Nursing: Not A Recession-Proof Career - page 2

by TheCommuter 11,153 Views | 32 Comments Senior Moderator

Contrary to widely held beliefs, nursing is certainly NOT the recession-proof career that many entities have seemingly made it out to be. During the recession of the early 1990s, some nurses in certain regions of the United... Read More


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    Quote from MN-Nurse
    I don't doubt it. I don't consider RNs who were trained in the United States as "insourced."
    Me, neither.

    The foreign nurses that I've mentioned received their nursing education and training in countries such as the Philippines, India, and (on a far lesser scale) Great Britain.
    lindarn likes this.
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    Quote from TheCommuter
    Contrary to widely held beliefs, nursing is certainly NOT the recession-proof career that many entities have seemingly made it out to be.
    . . . More people than usual become unemployed during sluggish economic times and, as a result, lose their health insurance benefits. Since healthcare is prohibitively expensive, uninsured people are definitely not inclined to seek it unless their health problems have progressed into unavoidable emergencies. In addition, the medical bills of uninsured patients tend to go unpaid, which means less cash flow for healthcare facilities. Numerous hospitals are providing plenty of charity care in this day and age.
    I suspect that this problem will be exacerbated when the SC rules key provisions of the ACA unconstitutional later this month, but that's just one man's opinion on the two topics.
    Quote from TheCommuter
    . . . Masses of part-time nurses accept full-time positions during economic recessions to keep their households afloat when a breadwinner spouse loses his or her job without notice. Plenty of retired nurses have been reactivating their nursing licenses and since 2008, and are returning to the nursing workforce due to the escalating costs of food and fuel combined with the effects of retirement funds that have dwindled in value.
    I don't know if this is the case in all parts of the country but in my part of the world, this is true is absolutely what's been happening. So much so that the overwhelming majority of employers hiring nurses now will not consider new grads. Nearly every job posting, including those in LTC, now state that they require a minimum of one year experience, with many demanding two years or more.
    Quote from TheCommuter
    . . . Another noteworthy issue is the aggressive expansion of nursing program slots over the past few years. Moreover, multiple new schools of nursing have opened their doors to willing applicants in recent years, especially at the private for-profit trade schools. These two factors have resulted in a recent increase in newly graduated nurses in local job markets. A significant number of these new nurses have grappled with unemployment and underemployment for more than one year because their local job markets cannot absorb them all.
    Again quite true in my area at least. Looking at just the 25 nursing programs in my home state metro area shows 25 active nursing programs (diploma, ADN and BSN) within a 50 mile radius (I live in a major metro area that actually borders three states, which would bring the total number of programs to over 35 but I don't have easy access to the other data needed for a valid comparison, so I'm artificially limiting things for this discussion). Looking at the NCLEX first-time passing numbers for these programs shows a gradual increase in new RN's over the past five years from about 1,800 to about 2,100. Looking at the BLS data shows that on average, there are roughly 200 new nursing positions created annually in the metro area over the same time span. While these figures are slightly misleading - not all of the 2,000 or so grads remain in the area after passing the NCLEX and the BLS data does not take into account nurses who retire or move and are replaced - at the macro level it certainly strongly hints that supply is greatly outstripping demand. While my region is probably not the norm across the entire country, I strongly suspect that this is also the case in many, if not most major US metro areas. The anecdotal evidence I've seen leads me to believe that this is the case for SoCal, the NYC metro area, WDC, and major AZ and FL metro areas.

    The really bad part of all of this is that demand for seats in nursing programs seems to be continuing to rise. It's only rational for nursing programs to seek to satisfy that increasing demand, even though doing so worsens an already severe problem. My strong suspicion is - and again this only my opinion - that both nursing wages and benefits will see significant deterioration in the coming years. I believe that this is already underway but have not yet seen the data needed to support this assertion.
    Zookeeper3, CrufflerJJ, lindarn, and 1 other like this.
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    Another thing to consider is that although there are weak spots for hiring and warmer spots, these will become more homogenized as nurses migrate to where the jobs are. I've seen this in Texas with this recession and I've seen similar migration in other fields, as well as in past recessions.
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    Nursing is not recession proof. You have to be more flexible and be able to work wherever you can get a job. Getting your dream nowdays seems difficult if not possible. Now I am just happy to be working even though adminstration and my manager don't seem to understand we are superhumans. There was a time period where they threatened to suspend anyone who had a fall during their shift. I got injured last week the blame was put on me not the mismanagement of the new patient transfered to my unit, whose care had not been managed properly.
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    no job is really "recession proof" or anything proof for that matter, BUT jobs in the medical field are usually the most secure during an economic downturn. i watched a show the other day with a couple who lost their business detailing vehicles...and another couple lost their jobs selling vacations. obviously, going on vacation and having your car detailed are luxuries. when the economy tanks...people cut those things out.

    getting sick or injured isn't a choice or something you can "cut out." people with cancer can't get rid of it without treatment, and elderly people in ltc can't regain the ability to care for themselves. medical care is always going to be necessary regardless of the economy. sure, changes are made and budgets cut....but that's why it's "more secure" than other jobs. people take the term "recession proof" way too literally.
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    Thank Goodness ... finally.. an article stating the current situation of nursing lay offs. I've been laid off since early February from homehealth agency. Last month I was hired PRN at a wound center. The unemployment office first remark was " Oh you're a nurse, you'll have no problems" It's a falsehood to promote nursing as recession proof.
    Zookeeper3, kcmylorn, and adventure780 like this.
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    Quote from IndianaHH
    Thank Goodness ... finally.. an article stating the current situation of nursing lay offs. I've been laid off since early February from homehealth agency. Last month I was hired PRN at a wound center. The unemployment office first remark was " Oh you're a nurse, you'll have no problems" It's a falsehood to promote nursing as recession proof.
    Unfortunately, the media has drilled the idea into the heads of the collective public that the nursing profession is recession-proof.

    I was visiting my parents, who live in California, a few months ago. My mother was saying, "California needs nurses!" My father said, "Nursing in in demand here!" And they both were asking if I would relocate back to California.

    I cannot move back to my home state without a job lined up there. However, CA is one of the most difficult states for a nurse to secure employment. I have even applied multiple times in the less desirable cities. I have six years of nursing experience, but it is not the right mix of experience for most recruiters and managers there.

    According to recent statistics, 43 percent of all new nurses in California have not been able to secure employment: Central Valley Business Times
    CrufflerJJ and adventure780 like this.
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    Here in CA, Kaiser is in a hiring freeze, Sutter is striking, Muir is laying off, St Rose (in Hayward) is just swirling around the bowl before the final flush, the local VA is in complete retreat...cities in CA are declaring bankruptcy (three in the last few weeks)...it's like stories my grandparents used to tell about the Great Depression.

    Or maybe it's like that scene in Ghostbusters where Bill Murray declares..." Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes! The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria..."

    Let's put this ghost to rest shall we

    There is no nursing shortage in California! And there hasn't been for a long, long time.

    There are lots of sick people in CA, and lots of unemployed people in CA, and LOTS of unemployed sick people in CA, who come to the hospital and are unable to pay anything for the care they receive. They come from all over the world, and they get the finest care we can provide...then they leave without paying a cent. THERE ARE NO MORE NURSING JOBS IN CALIFORNIA!

    The wheels have fallen off the wagon people. The system is falling apart. I wouldn't be surprised if my ER was over-run by zombies during the next full moon (joke).

    Really, will the last RN to leave California, please remember to turn the call-lights off.
    Zookeeper3, kcmylorn, and TheCommuter like this.
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    Grand Rapids, MI is probably one of the least trendy and/or desirable places to live in the country. But after reading about people's experiences in the more "with it" cities, I'm kind of glad I live here. I could quit tonight, and have another full time job by lunch tomorrow.
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    Quote from Dana1969
    There is no nursing shortage in California! And there hasn't been for a long, long time.
    I can agree with this. Recent statistics indicate that 43 percent of all newer nurses in California have not been able to find their first nursing jobs. If the state of CA truly suffered from a nursing shortage, all of these nurses would have secured employment by now.

    Central Valley Business Times

    California is my home state where I was born and raised. I want to return to CA, but I will not do this without a firm job offer. Even with 6+ years of experience, my prospects of finding nursing employment there are not that great.


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