consortium. Celebrating 35 years of world class nursing education, the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing offers baccalaureate, graduate and professional development course work to nursing students enrolled through its four consortium partners: Eastern Washington University, Gonzaga University, WSU and Whitworth College. Each year the college educates more than 650 graduate and upper-division undergraduate students and prepares more entry-level nurses than any other state educational institution. For more information about the College of Nursing visit the Web site at nursing.wsu.edu.