They also offer a nursing residency program that helps bridge the gap between school and practice and provides the mentoring and support needed to thrive at the organization.
In rural areas, hospitals worry that recent graduates who can't find a job will move away. Some organizations take the view that it's better to get new grads into the system in some capacity, even if not a perfect fit, and then accept internal turnover as positions come along. This allows the organization to nurture the new nurses and build their engagement by focusing on their professional development and proving they are committed to the growth of the nurse within the organization.
Once the economy improves, many of these issues will go away and new grads will once again have their pick of opportunities. And in the not-too-distant-future, the aging population will prove that the nursing shortage never really went away.