Quote from scott5698
Can someone please explain the job shortage to me? I constantly hear about how short we are of nurses, any nurses, and then at the same time, hear that its tough to get a job... really doesn't make sense to me. Pages and pages of ads, but no one replies when you apply. I am a 2nd career older male nursing student with a bachelors in another field and people continue to question if I'm going to return to my old field. Really? after nearly 2 years and 40k in debt, you think I'm going to walk away? Please help me understand this crazy field I'm trying to enter...
Well...first of all....there is NO shortage.
Several factors went into this.....the original "shortage" we based on inflated numbers on mandatory staffing ratios...that never happened. There was a general sense of panic amongst hospitals when staffing ratios won in CA as well as the CA high rate of pay for RN's that the only way to correct the market would be to decrease the demand by calling wolf and flooding the market with nurses....if you decrease the demand and increase the supply...it lowers the costs of that product...nursing salaries/wages.
IMHO...this was done on purpose by the corporations that were buying up facilities to increase the bottom line...their profits.
The other HUGE factor was the crash of the economy (which regardless of what the news says remains extremely poor). Many nurses who were stay at home MOM's were forced to return to the workforce to provide for their families when their SO lost their jobs. It also prevented the retirements of many nurses who lost their behinds in their 401K's (because hospitals do not provide real retirement benefits) and had to support their families or their children's families that were financially struggling......or their children who returned home thousands of dollars in debt after college unable to find any work...needed help.
Then...approximately 50% of all college graduates could not find work. They were told that the streets were lined with gold to a high paying job with minimal education....nursing. "Name your hours" "flexible schedules" "Earn $50,000/yr and greater with 2 years of college".....the flood gates opened. Schools/facilities saw this cash cow and and programs opened over night.
New programs were developed to the already degree'd college grad to incur more debt. The accelerated BSN, entry level RN/NP for the unemployed college grad was the best way to get a good paying job in a "minimal amount of time". Some of these accelerated programs in parts of the country can cost over 6 figures for 2 years of actual schooling.....who's making money now?
For profit schools that shall remain nameless developed over night for the ASN/ADN and began churning out new 2 years graduates at an alarming rate. These grads would pay up to $80,000 to these programs for the promise of an automatic job with great benefits....with the ability to "make your own schedule!"
People flocked to nursing in DROVES.....all the while the government propagated these inflated figures and made "Emergency staffing bills" increasing funding to colleges to "fund the solution to this crisis" while increasing the importation of nurses to over 20,000 MORE to "fill the gaps".
Increasing the supply decreasing the demand....lowering the pay.
This place hospitals in an excellent position......they would have the power to do as they wish.....have someone to blame AND make money at the same time....BRILLIANT! So......with nursing being the highest cost of facilities that brings in ZERO billable revenue...they answer was simple...blame the shortage.
First they blamed the economy and insurance reimbursement for poor revenues and laid off mostly nurses at the top of the pay scale due to "budget constraints".
Then they posted positions they never intend to fill to make it appear that "millions of nurses are needed" to care for patients to......
1) keep enrollment up at all these schools to keep the market soft
2) keep the nursing staff quiet about unrealistic increased nurse patient ratios...because there just aren't enough nurses to fill the slots....with their innocent looking faces.....there hands were tied!!! (give me a break)...all the while these CEO/CFO's from corporate America were raking in the dough and millions of dollars in bonus's...laughing all the way to the bank.
Unbelievable......they now sit back and rule the world. Nursing isn't blameless....we have allowed this to happen and those policy makers were just looking for their won funding to line their pockets by the development of schools and programs not to mention the new boon for instructors...requiring nurses with more than >20 years experience who have been teaching no longer capable of teaching without higher degrees......so dump the experience and hire new grads with a higher degree CHEAPER OR have the experienced nurse incur debt and go back to school.....when they have children they need to support in a bad economy when their husbands are out of work.
Yup....the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
So..... today were have new graduates being churned out every 6 months...many unable to find work. The average job hunt lasting almost 15-18 months. CA has a 47% unemployment rate of new nursing grads. Hospitals refusing to orient new grads mainly because it is expensive and they don't have to. Hospitals don't need new grads....they have all the nurses they need..they are lacking experience in some critical care areas...yet they will not hire the experienced nurse....yes ageism exists in nursing.
Then you have had the proliferation of the "advanced degrees" that are accompanied by advanced salaries that have the have enhanced the "allure" of the nursing profession.....the next area to suffer in my opinion that will lower the over all salaries by the saturation of the market....will be the NP.
Search the site.....this has been discussed at length.....I have many articles documenting what I have said.
Do I think the "shortage will return....yes, it will eventually.....If the economy improves and people return to their "real jobs" and they can leave because they are sick of the treatment of nursing by administrations because this road is NOT paved with gold....and it includes weekends and holidays. If not the...... probably about 2020 when old bats like me will have no choice but to retire because we physically will not be able to do the job any more.....many of these new grads will have moved on.
That's my story after being in nursing for 34 years and sitting in board rooms. Nursing has been changed.....I'm afraid it isn't for the better. Will it ever be what it was? I don't know.
All the best!