By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Getting started in the work world can often be the hardest part, even in a robust field like nursing.

Look through the nursing help-wanteds and you’ll see many want experience, often two years or more. Deborah Garrison, Dean of Widener University’s Nursing School, says it’s not like five years ago, when graduates could attract signing bonuses, but it’s still not a bad way to go.

Figures for 2012 aren’t ready yet but, “The previous year, we were at 77 percent employment within 6 months of graduation and that’s pretty reasonable, because it takes the nurse several months, possibly, to get approval through the state to sit for licensure.”

She says their education culminates with a focus on the next step, “We have a very strong Capstone at the end of the program where students work, for the last three weeks, under the direction of a nurse, four days a week, really demonstrating their ability to step right into the workplace.”

Garrison says Widener also offers general career services for their students.

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