Is Healthcare Still a Promising Field?

  1. 4
    I found the following article on USNews when I was checking out a link about PTs being one of the top ten careers in 2009. While perusing through this site, I've read several posts commenting how new RN graduates are having hard times finding jobs.

    This particular excerpt caught my eye.

    News of healthcare labor shortages in recent years has tended to focus on nursing, in part because there are so many—more than 2.5 million registered nurses—employed in the United States. Healthcare providers that faced a shortage of nurses over the past decade should be able to breathe freer now, says Peter Buerhaus, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies in the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University. The recession has caused many workers to return to the workforce because of financial pressures, helping alleviate the shortage. The fastest-growing nursing demographic is workers 50 years and older. Younger workers are also heading back into the field. Some nursing schools have tallied a record number of undergraduate and graduate applications this year.

    Is Healthcare Still a Promising Field?

    The industry has been hiring throughout the recession, but many new graduates find fewer opportunities

    By LIZ WOLGEMUTH
    Posted: September 23, 2009
    US News + World Report

    Healthcare has clearly been the bright spot in this recessionary job market. The industry has added more than a half-million jobs since the recession started, while most other industries cut workers and slashed payrolls in equal measure. Ask any career expert about the most promising field right now and you'll hear "healthcare."

    But the recession has done damage to the industry. Some hospitals have suffered as their access to credit has tightened and patients have delayed medical care, leading to some hospital closings, downsizing, and hiring freezes. Hospital employment actually dipped by a negligible amount last month, the Labor Department reported. Still, the key phrase among workforce experts, as regards the healthcare slowdown, seems to be "short term." And some industry sectors are doing better: Jobs were added last month in nursing and residential services and in ambulatory health services, which includes home health services and physicians' offices.

    A new report on California's healthcare field could shed some light on the situation nationwide. The study, conducted by Beacon Economics and funded by a grant from the California Wellness Foundation, finds that California's population will grow by 10.2 million people by 2030, and the number of its residents age 65 and older will more than double. The researchers estimate that the state will need to employ 1.2 million healthcare workers next year and 2 million workers in 2030. Factor in annual turnover, and the number of workers needed over the next two decades or so is actually much higher.

    Although the recession has slowed healthcare job growth, "the overall trend remains upward," according to the study's authors. Government projections estimate that nationwide, overall healthcare employment will grow by 22 percent between 2006 and 2016. The California study's authors focused on the demand for allied health workers (think physical therapists, lab technicians, and dental hygienists, rather than nurses and physicians), and Susan Chapman, director of Allied Health Workforce Studies at the University of California-San Francisco, says that the state is facing a "serious shortage" in allied health positions because it lacks sufficient accredited training programs.

    News of healthcare labor shortages in recent years has tended to focus on nursing, in part because there are so many—more than 2.5 million registered nurses—employed in the United States. Healthcare providers that faced a shortage of nurses over the past decade should be able to breathe freer now, says Peter Buerhaus, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies in the Institute for Medicine and Public Health at Vanderbilt University. The recession has caused many workers to return to the workforce because of financial pressures, helping alleviate the shortage. The fastest-growing nursing demographic is workers 50 years and older. Younger workers are also heading back into the field. Some nursing schools have tallied a record number of undergraduate and graduate applications this year.

    But today's positive trends in nursing could cause trouble down the road. Buerhaus says that if the job market recovers quickly, many nurses may jump back out of the workforce similarly quickly. If, however, the recession is followed by a jobless recovery and unemployment remains high and older workers stay in their jobs, then job prospects for new graduates may suffer. In that scenario, news of a disappointing job market may discourage other young people from entering the field, and when older workers eventually retire, healthcare providers will be in an especially tight spot. "I think life's going to get interesting around 2015," Buerhaus says. "That's when I suspect we're really going to see these components begin to really exert their influence." ...
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Sep 26, '09 : Reason: Copyright edit
    brian, OC_An Khe, Not_A_Hat_Person, and 1 other like this.
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  4. 55 Comments so far...

  5. 2
    Finally an article that makes sense.
    Diaper and VYisgod like this.
  6. 9
    The consensus seems to be that the job market is tight right now but that at some point in the future the shortage will come back. Others insist there was never a shortage, that economic downturns bring people who normally refuse to work in nursing but have nursing licenses back onto the market. I know that when most people think about nurses they think about hospital nurses. Indeed that is where the bulk of the jobs are but by no means all of the jobs. The less stressful jobs away from the bedside have never had a shortage of applicants. I am warning you because new nurse after new nurse has comes back here in shock to related the substandard conditions at the bedside. Believe me health care management is taking full advantage of this break in the shortage (ie tight job market for nurses from our viewpoint) to freeze and decrease wages, cut benefits, increase work loads. That being done in a profession that was underpaid, overworked and had poor benefits to begin with. You will get people here reporting that they make good money and have good benefits. A certain percentage of nurses do make good money, especially in hospitals in major cities. You better be prepared to move there if you want that kind of money because most nurses in the rests of the country do not make money like that.
  7. 16
    Sick people aren't going anywhere, the global population's still aging, and recessions don't last as long as careers, so I think health care's still a viable career option
    vianna, surferbettycrocker, Diaper, and 13 others like this.
  8. 3
    My answer to this remains the same post poor economy as it was pre-recession.

    It is a promising field if you truly desire to do the work. If you are smart about it, go in with eyes wide open and know what you are in for, you'll be able to answer the question yourself before you are half way through NRS101.

    Put wage/benefits and job security out of mind for a second. Consider the hours (weekends/holidays are worked, all shifts not just M-F 9 to 5), the workload, the amt. of people you will be dealing with and exactly what the work will be like (depends on your unit/specialty). If, after seeing all of this, you decide it is to your liking, then it is "A promising field" for you. If, after seeing to all of this, you decide you dont like bathing people or having to clean up fecal accidents, or the pt. load is too overwhelming, or you prefer a steady schedule........then it is not a promising field.
    Chanta2, Not_A_Hat_Person, and RN <>< like this.
  9. 7
    Yes, the RN job market is very frustrating! Some things to think about:
    No California hospital wants to invest money for a new grad; but they'll pay up the nose for registry. . . kick backs anyone!?!
    Or they'll pay mega bucks for overtime - which can result in unsafe outcomes for the patients.
    Or, knowingly employ nurses with one or two other jobs - resulting in a 60-80 hour work weeks --> safety anyone???
    Not cultivating new grads now - means VERY EXPENSIVE recruiting when the big swarm of nurses retire in a couple of years. Doesn't sound like a good way to drive down health costs.
    Recruiters are even suggesting new grads move out of state - I say, let's do it!
    For those living in California - don't think it's the ONLY state to live in - it's not!
    Let's move forward and not be victims to the California health care job market!
    Wake up California - hospital administrations and government are asleep at the wheel.

    Apologies in advance for any offense taken.
    Chanta2, Kenrb27, Snoopy54321, and 4 others like this.
  10. 1
    As a 45 y/o m returning to school in the BSN program for a second career I am betting alot that nursing will be the job for me. That being said, my only worries are that wages will go way down if the presidents health care program is succesful.
    RN <>< likes this.
  11. 0
    Quote from RN, PHN
    Yes, the RN job market is very frustrating! Some things to think about:
    No California hospital wants to invest money for a new grad; but they'll pay up the nose for registry. . . kick backs anyone!?!
    Or they'll pay mega bucks for overtime - which can result in unsafe outcomes for the patients.
    Or, knowingly employ nurses with one or two other jobs - resulting in a 60-80 hour work weeks --> safety anyone???
    Not cultivating new grads now - means VERY EXPENSIVE recruiting when the big swarm of nurses retire in a couple of years. Doesn't sound like a good way to drive down health costs.
    Recruiters are even suggesting new grads move out of state - I say, let's do it!
    For those living in California - don't think it's the ONLY state to live in - it's not!
    Let's move forward and not be victims to the California health care job market!
    Wake up California - hospital administrations and government are asleep at the wheel.

    Apologies in advance for any offense taken.
    Yes, it goes on everywhere. They think about the bottom line the next for the next quarter or two and that is all. Perhaps they think that as long someone else has to worry about the massive expenses involved in recruiting and orienting huge numbers of nurses they don't care. If the company comes in under budget this quarter they get their bonus and that is all that matters to them.
  12. 1
    Quote from miwukman
    As a 45 y/o m returning to school in the BSN program for a second career I am betting alot that nursing will be the job for me. That being said, my only worries are that wages will go way down if the presidents health care program is succesful.

    Wages will not only go down b/c of the 'healthcare plan' - they are starting to go down b/c there is starting to be more nurses than jobs in many parts of the U.S. If there are 20 -30 RN's applying for 1 position (like where I work)/, mgmt will figure that one of them is really going to need/want the job even if it is for less $$.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  13. 7
    I dont see wages going down if the healthcare bill passes. I see it this way: If it does pass, all these people who ignored sign/symptoms and avoided treatment will all of a sudden go to their doctor and/or the hospital. Now, IDK about you, but I foresee lines out the door for a long, long time at hospitals. Out the door, down the street, intersecting at Wendy's and looping around the mall.

    If that is the case, how are they going to lower wages? The need for nurses will climb back up. It may not go up at all, but certainly, I dont see pay cuts.
    vianna, Diaper, Sharawnda, and 4 others like this.


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