Nursing Shortage!! It's real and it bites (new grads, can't find a job? Read this post!)

  1. I had no idea, when I took a job as a nurse manager of an inpatient unit at a rural hospital that's 4 hours away from the nearest large city, that a huge portion of my job stress would come from the fact that we DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH NURSES!!

    Every unit at our facility has job openings. We have dozens of travelers. My department basically has just enough nurses to cover core staffing. What that means is - if there's a sick call, or a PTO request, or a medical leave of absence, we're short.

    Thank Dog that my unit is awesome and they are a team and a family and are invested in the unit, because when we're short, the nurses pull together and volunteer to take OT and work 16 hour shifts.

    The point of this post...if you're a new grad, and you can't find a job because the market is so competitive and every place is wanting a BSN...consider relocating! Look for those facilities that are in rural communities, or small towns that are >2 hours away from the nearest metro area that probably has multiple schools and a steady stream of new grad nurses to fill positions.

    Coming from Denver, I had no idea that there really were places in the US that had shortages, but it's true, and it sucks. For patients, for communities, and for the nurses who are working short-staffed or working 60-hour work weeks because, well, we have no other options.
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    About klone, MSN, RN Pro

    Joined: Apr '03; Posts: 12,920; Likes: 35,949

    114 Comments

  3. by   Not_A_Hat_Person
    The facility should consider reaching out to new grads, even those without a BSN, and and hiring them.

    My local hospital complained for years that they were unable to find staff. They were only interested in travelers and nurses with a BSN and 3-5 years of experience (no more, no less) in the specialty they were applying for.

    Thank Dog that my unit is awesome and they are a team and a family and are invested in the unit, because when we're short, the nurses pull together and volunteer to take OT and work 16 hour shifts.
    I wonder what the other units are like. It might explain why they can't find staff.
  4. by   klone
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    I wonder what the other units are like. It might explain why they can't find staff.
    They (we) can't find staff because we live in an isolated community that nobody has heard of, and we have one small community college that graduates 30 new nurses each year, which isn't enough to take the place of the nurses who are retiring, or moving to other communities.

    We're not unique. This is the plight of rural communities all over the US.
  5. by   klone
    Quote from Not_A_Hat_Person
    The facility should consider reaching out to new grads, even those without a BSN, and and hiring them.
    Our facility hires every new grad that comes out of the local CC - those that are staying in the community, and not moving away.
  6. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from klone
    I had no idea, when I took a job as a nurse manager of an inpatient unit at a rural hospital that's 4 hours away from the nearest large city, that a huge portion of my job stress would come from the fact that we DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH NURSES!!

    Every unit at our facility has job openings. We have dozens of travelers. My department basically has just enough nurses to cover core staffing. What that means is - if there's a sick call, or a PTO request, or a medical leave of absence, we're short.

    Thank Dog that my unit is awesome and they are a team and a family and are invested in the unit, because when we're short, the nurses pull together and volunteer to take OT and work 16 hour shifts.

    The point of this post...if you're a new grad, and you can't find a job because the market is so competitive and every place is wanting a BSN...consider relocating! Look for those facilities that are in rural communities, or small towns that are >2 hours away from the nearest metro area that probably has multiple schools and a steady stream of new grad nurses to fill positions.

    Coming from Denver, I had no idea that there really were places in the US that had shortages, but it's true, and it sucks. For patients, for communities, and for the nurses who are working short-staffed or working 60-hour work weeks because, well, we have no other options.
    That sounds like a depressing place, but I like big cities. The bad thing about attracting new grads to this type of town is that they probably move on to someplace more exciting as soon as they're capable.
  7. by   mmc51264
    I work in an area where there are 2 teaching hospitals and they each have satellite hospitals. There are more hospitals (5 or so) within 100 miles. We are desperate for nurses as well. (Raleigh-Durham area as well and Winston-Salem, and Fayetteville area, and some more rural level 1 hospitals).
    There are constant hiring open houses, new grad residency programs, it's wild. I have friends and classmates that are spread out in the area and all love where they are. Some leave due to higher education or going back home, but we need nurses in Eastern NC.
  8. by   Rocknurse
    In my experience, no matter if a hospital is short of staff, and that they have lots of job ads showing up on jobs boards....it doesn't mean they're actually hiring. I've seen instances where this has happened but the hospital still won't hire. Why would they if the existing staff keep stepping up and taking the slack. It saves them money. They'll advertise and interview all day long, but that doesn't mean anyone gets the job. A job opening just means money saved.
  9. by   JKL33
    Quote from klone
    They (we) can't find staff because we live in an isolated community that nobody has heard of, and we have one small community college that graduates 30 new nurses each year, which isn't enough to take the place of the nurses who are retiring, or moving to other communities.

    We're not unique. This is the plight of rural communities all over the US.
    May I ask if there is any affiliation with a larger system?
  10. by   JKL33
    Quote from Rocknurse
    In my experience, no matter if a hospital is short of staff, and that they have lots of job ads showing up on jobs boards....it doesn't mean they're actually hiring. I've seen instances where this has happened but the hospital still won't hire. Why would they if the existing staff keep stepping up and taking the slack. It saves them money. They'll advertise and interview all day long, but that doesn't mean anyone gets the job. A job opening just means money saved.
    Whoa. Evil even my slightly suspicious mind wouldn't have come up with!

    But it makes sense, and with managers who need staff being cut more and more out of initial phases of hiring processes, it would be totally possible. Sorry...we haven't received any apps. Or, we received a few apps but couldn't pass them on d/t x, y, z.

    Oh, my.
  11. by   OldDude
    Quote from Rocknurse
    In my experience, no matter if a hospital is short of staff, and that they have lots of job ads showing up on jobs boards....it doesn't mean they're actually hiring. I've seen instances where this has happened but the hospital still won't hire. Why would they if the existing staff keep stepping up and taking the slack. It saves them money. They'll advertise and interview all day long, but that doesn't mean anyone gets the job. A job opening just means money saved.
    Quote from JKL33
    Whoa. Evil even my slightly suspicious mind wouldn't have come up with!

    But it makes sense, and with managers who need staff being cut more and more out of initial phases of hiring processes, it would be totally possible. Sorry...we haven't received any apps. Or, we received a few apps but couldn't pass them on d/t x, y, z.

    Oh, my.
    Legitimate...another stall is "we're waiting on the position to be approved by - fill in the blank -" Why the HELL does the position need to be approved when it's for a vacancy caused from someone leaving a position that was already approved...as Rocknurse stated...a job opening is money saved...yet, as I've stated before, I haven't heard of one patient being refused due to shortage of nursing staff.
  12. by   klone
    Quote from JKL33
    Whoa. Evil even my slightly suspicious mind wouldn't have come up with!

    But it makes sense, and with managers who need staff being cut more and more out of initial phases of hiring processes, it would be totally possible. Sorry...we haven't received any apps. Or, we received a few apps but couldn't pass them on d/t x, y, z.

    Oh, my.
    When someone submits an application, it goes directly to my in-box as well as HR's. I am first contact with the applicant, not HR.

    And I can only speak to my facility of course, but what Rocknurse is describing is very much NOT the case. Oregon has strict staffing laws. We cannot compel people to work OT. And travelers are VERY expensive. There is no incentive to the department or the facility to NOT hire permanent nurses to fill open positions.

    If it's on the HR website as an open position, then it's already gone through the approval process. HR does not post it until it's approved.

    And no, it's not part of a larger hospital network. It's just an independent community hospital.
  13. by   SaltySarcasticSally
    I live in a medium size city with several hospital networks and our area is short on nurses too. We have tons of nursing schools too but the networks are growing faster than the nurses coming out of school. I have started to see sign on bonuses for the first time in forever and "new grads welcome" job postings.
  14. by   JKL33
    Quote from klone
    When someone submits an application, it goes directly to my in-box as well as HR's. I am first contact with the applicant, not HR.

    And I can only speak to my facility of course, but what Rocknurse is describing is very much NOT the case. Oregon has strict staffing laws. We cannot compel people to work OT. And travelers are VERY expensive. There is no incentive to the department or the facility to NOT hire permanent nurses to fill open positions.

    If it's on the HR website as an open position, then it's already gone through the approval process. HR does not post it until it's approved.

    And no, it's not part of a larger hospital network. It's just an independent community hospital.
    Interesting. Well I'm glad to hear that's the case for your sake. I haven't applied for anything new in a long while but last time around the manager got my name and ended up contacting me separately because apparently they frequently dealt with HR-related bumps in the road. But this was part of a large system.

    I'm surprised/sad to hear it's that bad in an independent community hospital - I associate the problem you speak of with experienced people jumping ship when places like yours are taken over by Toyota...I mean larger systems. Do you use per diems? I know an excellent nurse who became indispensable as a per diem in your specialty and the type of setting you're talking about; it just happened to work out well for everyone.

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