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Nursing shortage is BS

Nurses   (7,847 Views 71 Comments)
by Anthony O Anthony O, BSN (New) New Nurse

Anthony O is a BSN and specializes in Case Management.

600 Profile Views; 19 Posts

I recently lost my job and started applying. Seven years of experience and a bachelor's degree, I thought I'd be a hot commodity. It's 2019 and things are no different than when I graduated shortly after the recession. I apply to jobs and my applications are instantly rejected because I don't have medical/surgical experience. I don't fit the requirements for a new grad program, either.

Well there is this supposed shortage where everyone is understaffed and desperate for nurses. I don't see it. Nobody is willing to train new staff and nobody will hire those of us who got screwed during the recession.

I think it's all BS. I've met a lot of nurses in similar situations and they all struggle trying to get out of this low level line of work.

My last job was at Kaiser where I had a benefits plan worth my annual salary. We were horribly understaffed too. But, I would look at the jobs page for anything available so I could tell my friends where to apply. There were never any jobs there. Management always told us they were going to hire more, but they never did. When the Joint Commission left, they got rid of the travel nurses and stopped hiring. Then, they started instituting mandatory overtime and overloading us past the ratio policy limits.

Honestly, I think hospitals and facilities are just happy the way things are. They know there are nurses who want to get in. I've never been in management before, so I don't know why they make that decision. However, I suspect it costs more to hire a new employee than it would to pay overtime for current staff.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,242 Posts; 30,627 Profile Views

What do you have experience in and what are you trying to do now?

I think most of us agree that there is no nursing "shortage", but your situation sounds like there's something a bit more specific going on.

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Anthony O is a BSN and specializes in Case Management.

19 Posts; 600 Profile Views

1 minute ago, Sour Lemon said:

What do you have experience in and what are you trying to do now?

I think most of us agree that there is no nursing "shortage", but your situation sounds like there's something a bit more specific going on.

My last few years have been with home health, hospice, and case management. My goal at the beginning of the year was to gain medical/surgical experience so I could work in a hospital system.

I wanted to get into a job that wasn't a dead-end like most of these small home health agencies. After some experience as a case manager, I could probably apply for a DON position. There is no career ladder. However, I never wanted to work in home health and I don't want case management or a DON position.

I'm just kinda burnt out now. I put in enough applications to realize I won't get a job that I like. Right now my goal is to just find a job somewhere with very low stress, and maybe in a cubicle somewhere that nobody notices me. 

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,242 Posts; 30,627 Profile Views

You might have better luck if you're willing and able to move ...or have you thought of long term acute care to get your foot in the door?
I'm in a saturated area and only have an associate's, but I've gotten hired on the spot for the few jobs I've applied for because (presumably) I have recent med/surg experience.

So there are positions you can work your way into ...eventually.

Edited by Sour Lemon

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Anthony O is a BSN and specializes in Case Management.

19 Posts; 600 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, Sour Lemon said:

You might have better luck if you're willing and able to move ...or have you thought of long term acute care to get your foot in the door?
I'm in a saturated area and only have an associate's, but I've gotten hired on the spot for the few jobs I've applied for because (presumably) I have recent med/surg experience.

So there are positions you can work your way into ...eventually.

That's something I have thought about. I'll probably have to move if I want to get a decent job. I'm in Los Angeles, so you can imagine the job market is saturated.

Believe it or not, I have never applied for long term acute care. I didn't think about it. I'll have to check it out and see if I have any luck there. Thanks for the advice.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,242 Posts; 30,627 Profile Views

1 hour ago, Anthony O said:

That's something I have thought about. I'll probably have to move if I want to get a decent job. I'm in Los Angeles, so you can imagine the job market is saturated.

Believe it or not, I have never applied for long term acute care. I didn't think about it. I'll have to check it out and see if I have any luck there. Thanks for the advice.

I am also in Southern California. I'd suggest trying smaller community hospitals, and although I hear it's a tough gig ...maybe a Kindred? It seems like they're always looking.

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Nurse SMS has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 6,040 Posts; 47,848 Profile Views

Changing specialties is always going to be a more difficult endeavor than trying to find a position in something you actually have experience in. From the employers' perspective, you will need a ton of training, lots of support, don't qualify for a residency and are thus a hit-or-miss risk, when they would rather have someone who can be up to speed in six shifts or less.

I agree with the above recommendation to consider moving to an area that is less desirable and more desperate for nurses. Texas/Mexico border, deep rural areas, Indian reservations, etc.

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mmc51264 has 7 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

2,745 Posts; 38,919 Profile Views

Here in NC, my hospital alone had over 300 open nursing positions. There are 3 Level 1 trauma centers within 20 miles so there are always jobs here. At great facilities. 

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Anthony O is a BSN and specializes in Case Management.

19 Posts; 600 Profile Views

21 minutes ago, mmc51264 said:

Here in NC, my hospital alone had over 300 open nursing positions. There are 3 Level 1 trauma centers within 20 miles so there are always jobs here. At great facilities. 

Have you checked to see what their requirements are? The hospitals near me have hundreds of positions open, too. They all require medical/surgical experience and will automatically reject my application if I don't have it. So, they're not willing to train new staff for the positions, not even case management where I have years of experience. They require medical/surgical experience for hospital case managers.

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51 minutes ago, Anthony O said:

Have you checked to see what their requirements are? The hospitals near me have hundreds of positions open, too. They all require medical/surgical experience and will automatically reject my application if I don't have it...

The nursing shortage is withouth doubt a regional phenomenon.  I'm familiar with the area mmc51264 referred to.  In addition to the positions at her or his facility the other two healthcare systems each have over 200 RN positions posted. While a few positions, at all three systems require two years experience and/or unit specific experience all that is required for the majority of nursing positions is one year nursing experience.  

And this isn't unique to the three healthcare systems in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area as most hospitals in NC have multiple nursing positions available.

If you are in a position that you can relocate, there are definitely jobs available.  Best wishes.

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546 Posts; 3,151 Profile Views

All the hospitals near me including the level 1 trauma center hire new grads (actually they hire last semester nursing students tbh) - so no med/surg required.  They hire straight into most departments even with ADN.  I'm in SE Wisconsin.  There's a major level one trauma center/med college/children's hospital campus, and just a bunch of other hospitals.  I'm actually not sure why we have so many but they all compete for nurses.  Three of the hospitals within twenty minutes of me are Magnet hospitals.

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Anthony O is a BSN and specializes in Case Management.

19 Posts; 600 Profile Views

As much as I'd like to move to Wisconsin or North Carolina, it just isn't possible for me right now. I actually moved to Southern California in 2014 because there were no jobs where I was at. I lived in Virginia Beach. It was the same thing over there. Nobody was hiring, and I thought I'd have better luck in a large city. Guess I chose the wrong city.

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