The vast majority of student nurses graduating this summer have no job to go to, according to a survey reported by the BBC.
Figures from 20 universities showed eight out of ten had so far failed to secure a position, compared with 30% last year, it said.
Evidence was gathered by the Council of Deans, which represents nursing and health faculties.
It was also said to show that of nurses who had already graduated from one London university, only a quarter had found work.
And the figure for a midwifery faculty in the North East was 5 per cent.
The Royal College of Nursing found the figures "shocking", BBC Radio 4's Today programme reported.Reuse content