Here is a news segment regarding this issue (the reporter sends a couple of inaccurate messages, but the description under the video is great):
I was so nice to see this on the news! I feel like this is a start in bringing awareness to the public regarding this issue.
Most of the public has believed that nursing is an area safe from the recession. Sadly, health care jobs are among the many other job areas that has been greatly impacted. All over the US, many qualified nurses are jobless. We continually hear about the nursing shortage, but new nurses are being denied RN positions. Most places are only hiring nurses with experience, leaving new RN's in a situation unable to gain
experience. The inability of new nurses to start working, and maintain their knowledge and skills, could lead to many potential problems in the future. New grads can get hired, and there are positions out there, but there are far fewer positions than what is needed.
According to USA Today (2010), the recession is basically masking the nursing shortage. Right now, due to the recession, the nursing shortage has eased a bit. This is partly due to the large number of experienced nurses not leaving the workforce, and experienced nurses coming back after being retired. However, due this, there is lack of vacancies for new nurses. New nurses are being denied positions. This could potentially result in a crisis. The "baby boomers" are continuing to age, leading to a large geriatric population. The older experienced nurses will eventually retire. This means more patients and less nurses. This is why there is a prediction that within the next 10-15 years, we will face an alarming nursing shortage.
Turning away new graduates leads to fewer nurses available in the workforce. Further, it paints a misleading picture that there is no nursing shortage, deterring people from choosing the nursing profession as a career. Both of these will contribute to making the predicted shortage even worse. Here is an excerpt from a USA Today article about this situation:
"Large nursing shortages are still forecast as aging Baby Boomers need more care
...A Vanderbilt University analysis last year-before the health law passed-predicted that the U.S. will be short 260,000 nurses by 2025.
'It's enough to do significant interruptions to the health care system and potentially even render it inoperable
,' says Peter Buerhaus, the study's author and director of Vanderbilt's Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies. He says it's critical for policy leaders to find a way to keep new nursing graduates in the profession through the recession so projected shortages aren't even worse.
" (USA Today, 2010, p. 1)
This is a very serious issue. The public should really be aware of the implications regarding this situation. Our health care system is already in jeopardy; however, it is going to be even worse if we don't find a way to get these new nurses hired, or at least keep them current/keep them in the nursing profession throughout this recession.