RN labor supply: Are we in a bubble?

  1. Interesting article in today's New England Journal of Medicine.

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  3. by   GitanoRN
    though experiences i learned when you have nothing good to say, it's better to say nothing.
  4. by   Ted
    Interesting . . .

    In quickly reading the article, it seems that the operative word is "temporary". It seems that the nursing "labor supply" may be experiencing a temporary bubble. The article continues that the nursing shortage most likely will come back "to haunt us" (my words, not the article's words) in the next few years as the economy improves. The last paragraph of this article ends with this:

    Employers and workforce policymakers should not be lulled into complacency by the current absence of a nursing shortage. Instead, they should anticipate that the current positive effect of a weak economy on the RN labor supply is likely to evaporate as the economy improves and that shortages will reemerge. Shortages of RNs may reduce access to care and increase costs as employers raise salaries to attract nurses, potentially imperiling the success of health care reform. Therefore, plans to counter the reemergence of a post-recession shortage and to use existing RNs-both incoming and outgoing-as efficiently and effectively as possible should be a priority for policymakers.
    I do hope that employers and "workforce policymakers" keeps this in mind.
  5. by   pinkfluffybunny
    I really hope this really does come to pass. It will be nice to watch the corporations loss their leverage and start scrambling for nurses again.
  6. by   KeyMaster
    This article only PROVES that THERE IS NO NURSING SHORTAGE - and that there never has been. There is simply a shortage of nurses who are willing to work in understaffed, underpaid positions.

    "hospital employment of registered nurses (RNs) increased by an estimated 243,000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2007 and 2008 — the largest increase during any 2-year period in the past four decades"

    We are cranking out nurses in record numbers, but there is NO WAY that we have graduated more nurses in a 2-year period than we did in the past four decades. The RN's that filled those 243,000 FTEs already existed - they had just opted out of poor work environments.

    " an economic downturn may have a particularly large effect, since many RNs who were not working or were working part-time may rejoin the workforce or change to full-time status to bolster their household's economic security."

    There is NOT a shortage of nurses!! There is a shortage of positions attractive enough to be worth working for. If there were nursing positions that provided competitive pay, flexible hours and job satisfaction (without pointless CYA paperwork) there would be plenty of nurses available and willing to work no matter what the state of the economy is.
    Last edit by KeyMaster on Mar 22, '12 : Reason: spelling error
  7. by   nurseprnRN
    although you quoted it, i think you might have missed the point made that with the economic downturn (the depression officially beginning in 12/2007) many nurses kept jobs they otherwise would have left, thus making it hard for others to work.

    you can't say that all the people who used to leave their positions behind (from your previous quotation) did so due to poor work environments. they just had the freedom to do so-- husbands making good bucks, mortgage not underwater, kid school costs not tripling.
  8. by   Ted
    Quote from keymaster
    this article only proves that there is no nursing shortage - and that there never has been. there is simply a shortage of nurses who are willing to work. . . .
    not new news!!! been saying this for years. . . . for decades, actually!

    in the end, though, a shortage is a shortage if ftes are not filled. having worked on a unit which experienced significant difficulties filling those vacant ftes, and keeping them filled with experienced and talented nurses, the "why's" behind them being empty mattered none!
    Last edit by Ted on Mar 22, '12
  9. by   movingangel
    Quote from GrnTea
    Interesting article in today's New England Journal of Medicine.


    I'm so sick of reading these articles about the "nursing shortage". Notice the people who write these articles aren't nurses. Where do they get their information from. Talking about an increase in nursing positions from 2007-2008??? are they kidding? We need to write to these dumb a--es and let them know what it's really like. I've been out of work for almost a year now. EVERY recruiter (travel or perm placement) has said the same thing..."back in 2008 things were booming, but now hospitals are cutting back, laying off nurses, yet still taking trips to the Philippines and hiring nurses on visas. (Putting American nurses out of jobs). The reason for that is because the bigwig administrators know that these people WILL NOT SPEAK UP against poor working conditions. AND Obamacare NEEDS TO BE REPEALED!!! I know doctors who are leaving their practices and it WILL AFFECT NURSES AS WELL.....it already is. The public and the media needs to be made aware of this.
    The people writing these articles are "Piled High and Deep" (PhD.) FOS!!
  10. by   movingangel
    Quote from pinkfluffybunny
    I really hope this really does come to pass. It will be nice to watch the corporations loss their leverage and start scrambling for nurses again.
    OOPS...posted it in the wrong spot (new here). Anyway, I totally agree with you. Well said!
  11. by   silentRN
    We are already starting to feel the effects of Obamacare at my hospital. Medicare is reimbursing less while Medicaid doesn't take any new applicants from people who don't have children under the age of 18. The Secretary of HHS approved the cutting of Medicaid in Arizona. The fact is, this nation is broke and we are starting to see austerity measures go into effect. That is the plain truth.
  12. by   wooh
    Interesting that we're blaming all of this on Obamacare.
    A couple weeks ago, the elevator at my job was broken. Must have been Obamacare!!!
  13. by   Esme12
    I think we are definitely in a bubble. I think the article is a little optimistic about the recovery and when.......but those of us in nursing have seen this phenomenon before. When the economy improves those who flocked her as a form of refuge from the storm, leave as soon as the opportunity arises as they really don't like beign a nurse at all.

    Use old bats are eventually going to HAVE to retire eventually or even die out of our positions (kidding... sort of) It will leave a gap. The problem is there is no way to predict when this will happen or have nurses "in the wings" waiting to help out. There will be another shortage again and I believe there will be another boon, I just don't think it wil be like the last one....but you never know.

    There is a glut now and continuing to crank out nurses will not stay the renewal of a shrotage. Mnay will not wait and will find other employment and never return. The answer to the problem? I have no idea....but the shortage wll eventually return. I'm down with the articles date of 2017.

    Grntea...kind of proves what I have been saying all along...
  14. by   NewGoalRN
    Hmmm, well Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami is set to lay off over 1000 employees next month and 400 of those will be nurses!

    I thank goodness that I have my full time business job still and a business degree to fall back on just in case I can't find a nursing job.