Critical nursing shortage attracts regional employers to PCC’s RN Job Fair

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Four nurses in scrubs attend event.Three people gather at RN exhibit.Two people standing side by side: Nursing Program Dean and Jobs and InternshipsPCC Nursing student collects info.PCC Nursing students in blue.Two women promote career opportinities to nurses.Two recruiters from Samaritan Health at their exhibit.2 PCC RNs graduating in June.

Nursing students flocked to the Sylvania Campus HT Building on Feb. 22 to join Portland Community College’s Registered Nurse (RN) Job Fair, hosted by Career Services, with more than a dozen employers exhibiting career opportunities.

“Employers can meet our exceptionally qualified, upcoming RN graduates,” said PCC Jobs and Internships Specialist Diane Jantze. She coordinated the event for students to highlight their skills while networking with the recruiters from different departments of hospitals and assisted living facilities.

The fair helps students compare not only starting wages, which according to representatives can range from $35 to $52 per hour depending on experience, but also seek a nurturing environment with generous time off, tuition reimbursement and ample retirement compensation. Students can inquire about professional development opportunities to grow their careers in meaningful ways. After all, entering an in-demand career like nursing that offers a secure financial future is key but to have a job that is also personally rewarding and sustainable is crucial.

Students at nursing job fair.

Celebrate CTE Month!

February was national Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month where Portland Community College and other institutions spotlighted their important career and technical education programs. CTE Month celebrated today’s cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant career and technical education programs, which prepare youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers.

Learn more about PCC’s programs

“I graduate in June and loved my clinicals at Providence where I was so comfortable with patients, even ‘difficult, ones,” said Aleck Rojas who previously worked in marketing and is now working three 12-hour shifts at his medical-surgical practicum. “I am here looking for future extra shifts with either a senior care facility or an in-home caregiver situation. But honestly, it’s not just about the money, it’s about managing stress too. I’m looking for the right culture.”

This event helps students like Rojas because it can be challenging to reach hiring managers within large hospitals.

“This job fair allows our nursing students to have that direct networking opportunity,” said Jantze.

Exhibitors from throughout the region included Salem Health Hospitals, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Vancouver Clinic, Peace Health, Legacy Health, Samaritan Health Services, Providence Health and Services, Kaiser Permanente, and OHSU Health Hillsboro Medical Center. Prestige Care and Prestige Senior Living along with Marquis Assisted Living & Senior Care Facilities were participants seeking nurses and caregivers. Additionally, Nursingale, the only non-profit provider of home-based skilled nursing care for medically fragile children and young adults in Oregon, was present.

“Nursingale’s mission is to serve the underserved in their homes. We hope to onboard new PCC grads and show an alternative nursing career to that as hospital staff,” said Nancy Stephens, Human Resources Manager.

Oregon Health and Science University representatives were on-hand for those students wanting careers or continuing their studies beyond RN. OHSU Talent Acquisition Partner Lindsay Suppa explained that, “acceptance into the PCC Nursing program allows for non-competitive admission to OHSU’s School of Nursing.” Here, PCC graduates can continue their RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“RNs are in high demand in this tight healthcare labor market and it warms my heart knowing PCC is serving the greater community by producing such talented nursing graduates. Hopefully, this contributed to their success by facilitating excellent connections that lead to future employment and career satisfaction,” said Jantze.

Well-paid, post-pandemic nursing careers are plentiful and continue to be in demand . For more information visit

About Misty Bouse

A Portland Community College public relations specialist, Misty Bouse has been working in college advancement for a decade. A graduate of University of Oregon, Misty has worked as a managing editor for BUILDERNews Magazine and as a contribu... more »