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Nursing Surplus?

Nurses   (7,078 Views 24 Comments)
by sgmanda sgmanda (New Member) New Member

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I know a lot of you out there have experienced the frustration of being short-staffed with the nursing shortage, but what about the nurses who have been working in the field for many many years. Has there ever been a nursing surplus? I heard that the pendulum swings back and forth between a nursing shortage and a nursing surplus, but I'm not sure how true this is. Can anyone out there enlighten me?

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traumaRUs has 25 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

513 Likes; 14 Followers; 127 Articles; 185,043 Visitors; 20,520 Posts

Yes, there was a surplus in the early 90's. I became an LPN in 1992 and an RN in 1994. I had to keep working as an LPN for six months before I could get an RN position.

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5,058 Visitors; 301 Posts

There has never been a surplus where I've worked for the last 27 years.

Have always been short handed. Then when we did get what was considered a full staff, someone would quit and it would take 6 months to find a replacement. We're short now.

The part time job I work occasionally is always short handed. Always needing more nurses.

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meownsmile works as a med/surg/ortho RN.

10,146 Visitors; 2,532 Posts

I saw that early 90's situation too. There were a few RN's that were laid off and I actually had to cut back to part time to keep from being laid off. Not sure what the situation was, i was just out of LPN school 6 months to a year.

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PMFB-RN has 16 years experience and works as a Rapid Response, Trauma/CV ICU. ER/Transport.

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I know a lot of you out there have experienced the frustration of being short-staffed with the nursing shortage, but what about the nurses who have been working in the field for many many years. Has there ever been a nursing surplus? I heard that the pendulum swings back and forth between a nursing shortage and a nursing surplus, but I'm not sure how true this is. Can anyone out there enlighten me?

*** Sure, 1995. New grad nurses couldn't get a job, experienced nurses layed off in many places.

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237 Likes; 3 Followers; 95,240 Visitors; 36,404 Posts

At the facility I worked at in 1996 that did layoffs, it wasn't because of a surplus of nurses. It was because the new owners wanted to save money by getting rid of employees. Many went, most voluntarily. They just hired new faces, although I don't know how many new faces they hired. At any rate, the new faces would have been getting paid less under the new owners. I don't think there really is a surplus ever. Employers hire and fire following their own business plan. They pay lip service to societal perceptions regarding the need for nurses.

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Yep, 95 was a tough year to be a new grad competing with laid off experienced nurses for jobs. At least in my neck of the woods.

But as another states, that situation wasn't necessarily because there were too many nurses. It just means that there were cutbacks in staffing - not necessarily in actual need for nursing care, though.

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kenny b works as a Husband and Father of 2 (oh and making wafers as a.

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Yep, 95 was a tough year to be a new grad competing with laid off experienced nurses for jobs. At least in my neck of the woods.

But as another states, that situation wasn't necessarily because there were too many nurses. It just means that there were cutbacks in staffing - not necessarily in actual need for nursing care, though.

Was there something special about 1995 that caused the cutbacks?

Also, it is my understanding that this pendulum will swing very slowly because the baby boomers are both retiring from nursing and increasing the need for nurses. I know this is commonly accepted, but is there anything I could be missing here? I plan on putting my 6 and 5-year-old children through college as a nurse.

Thanks in advance!

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fronkey bean has 13 years experience and works as a ICU.

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Was there something special about 1995 that caused the cutbacks?

Also, it is my understanding that this pendulum will swing very slowly because the baby boomers are both retiring from nursing and increasing the need for nurses. I know this is commonly accepted, but is there anything I could be missing here? I plan on putting my 6 and 5-year-old children through college as a nurse.

Thanks in advance!

I don't know why but it happened where I work as well. We were told that no one would be fired but as nurses quit they would not be replaced so that our numbers would be reduced by attrition. Didn't last long though. Took aabout a year and they were so short we were getting massive overtime. Even had an LPN that they allowed to work in ICU b/c staffing was so bad.

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Tweety has 28 years experience and works as a Med-Surg.

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We had a surplus for a brief period of time in the mid-90s as well. It was fueld by nurses from the NE and Canada moving down and filling up the positions because there weren't many jobs up north.

The economy was strong and jobs were plentiful in the computer and engineering industries and that's where the money was so eventually people weren't choosing nursing for a career. Eventually as the economy worsened, nursing schools began bursting at the seems with long waiting lists and it swung the other way again.

That's the only period in the last 16 years that I remember.

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4,433 Visitors; 483 Posts

Yep. At my hospital there is. We've benefited from the local schools hemorrhaging new graduates. We now fight over who gets to work overtime. :o

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3,918 Visitors; 192 Posts

I remember that in the 90's our Home Health agencies were down-sizing rather dramatically. When I inquired I was told it had to do with changes at the federal level with Medicare rules and reimbursements that control that industry.

Many, many nurses from Home Health entered the hospital pay roles in our area during that time.

It made sense to me. I have a friend that works for a State agency here. He told me that his job really isn't all that secure as the legislature controls the funding and he has seen wide swings in funding for many programs throughout the yrs.

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