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Is there still a nursing shortage?

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Seems like some people on here have had trouble finding their first jobs, some find them before they even graduated. News and articles frequently state there is...I'm very confused! What is everyone's personal experience finding a job or what have you heard?

RNperdiem, RN

Has 14 years experience.

Imagine you are at a family reunion and your great-aunt asks where that nice by Larry you have been dating is. You tell her you and Larry broke up years ago and don't mention that she asked you the same question last year. Replace the Larry question with "nursing shortage".

Sometimes old news has a way of sticking and taking time to clear up.

There was once a prediction of a vast nursing shortage.

This prediction was made years ago when it when middle skilled jobs were plentiful and job security was a given.

In most places there is no shortage.

The job market is always shifting. Predict a nursing shortage, and a new class of medical workers called MAs comes into existence and displaces nurses from working in doctors' offices. Who knows what the future brings?

meanmaryjean, DNP, RN

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 40 years experience.

In my 40 years of nursing, I have noticed one consistency. There is a relative shortage of nurses when the economy is good, and an oversupply when the economy is tanked.

My theory is that this is related to nurses who are also moms and/ or work a second job because of a spouse's lower / less stable income. Economy good- they don't need the extra income and stay home/ work part-time. Economy is bad and they are in the workforce.

Again- my theory only- but I have seen this cycle over and over since the late 70s.

In my 40 years of nursing, I have noticed one consistency. There is a relative shortage of nurses when the economy is good, and an oversupply when the economy is tanked.

My theory is that this is related to nurses who are also moms and/ or work a second job because of a spouse's lower / less stable income. Economy good- they don't need the extra income and stay home/ work part-time. Economy is bad and they are in the workforce.

Again- my theory only- but I have seen this cycle over and over since the late 70s.

I have read about this phenomenon in an article recently. There's so many things to keep in mind. I'd say for the most part what draws people to nursing is the apparent job security. As soon as a recession comes along everyone flocks to it, when it wears down, they all disappear. I also read factors such as, retention rate which is 9%-37% in the occupation effect the sometimes lack of nurses.

Imagine you are at a family reunion and your great-aunt asks where that nice by Larry you have been dating is. You tell her you and Larry broke up years ago and don't mention that she asked you the same question last year. Replace the Larry question with "nursing shortage".

Sometimes old news has a way of sticking and taking time to clear up.

There was once a prediction of a vast nursing shortage.

This prediction was made years ago when it when middle skilled jobs were plentiful and job security was a given.

In most places there is no shortage.

The job market is always shifting. Predict a nursing shortage, and a new class of medical workers called MAs comes into existence and displaces nurses from working in doctors' offices. Who knows what the future brings?

Seems like some places have the complete opposite doesn't it? An ultra supply of nurses vs. jobs available. However, for the most part from what I have done my research on, it's new grads that struggle. Experienced nurses do not seem to ever have issues finding work unless they are super picky. I'm sure states in the country like NY and SoCal... have so much competition...

NICU Guy, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

There are some areas that are oversaturated with new grad nurses (California and NYC). There are other cities that a new grad can get a job pretty easily after passing NCLEX. They may not be in the most desirable location, but if you put in a couple years in you can move to a more desirable location. Some new grads are willing to do it and some are not.

Short answer, no. There are some issues with distribution of nurses (too many nurses in some parts of the country, too few in others), but, overall, there is no "shortage." There hasn't been for a long time. The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), one of the government agencies that tracks healthcare personnel, is predicting a US nursing surplus through at least 2025.

chacha82, ADN, BSN

Has 3 years experience.

Depends where you look and how hard you are willing to work. Two years ago I was hired right after school in a good hospital, but I had paid my dues there as it were as a CNA. A year ago there were several openings I was interested in but did not pursue, one was an ICU setting and one was a subacute rehab setting. If you cast the net wide, you'll have options. I feel like I always see openings for renal, ortho, etc. I had to limit myself to a 90 minute radius but I was very fortunate to be hired where I was as a new grad. If you don't have to do that it will be easier.

Its been easier in my area lately, thank god because it was rough form 2008-2014 for any new grads. All recent graduates I know got jobs in hospitals without working there before, connections, etc. More floor RNs becoming NPs, more hospitals being built, the MA shortage is putting way more nurses in clinics, so hospitals have been hiring more and more. Even saw sign on bonuses the other day.

stickit34

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 5 years experience.

I think it largely depends on where you live. If you live in a rural, isolated area, most likely there is a nursing shortage. Urban areas are often either over-saturated or a severe shortage depending on the living conditions of the area and the cost of living. Where I live, which is your typical suburban area, it fluctuates. Some years there is a mild shortage, but most years it is pretty saturated.

Depends on how you define "nursing shortage" and or where you are seeking employment.

Survey: Nearly half of nurses might leave the profession

| Healthcare Dive

Here in New York predictions are now that in a decade or so there will be a glut of professional nurses. Out in Long Island where hospitals say there is a "nursing shortage" it mirrors what places say elsewhere in the USA; they cannot find seasoned professional nurses

with substantial experience in certain practices or specialties. Nursing shortage forces LI hospitals to offer in-house training | Newsday

New grads? That many parts of the country have in spades, and as such yes, it can be difficult for a newly licensed RN

to find that first hospital job.

Areas where there truly is a "nursing shortage" usually have other factors that affect the overall general labor market.

Things like wages, geographic location, lifestyle and so forth.

Poor, rural, and other areas that lack the glamour of say New York City or San Francisco are lacking for all sorts of labor (and more and more residents as well), are at a disadvantage for attracting and retaining out of area nurses. Worse the local population does not produce enough new graduates.

Atlanta is a growing "hot" area as companies and industry move to Georgia, but they apparently are having a hard time finding nurses: Georgia has too few nurses, and the problem could get much worse | News | gwinnettdailypost.com

Unlike say med students who may expect to practice somewhere other than where they went to school and or do post graduate training; a majority of professional nurses prefer to remain where they went to school, which is often where they live. As such you end up with these imbalances; places like New York City area have vastly more nurses than jobs, meanwhile Bismarck, ND cannot find and keep them.

I live and work in the Central / Mid-Michigan area (Saginaw, Bay City, Midland). Nurses are definitely needed (most places want experience, but Covenant and St. Mary's will take new nurses - you have to prove yourself though, and of course the skilled nursing facilities are always hiring). Saginaw and Flint are a shadow though from their former glory as WWII and Automotive powerhouses... so the area is livable, but Saginaw and Flint are pretty crappy as a town. But a lot of nurses are needed in the area, pay is around $24-26 or so in the hospitals around Saginaw. I work at a Skilled Nursing Facility and I'm over $30 an hour as a new RN. There's a hospital group that has their base of operations inside of Covenant in Saginaw, and they're always hiring it seems, and paying $5000 bonuses (they even have open interview days sometimes), they're also located in Flint. Select Specialty... they're typically a long-term Med-Surg/ICU with vents for their patients.

Flint has several hospitals, and I'm sure they're probably hiring a lot too... there's a least one nursing home around the flint area that I saw advertisements for walk in interviews for the CNAs, so take your risk....

Short answer, no. There are some issues with distribution of nurses (too many nurses in some parts of the country, too few in others), but, overall, there is no "shortage." There hasn't been for a long time. The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), one of the government agencies that tracks healthcare personnel, is predicting a US nursing surplus through at least 2025.

There is a projected national EXCESS of nurses. One third of states (16) are expected to have fairly minor shortages, however the majority of states will have excesses, some even twice as many nurses as jobs. Even if nurses relocated to fill in the gaps, there will still be an oversupply of about 10%. So no, there absolutely is not a nursing shortage. For every place where nurses can get hired easily, there are two places where nurses go years without a job and many are forced to change professions.

https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/bhw/nchwa/projections/nursingprojections.pdf

I have the same question as you do and throughout the entirety of my nursing school career, they constantly tell us "There is a nursing shortage".

The hospital that I had clinicals said the same thing - the RNs that I shadow would tell me how a friend they knew quit the profession within the first 5 years due to burnout, etc. and it's a relatively good hospital too.

I am currently applying to a different hospital (I love the hospital that I went to clinicals for and was a patient care tech there too - they were more than willing to give me a job as a new grad RN but I plan to move back home so it would make sense to find a job closer to home) and one of the units had rejected me, even though they were saying that they were constantly hiring new RNs...I went to their career fair and the HR recruiters were telling me over 400 new grads attended and application/hiring process is taking longer...so yeah...is there really a nursing shortage? I see my classmates getting jobs in their dream units (some in ICUs) at their dream hospital left and I'm here crossing my fingers...

In California, there's a shortage of experienced nurses. Thus, hospitals would prefer experienced nurses over New Grads.

calivianya, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU.

Definitely a shortage in my area. My hospital's been offering "high vacancy incentive" for any nurse in any department in the entire hospital to pick up overtime in 12 week blocks because the hospital itself has greater than 30% of RN positions unfilled. Pretty much every night every unit has nurses over the ratios they're supposed to have, even the supposedly more desired specialties.

150 RN openings at my hospital alone and I suspect that they are underposting listings... there are nine listings for my unit currently, but those are a mix of days and nights. Nights could probably use at least ten more people and days are regularly even shorter-staffed than nights - nine listings is nowhere close to sufficient to bring us to full staffing.

Anyway, long story short, there are definitely areas of the country with a critical shortage, where we don't even have enough NEW GRADS to fill positions, let alone experienced nurses.

For kicks and giggles, here's what our staffing matrix looks like for a week closer to the end of May before the float pool staff get worked in. This includes regular staff plus current travelers. And yes, those negatives are the number of nurses below 18 per shift currently on the schedule, as the highlighting of one of the -10 days shows.

Edited by calivianya

There is a projected national EXCESS of nurses. One third of states (16) are expected to have fairly minor shortages, however the majority of states will have excesses, some even twice as many nurses as jobs. Even if nurses relocated to fill in the gaps, there will still be an oversupply of about 10%. So no, there absolutely is not a nursing shortage. For every place where nurses can get hired easily, there are two places where nurses go years without a job and many are forced to change professions.

https://bhw.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/bhw/nchwa/projections/nursingprojections.pdf

It's still very odd to me to hear many nurses are out of work because the BLS government website states an unemployment rate for registered nurses at 1.1% across the nation currently.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 33 years experience.

Imagine you are at a family reunion and your great-aunt asks where that nice by Larry you have been dating is. You tell her you and Larry broke up years ago and don't mention that she asked you the same question last year. Replace the Larry question with "nursing shortage".

Sometimes old news has a way of sticking and taking time to clear up.

There was once a prediction of a vast nursing shortage.

This prediction was made years ago when it when middle skilled jobs were plentiful and job security was a given.

In most places there is no shortage.

The job market is always shifting. Predict a nursing shortage, and a new class of medical workers called MAs comes into existence and displaces nurses from working in doctors' offices. Who knows what the future brings?

This is so true. I once heard the lag time for perception to reality and the reverse is like steering a barge. You turn the wheel, and wait, eventually the thing starts to move in the intended direction. Years of shortage-battling strategies starting to have an effect, finally.

It's interesting to me that students/new grads were reporting difficulty on allnurses way before anyone else noticed. When they noticed they didn't acknowledge it.

One interesting study determined there had been a surge of students and new grads whose numbers weren't tracked moving through nursing programs. Around 2010-2011 it was extremely difficult for new grads. I know many probably bailed out of nursing due to necessity, utility bills, loan payments due on jobs they didn't have, etc