Having to tell people there is no nursing shortage

  1. 4
    I am a new grad and its starting to irk many how many times people say: have you found a nursing job yet followed by why haven't you, theres a nursing shortage out there. Other things I've heard is - theres tons of hospitals in the city, you have so many choices. Or you picked a good career to go into, you'll never be without a job, you'll find something good soon. Or my friend got a nursing job with a $10000 bonus back in 200*, there's a demand!

    Then I have to explain that 1) we're still in recession and more people are not paying their medical bills and not getting elective surgeries. 2) hospitals laid off a bunch of nurses 3) those nurses that were still there took on more hours 4) nursing schools used a vulnerable time for the masses to lure people into nursing school creating high supply and low demand 5) healthcare is up in the air right now putting healthcare budgets on a balance beam that hopefully will see improvement 6) I have to have someone who can get me a really good in and be able to schmooze nowadays to get a good nursing job as a new grad 7) there is no nursing shortage right now in most areas.

    And they still don't get it. I feel embarrased for myself having to explain because clearly i should have a job by now if i had a good head on my shoulders and applied. Whatever.
    CherylRNBSN, Sw88tpea, Joe V, and 1 other like this.
  2. 45 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    It's funny, in my graduate program we have been discussing the "nursing shortages" and the history of nursing in the United States. The use of "shortages" was first conceived as a management tool in the 40's, when the shortage was legitimate. From then on about every decade or two a new "shortage" appears.

    An economist would say that these shortages are a normal and healthy response to changes in the marketplace and if left alone a balance will quickly be struck between the production of supply and the level of demand as the price (salaries & benefits) are adjusted.

    An administrator would see a "shortage" as an opportunity to scare the public in order to justify short-staffing and the utilization of short-trained nurses. This is in fact where LPNs, Dilpoma RNs, and ADN RNs have come into the market (more so on the latter two). See, with a shortage you cannot justify paying the same nurse less but you can justify working them harder, if you cannot pay the same nurse less you can recruit short-trained nurses and pay them less.
    virginialawson likes this.
  4. 8
    Quote from Asystole RN
    An administrator would see a "shortage" as an opportunity to scare the public in order to justify short-staffing and the utilization of short-trained nurses. This is in fact where LPNs, Dilpoma RNs, and ADN RNs have come into the market (more so on the latter two).
    Oh come on! Are you saying that diploma nurses were invented in the 1940's as a management tool?!!!! I bet that comes as a surprise to all the schools that have been around since the turn of the century.
    arelle68, klone, morte, and 5 others like this.
  5. 1
    Shortages exist in some areas of nursing - but what employers want is experience. For instance, we are expanding our surgery area. We have a "shortage" of experienced surgery nurses in our area. It is not safe to hire too many new people. I agree that the schools are over-anticipating the baby boomers retirement. A lot of us prefer to work.
    MBARNBSN likes this.
  6. 1
    Quote from classicdame
    I agree that the schools are over-anticipating the baby boomers retirement. A lot of us prefer to work.
    And many can't afford not to.

    I work with a few boomers who just hate their jobs but they can't find anywhere else they can make $45 an hour.
    MBARNBSN likes this.
  7. 0
    As always, I encourage folks to look to the places that do struggle to retain staff: Specifically, rural hospitals a couple hundred miles from the big-city ones. They have typically have trouble recruiting and retaining experienced staff because they generally pay very poorly by comparison, are often in places considered less desirable by some, and generally have limited equipment, facilities, and patient types.

    That said, they're much easier to get into and can open the door a few years out.

    Your primary point regarding the misperception of a nursing shortage is well taken. It appears that there is an ever-growing surplus of new nurses flooding the market and competing for very limited job opportunities.
  8. 4
    Quote from Asystole RN

    An administrator would see a "shortage" as an opportunity to scare the public in order to justify short-staffing and the utilization of short-trained nurses. This is in fact where LPNs, Dilpoma RNs, and ADN RNs have come into the market (more so on the latter two). See, with a shortage you cannot justify paying the same nurse less but you can justify working them harder, if you cannot pay the same nurse less you can recruit short-trained nurses and pay them less.
    I also take umbrage with your description of these nurses as "short-trained". My diploma program was 3 years long. My nursing classes started at the beginning of the second semester of the first year. Since, at the very least, I had nursing classes for one extra semester than BSN programs I guess that would make me MORE trained.
    NyteshiftLVN, RNsRWe, loriangel14, and 1 other like this.
  9. 3
    The only shortage that exist is, nurses that are truly willing to put up with the crap that employers give.
    Dixiecup, workingharder, and morte like this.
  10. 1
    Quote from FlyingScot
    Oh come on! Are you saying that diploma nurses were invented in the 1940's as a management tool?!!!! I bet that comes as a surprise to all the schools that have been around since the turn of the century.
    No, but that was the first major shortage that brought them to the market as a staffing tool.
    heron21 likes this.
  11. 3
    Quote from FlyingScot
    I also take umbrage with your description of these nurses as "short-trained". My diploma program was 3 years long. My nursing classes started at the beginning of the second semester of the first year. Since, at the very least, I had nursing classes for one extra semester than BSN programs I guess that would make me MORE trained.
    I apologize that you take offense to the term "short-trained" but to be honest I did not invent that term. Programs that fall short of offering a (BSN) college level education, associate degree programs being a rather newer development, are termed “short-training” programs.

    Again, I did not invent this. This is a term invented by nursing historians.

    The history and use of Diploma programs by hospitals is fascinating. Ever wonder why hospitals would spend all the money, time, and trouble to start and maintain their own nursing programs? There were reasons I can assure you, and quality was not one of them. This however does not mean that their programs did not quality education, just that it was not one of the chief motivating factors.
    Last edit by Asystole RN on Jul 17, '12
    jtmarcy12, TiddlDwink, and Meriwhen like this.


Top