Nursing Shortage or Not (two articles)

  1. There has been so much talk about the "supposed" nursing shortage vs. the influx of nurses (and nursing programs and nursing students) that I wanted to see what data was out there. One recent article cites a report that states healthcare will experience extreme growth, resulting in shortages (including nursing) by 2020 (http://www.usnewsuniversitydirectory...alt_12469.aspx -- published two days ago)

    Another article published in FORBES asks whether or not Nursing has been over-hyped as a career choice. It cites surveys of recent college grads, pointing to the difficulty in obtaining positions, especially for those without a baccalaureate degree (accelerated BSN had some issues as well). That said, the article does end by pointing out that the BLS expects the demand for nurses "to increase rapidly alongside rising demand for outpatient care, long-term care facilities and home healthcare." ( -- published five days ago).

    It seems as if the shortage/influx of nurses can be very regional. In our area, there are healthcare facilities going up every other day. If it isn't an Autozone, it's a medical office/building (though we are getting a Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts! No Target, yet). A couple hours north of us in Columbus, there is a shortage of JOBS for nurses. Then again, there is also a shortage of teaching positions (with thousands applying for ONE open position). A sign of our struggling economy? Clearly, that can be another reason for the lack of positions AND the influx of new nurses (bad economy, losing a job--go get more training, start a new career!).

    So, while I will graduate with an ADN in 2014, I may have to wait to find a job until 2020? Who knows? With drastic changes in our economy, healthcare policy, culture, technology, science, there is no telling what tomorrow or the next will bring.

    After graduation I'll probably get my BSN and maybe my MSN and then teach . . . or, I'll win the lottery. Try out for a reality show. Write a best-selling memoir . . .
  2. Visit laski profile page

    About laski

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 78; Likes: 40
    Student, SAHM, PT Tutor/Exam Rater; from US


  3. by   elprup
    There are tons of threads with GREAT explanations about this situation on allnurses. Just search, new grad, or no job. There is NOT a nursing shortage.
  4. by   HeartsOpenWide
    I would go with FORBES....the article published by the University is going to be subject by bias, they want to get students in and take their money, they don't care that there will be no job when they graduate and the student has a load of debt...they got their money.
  5. by   laski
    elprup, no kidding! Before allnurses I would have bought the hype, but I've read countless posts claiming the only shortage is with jobs. I just thought it was interesting what was discussed in these two articles, especially since both are very recent.

    I think like anything, it's cyclical. If you are in nursing and lack the passion and dedication, perhaps the job market may turn you off. Otherwise, you are willing to do what it takes.

    I'm wondering if veteran nurses think that the expected shortage of 2020 is a real possibility.
  6. by   laski
    While the first article is from US News' University Directory, it does cite a report from Georgetown University, this same information was mentioned in Forbes and is available on BLS and in numerous other articles. The Forbes article also cites a report from NSDA as the basis for nursing being over-hyped as a career. The study, based on a 2011 survey (, is really revealing. It is especially astute in supporting what I see on these forums all the time--region to region variations do exist (with the West having the biggest challenging in new grads obtaining employment). However, there still isn't a shortage.

    This report brought to light the need for nursing programs and nurse educators to be responsible in discussing the current job market and the realities of the career path students are choosing. It is clear the surveyors do not want to see additional nurses on the unemployment line. Unfortunately, as mentioned in many recent posts here on AllNurses, there are for-profit institutions that do not have a rigorous selection process, thus they accept several students with the promise of a "degree" knowing their opportunities upon graduation will be limited if not non-existent.

    I'm wondering if current nurses and other healthcare workers see the trend changing? Might there be a NEED for nurses in the future or will the diploma mills (as discussed in an article here on AllNurses) negate the expected shortage of 2020?

    NOTE: I realize the report was conducted by a nursing organization, however, it is clear that the goal was to bring to light the realities of this career path. Also, in addition to the study there are additional works cited that are no affiliated with any nursing organizations. Please take the time to read the reports. I think being a former educator, I am a supporter of doing your due diligence. If after having all the facts you are not deterred from nursing, then you know that it is more likely the path you were meant to take.

    DISCLAIMER: Facts mixed with a few small nuggets of my opinion. Be gentle . . .
  7. by   hazRN
    Philippines has the most numbers of unemployed RNs. It is so ironic that in remote areas, they are badly needing Nurses. This is a problem here today.
  8. by   MN-Nurse
    We have gone on and on and on about the "nursing shortage."

    It might be time for all of us to put our big girl underwear on and stop the endless hand wringing.

    A factor that prospective entrants into the job market need to ask, "How does does nursing as a career compare with other career paths before me?"

    It makes no sense to sit there and whine "There were more nursing jobs available for new grads 10-15 years ago!!"
  9. by   Esme12
    right now......there are multiple applicants for every position and many hospitals have hiring freezes. it is however, highly variant and a willingness to re-locate will help.

    has the nursing shortage disappeared?

    it's that time of year again. graduating nursing students are preparing to take the nclex and are looking for their first jobs. this year, many are finding those first jobs in short supply.

    reports are rampant of new graduates being unable to find open positions in their specialty of choice, and even more shockingly, many are finding it tough to find any openings at all.
    these new rns entered school with the promise that nursing is a recession-proof career. they were told the nursing shortage would guarantee them employment whenever and wherever they wanted.

    so what happened? has the nursing shortage—that we've heard about incessantly for years—suddenly gone away?

    the short term answer is clearly yes, although in the long term, unfortunately, the shortage will still be there. the recession has brought a temporary reprieve to the shortage. nurses who were close to retirement have seen their 401(k) portfolios plummet and their potential retirement income decline. they are postponing retirement a few more years until the economy—and their portfolios—pick up.

    many nurses have seen their spouses and partners lose their jobs and have increased their hours to make ends meet for their families. some who left the profession to care for children or for other reasons have rejoined the workforce for similar reasons.
    in addition, many hospitals are not hiring. the recession brought hiring freezes to healthcare facilities across the country, and many are still in effect. help wanted ads for healthcare professionals dropped by 18,400 listings in july, even as the overall economy saw a modest increase of 139,200 in online job listings.
    for the rest of the article

    nurses are talking about: jobs for new grads
    the big lie?
    without a doubt, the main source of frustration experienced by recently graduated and licensed but still unemployed nurses is what could be called "the big lie."in other words, the television commercials that encourage young people to become nurses -- and then abandon them for months (or years) without employment; and the educators who tell them that the associate's degree is perfectly adequate to guarantee employment, that they will have their pick of jobs when they graduate, and that there is plenty of time to get a bsn later on. who knows whether it is greed, ignorance, or wishful thinking that underlies the fairy tales told to nursing students about their future job prospects? whatever the motivation, the disillusionment of our new grads is palpable. the jobs they expected after all of their hard work just haven't materialized, and some grads are getting pretty desperate.
    medscape: medscape access
    for the rest of the article you need to register for medscape but it is free and is a great resource and source of information

    be a nurse...if you can

    not too long ago, the threat of a growing nursing shortage prompted thousands of prospective students to choose nursing as a career, and nursing schools rapidly filled to capacity. nursing was frequently referred to as a "recession-proof" career, and the outlook for finding a job after graduation was rosy.

    experience and employment: the vicious cycle

    now, the bloom, as they say, is off the rose. it seems that many of our new grads are stuck in that perennial dilemma: they can't get a job without experience, and they can't get experience without a job. this situation was not anticipated by thousands of nursing students who were told, often repeatedly, that a global nursing shortage practically guaranteed employment for them.

    consider, for example, the situation faced by new graduates in california. a survey of hospitals by the california institute for nursing & health care found that as many as 40% of new graduates may not be able to find jobs in california hospitals, because only 65% of the state's potential employers were hiring new graduates and generally planned to hire fewer new graduates than in previous years. overwhelming numbers of new graduates submitted applications for the few available positions for new graduates. it wasn't that the hospitals weren't hiring at all, but that they wanted nurses with experience.

    what happened to the jobs?

    most experts blame the crumbling economy for ruining the job prospects of new graduate nurses around the country, but as usual these days, the truth is more complex.

    uneven distribution. the demand for nurses was supposed to exceed the supply by the year 2010.the question of whether we truly have a nursing shortage right now is a fair one. the answer, it seems, is "it depends." apparently, it depends on where you live and where you are willing to work. neither the distribution or supply of nurses, or the demand, is uniform. some geographic (mostly rural) areas have a shortage of nurses, whereas some urban locations are witnessing an oversupply of nurses. new graduates seeking jobs in these regions will face a very competitive job market.

    economic recession. the shrinking job pool is widely believed to be a consequence of the declining us economy. temporarily at least, economic pressures and job losses in all industries have induced thousands of experienced but aging nurses to forego retirement and even increase their working hours to support their families.
    medscape: medscape access again requires registration but it is free no strings...

    i am not stepping on your dreams. "praemonitus praemunitus" forwarned is forarmed. don't let this deter from your dreams for in knowledge there is power. start networking now. volunteer, work as a cna. be the best nurse you can be.

    i wish you the best on your nursing journey.
  10. by   laski
    Great info, Esme12! I had hoped not to sound as if I were bemoaning the job outlook for nursing. I'm not. If anything, as a former teacher, I'm used to doing my due diligence and felt fairly well versed on the current situation (thanks to AllNurses). I knew that although the current market is by no means promising, it doesn't mean that opportunities don't exist. I'm more than willing to put the work in and do not expect anything to be handed to me. Most of the "older" nursing students I've encountered have felt similarly, that's why after other careers and raising families many choose nursing when they are ready to return to the workforce.

    I know it is really easy to assume this post was another beating of the proverbial horse, but it was simply a request to hear feedback from current nurses and healthcare workers as to what their opinion was of the two RECENT articles/reports--one touting the EVENTUAL shortage that may arise over the next 5-10 years and another examining the possibility that nursing as a career has been over-hyped. I don't believe either are wrong and both offer evidence to support their claims. Now, whether they TURN OUT to be right or wrong, I guess it may be very individual and/or time will tell.

    I had to go back to read my posts to see if I was "whining" as MN Nurse mentioned. I didn't see it, but perhaps as often happens with my 4-year-old when he whines and I ask him to stop, he replies, "But mom, I'm not whiiiiiinnnnnnniiiinnnngggg..."

  11. by   mmm333
    Or become a medical transcriptionist or some other job that uses some of your training.
    Chances are you can always work in a nursing home.
  12. by   SummitRN
    The jobs created 5 years from now won't help current new grads who drop out of the job market in 1-2 years because nobody will hire them.

    As others have noted, a lot of the projected job growth in nursing is not in the job fields that a lot of nurses are interested in.
  13. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from mmm333
    Or become a medical transcriptionist or some other job that uses some of your training. Chances are you can always work in a nursing home.
    Many medical transcription jobs are being outsourced to India since it's a job that can be done remotely in another country with significantly cheaper labor costs.
  14. by   1pinknurse
    I was a medical transcriptionist in the 90's & was already in danger of being outsourced as it currently is now.