So is there really a nursing shortage?

  1. I've been a nurse (LPN) for several years, and a fairly new RN now in California. While in school, both ASN and now my BSN I kept hearing about the huge nursing shortage we're facing, and how much worse it's going to get, and I still hear it. Then I read posts from experienced nurses on here who state that there's no nursing shortage in most US cities.

    So which one is true? I read about how the Baby Boomers will need many more nurses, and I also read how there aren't enough Gen X and Millennials to take over the Baby Boomer Nurses' jobs once they retire. I also read statistics by the ACA 2010 that state that we're facing a major nursing shortage and how many more nurses are needed, and in fact many agencies and companies have been bringing in foreign nurses to fill these so-called vacancies in nursing.

    So what's the real truth? In my state of California I see lots of nursing jobs posted all the time, and I wonder if it's because of nurses retiring, quitting, new positions being created, or if it's truly a shortage of nurses at all times. What do you think? Is there a shortage? Do you see a shortage in your city / state?
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  2. 159 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Well, it seems the federal government's HSRA is predicting a huge surplus of nurses by 2025. Schools are churning out new grads faster than they are needed in many areas- just ask all those new grads who have been hunting for nearly a year (sometimes more!) to get that first job. Are there pockets of shortages? Absolutely- likely those areas that aren't the most attractive to live and work in. Then there's also the certain types of experienced specialty nurses that are wanted- key word being experienced.

    Now, are places staffed adequately? Probably not. But that doesn't mean jobs are just going to magically appear to adequately staff.
  4. by   meanmaryjean
    There is - in SOME PLACES and in SOME SPECIALTIES - a shortage of EXPERIENCED nurses.

    That is the only shortage I can detect.
  5. by   caliotter3
    If you can easily get a job that you desire when you want it, there is a nursing shortage. If you can't get hired for anything even two years after you left your last position, there is no nursing shortage.
  6. by   NurseGirl525
    Where I live, yes there is. There is a huge shortage. New grads can get a job anywhere. My unit all the time offers huge overtime incentives. Huge. They recently stated they hired over 30 nurses this year and still need to hire over 15 more to be adequately staffed.

    That's not the same everywhere. But I also believe that when many nurses say, oh there is no shortage, it's because they didn't immediately get the NICU or ICU job they wanted. Well, if I applied to my "dream unit" and didn't even score an interview, then there must not be a shortage. I take what people say on here 75% of the time with a grain of salt.

    I always tell people to research your job market thoroughly. That means talking with hospital HR dept and local recruiters. Not the rumor mill.
  7. by   cleback
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Well, it seems the federal government's HSRA is predicting a huge surplus of nurses by 2025. Schools are churning out new grads faster than they are needed in many areas- just ask all those new grads who have been hunting for nearly a year (sometimes more!) to get that first job. Are there pockets of shortages? Absolutely- likely those areas that aren't the most attractive to live and work in. Then there's also the certain types of experienced specialty nurses that are wanted- key word being experienced.

    Now, are places staffed adequately? Probably not. But that doesn't mean jobs are just going to magically appear to adequately staff.
    This is your answer. Don't listen to nursing schools who are trying to get your money or a bigger budget.
  8. by   TheCommuter
    The area where I reside has a shortage of experienced nurses who are knowledgeable in certain specialties such as critical care, OR, and PACU.

    When flipping the coin, this same area has an overage of newer nurses, as well as nurses with the wrong mix of experience.
  9. by   ICUman
    Quote from NurseGirl525
    My unit all the time offers huge overtime incentives. Huge.
    I'm curious what you consider "huge incentives"? When we are short my unit offers time and a half pay, plus an additional $100. That's not super motivating to me. What does your unit offer in comparison?
  10. by   AlmostANurse321
    If you read into the data that's out there and the hiring trends, there is a shortage of BSN trained nurses willing to work in acute care facilities.
  11. by   NurseCard
    Depends on the area you live in, the specialty you work in.
    Here in KY, there are tons of jobs available right now, in just
    about every specialty.
    Last edit by NurseCard on Oct 24, '16 : Reason: addendum
  12. by   joanna73
    More like a nursing JOB shortage in most areas, particularly for new grads. Smaller centers and rural areas often have a real nursing shortage, but there are more applicants than positions in the cities.

    10 years ago the "nursing shortage" ended when the recession hit and it hasn't improved.
  13. by   NurseGirl525
    Quote from ICUman
    I'm curious what you consider "huge incentives"? When we are short my unit offers time and a half pay, plus an additional $100. That's not super motivating to me. What does your unit offer in comparison?

    I wont go into how much, but it's way more than that. It's enough to make it worth it. And to be honest, it's the only overtime I would accept.

    In my area, my hospital is not the only one to offer it. All local ICUs offer the same overtime incentive.

    I know from going back and forth with you before, you don't believe this area is understaffed, but it is. They do not require the coveted BSN and there are huge incentive bonuses.
  14. by   VegGal
    Quote from Rose_Queen
    Well, it seems the federal government's HSRA is predicting a huge surplus of nurses by 2025. .
    Gosh, Rose_Queen, that was a pretty scary article! That's a huge surplus of nurses, and even if say they over-estimated by as much as 50%, that still is a large surplus of nurses, and only 9 years away! Maybe those of us who are already in the field, and want to stay in it should become more educated and make ourselves more indispensable.

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