I currently teach Instrumentation at Bellingham Technical College in Bellingham, WA. A couple of years ago the market was so hot, all my students had jobs before graduation save for two, and they were hired within a month of graduation.
One thing that is helpful to my students is that I help them get set up with internships while they're still in school, to give them experience they can put on a resume when they graduate. Our school is also active in hosting interviews on campus for employers. Even now with the "down" economy, we have employers coming to Bellingham Technical College to recruit.
My advice to you now is to get yourself into some form of technical maintenance job, even if it isn't strictly Instrumentation. My first job, while I was going to college to study Instrumentation, was working in a machine shop doing maintenance on CNC machine tools. I started as a general maintenance person, then applied what I had learned about electronics to the computer controls. It was this experience (two years, part-time: about 25 hours/week) that enabled me to get my first "real" Instrumentation job at an oil refinery. I was told by the refinery that without this hands-on experience, they would not have hired me even though my grades in Instrumentation were top-of-the-class.
Also, never let "5 years minimum experience" dissuade you from submitting a resume and application. Many job descriptions are written by HR people with little or no knowledge of the job requirements, who ask for lots of experience but are only willing to offer starting-level wages. My advice is to broadcast your resume and cover letters to any and all employers hiring, and let THEM tell you you're not experienced enough yet -- never take yourself out of the running because you don't think you match their posted requirements. Persistence pays off.