Nursing shortage: A myth?

  1. Hi everyone!
    When I graduated form RN program, I thought that no matter where I moved, I would find a great job. So far, I had no problem finding a position I wanted. I got multiple offers being 6 mos pregnant, I also was a new grad. Unfortunately, I have to move in the nearest future due to poor air quality and multiutude of health problems it has caused my family. When I satrted reading threads from other states and Northern CA, I found myself to be very dissapointed- everywhere I looked, new grads and RNs with experience wrote about diffuculties they encountered when looking for a job. Is nursing shortage really a myth?
    Please write what your experience has been and what you think about nursing shortage or the absence of it.
    Thank you!
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  2. 31 Comments

  3. by   chocokitten
    No, it is not a myth. I have only heard from ONE of my classmates that states she was having difficulty getting a job. Everyone else pretty much had a job lined up before they even grauated! ^_^ I know I have 3 hospitals here in MI fighting over me (and one in PENN, another in Arizona). The nursing shortage IS a reality, and it's only getting worse I think that is depends on the time of year in which you are looking for a job. Many of my classmates were hired in the spring/summer. The one having trouble didn't start applying til the fall. I also have a friend in Cali that recently had to deal with her father passing. She said that the nusing shortage in N. CA was so bad that they (the family) pretty much did everything for their dad and they hardly saw the nurses cause they were so busy.
  4. by   MichaelFloridaRN
    I think that it depends on what part of the country you are from. I hear that in some places there is no nursing shortage at all, while in other places employers have given up on placing ads because there is no one to fill the position.
  5. by   pkohm
    I just don't understand though, can someone help me understand this. How is it that it's hard to get into nursing school and yet there's a shortage? And it's not that it's hard in the sense that you have to do a lot of work to get in (which i guess u do) but more it's hard in the sense that 400 people will apply to a program and 100 people get in. And that's for a lot of schools i hear of (not even just the top schools). So, why is it so many people are trying to go to nursing school and not getting in (when they're qualified) yet there's a "shortage" Do we need more nursing schools or is everyone quiting quickly/ Dropping out of NS?
  6. by   phoenix72
    Quote from pkohm
    I just don't understand though, can someone help me understand this. How is it that it's hard to get into nursing school and yet there's a shortage? And it's not that it's hard in the sense that you have to do a lot of work to get in (which i guess u do) but more it's hard in the sense that 400 people will apply to a program and 100 people get in. And that's for a lot of schools i hear of (not even just the top schools). So, why is it so many people are trying to go to nursing school and not getting in (when they're qualified) yet there's a "shortage" Do we need more nursing schools or is everyone quiting quickly/ Dropping out of NS?
    The problem lies mainly in that nursing instructors are paid very low wages. Those nurses who are qualified to instruct make much better pay working as a RN, so why teach? In order to end this shortage, nursing instructors need to earn a higher wage. Higher wages means more instructors, thus more programs, and more grads. IMHO
  7. by   chocokitten
    I agree with the above post. The shorage is a vicious cycle. As the shortage of floor nurses goes up the money that hospitals are willing to pay also increased (to lure nurses into working for them). And thus the teachers have more incentive to work the floor than to teach. Besides, floor nurses can, in a way, leave their work at WORK. Teachers have papers to grade, student emails to answer, lessons to plan etc. Why work as a teacher when teh pay sucks and there is so much to do? THEN because their is a shortage of instructors there is less room for students. Therefore the schools admit fewer students and the number of new nurses coming out of programs decreases. Thus FURTHER decreasing the number of available floor nurses (shampoo, rinse, repeat ^_^)
    make sense?
  8. by   CiCigirl
    Quote from phoenix72
    The problem lies mainly in that nursing instructors are paid very low wages. Those nurses who are qualified to instruct make much better pay working as a RN, so why teach? In order to end this shortage, nursing instructors need to earn a higher wage. Higher wages means more instructors, thus more programs, and more grads. IMHO
    :yeahthat:This is what I've heard also. I've even read an article that stated that the average wage for RNs was >$80k/yr in my area (MD). Yet there is a shortage of instructors for nsg schools.

    Also, in my area an MSN is the minimum required to teach at nsg schools, yet an ADN straight out of school can get a nurse a job at $50k and up.

    Probably a lot of nurses see it as: Why go all out for the extra tuition and time required for the MSN to teach when you can get better $$ anyway as a practicing nurse.

    IMHO
  9. by   pkohm
    oh ok i got it, so we need more teachers because otherwise not enough people are graduating each year to fill the gaps that are needed from new openings and people retiring.
    thanks .
  10. by   RN1989
    Perhaps the MYTH that you are referring to is not the one you actually understand as you are a newbie. If you look at the numbers of people holding nursing licenses in this country, there is not a nursing shortage. Because healthcare is so mad, the majority of licensed nurses have left/are leaving nursing jobs and going into non-nursing careers. They do not give up their license - after all it is a lot of work to get - but they will no longer work in healthcare. Thus, the nursing shortage (in areas not saturated with nursing schools and/or foreign nurses).
  11. by   MIA-RN
    Quote from blacksea pebble
    Hi everyone!
    When I graduated form RN program, I thought that no matter where I moved, I would find a great job. So far, I had no problem finding a position I wanted. I got multiple offers being 6 mos pregnant, I also was a new grad. Unfortunately, I have to move in the nearest future due to poor air quality and multiutude of health problems it has caused my family. When I satrted reading threads from other states and Northern CA, I found myself to be very dissapointed- everywhere I looked, new grads and RNs with experience wrote about diffuculties they encountered when looking for a job. Is nursing shortage really a myth?
    Please write what your experience has been and what you think about nursing shortage or the absence of it.
    Thank you!
    I think that when job searching, you also have to keep in mind the time of year you are looking for your position, if its near graduation time (Dec and May/June) you might have a bit of a harder time because all the new grads are lining up their jobs.
    I think the shortage is more related to the lack of instructors and also, the nurses who are leaving or being (subtlely) pushed out (more patients to less nurse, hospital budget cuts etc).
  12. by   NooNieNursie
    Quote from pkohm
    I just don't understand though, can someone help me understand this. How is it that it's hard to get into nursing school and yet there's a shortage? And it's not that it's hard in the sense that you have to do a lot of work to get in (which i guess u do) but more it's hard in the sense that 400 people will apply to a program and 100 people get in. And that's for a lot of schools i hear of (not even just the top schools). So, why is it so many people are trying to go to nursing school and not getting in (when they're qualified) yet there's a "shortage" Do we need more nursing schools or is everyone quiting quickly/ Dropping out of NS?
    Two reasons.

    1) Shortage of nursing instructors. You can only have 10 students with an instructor in the clinical area (and as a nursing student I can't imagine there being more than that ) . The nursing shortage affects nurse educators, too (and many nurses do not want to necessarily be educators *until* they are too old to do bedside/clinical nursing, because nurse education pays like garbage)

    2) Not any/everyone can be a nurse.
    We downplay this often (and tend to emphasize the "touchy feely" part of the profession) but nursing is a sciency field ; ya gotta study lots, gotta have a bit of a brain, and not everyone can hack that. It takes studying, it takes hard work, and to get into nursing school you have to meet a certain intellectual and educational criteria.

    With enough hard work a person can overcome intellectual short commings (I remember a story of a nursing student who took 5 years to complete a 2 year program... now that takes dedication! )
    ... and with enough intelligence, a person can slack off and work a bit less... both will get you through school and your degree/RN.

    However, there is no way around it: you do need a certain requisite amount of ability to work hard and capcity to learn, and the fact of the matter is not everyone who WANTS to be a nurse has what it takes or wants it bad enough to do it.



    This explains why there is a bajillion prospective nursing students but just a teeny tiny fraction of new RNs being popped out every year.
  13. by   Joe NightingMale
    Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to them there is still a shortage, and will be until the foreseeable future. However, it does vary geographically; around Boston there are few vacancies, while in the South and West there are many.
  14. by   Lizzy6
    Quote from RN1989
    Perhaps the MYTH that you are referring to is not the one you actually understand as you are a newbie. If you look at the numbers of people holding nursing licenses in this country, there is not a nursing shortage. Because healthcare is so mad, the majority of licensed nurses have left/are leaving nursing jobs and going into non-nursing careers. They do not give up their license - after all it is a lot of work to get - but they will no longer work in healthcare. Thus, the nursing shortage (in areas not saturated with nursing schools and/or foreign nurses).
    Exactly, plus there are also "us" baby boomers who are needing to get out, just worn out. More & more baby boomers will be retiring, so there will be MORE nurses leaving.

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