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Status of the Industry

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in ICU.

Have things changed in the industry? It seems I see a lot of posts on here where people are looking for a nursing job and can't find one. I also see a lot of posts where people appear to be coming from a different employment sector into nursing. Are we seeing the end of the nursing shortage?

If so, what threat do new grads pose to those of us who are already working and experiened?

Satori77, ADN

Has 2 years experience. Specializes in Med Surg/Ortho.

That is a good question...wish I had an answer. I was recently talking to a nurse where I live, and she was saying that the nursing market was saturated here (in Colorado). But I know every time I pick up the paper, there are TONS or nursing positions listed. I frequently go on hospital websites to keep up with open positions, and there are always a lot on there as well. I mean, more nursing jobs than every other type of position combined.

gonzo1, ASN, RN

Has 15 years experience. Specializes in CEN, ED, ICU, PSYCH, PP.

I have been looking for a travel nurse assignment in AZ and TX for the winter and it is bone dry at least for ER jobs. Hardly anything listed. Last year there were tons.

Probably just a sign of the economy and times

llg, PhD, RN

Has 43 years experience. Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

A lot of the decreased job openings are due to the current economy.

1. Nurses who used to work (and would prefer to work) 1 shift per week are now working 2 shifts per week because they need the money. Their husband's job is less secure, or he just got laid off, or he won't be getting a holiday bonus, etc. People who used to work 2 shifts per week and now looking to work 3, etc. It happens whenever the regional or national economy sours. Experienced nurses adjust the number of hours they work based on their family's current financial situation. Those increased hours worked by the existing staff eliminates the need for employers to hire new people.

2. Hospitals are squeezed for money as their sources of funding dry up during a recession. They look for every way they can to save money. So, they seek to save money by not paying for the orientation of new employees. They are happy to pay their existing staff to fill any holes in the schedule -- and as explained in #1 above, they find staff members happy to pick up the extra shifts.

These fluctuations in the job market happen periodically -- particularly where a large percentage of the work force works part time, as is often the case with nursing.

heron, ASN, RN

Has 40 years experience. Specializes in Hospice.

Many of those who are looking for work and not finding it, are looking in major metropolitan areas with tons of new grads flooding the market with every graduation ... ie Boston, NYC, etc.

Inactive or part-timers are also getting back into the work force due to economic need.

It's a cycle. In the 36 years since I've been licensed I've seen tight job markets come and go. Like the weather, just wait a bit ... it'll turn.

As for people changing fields ... right now nursing is the job-du-jour for people seeking a middle-class income. Remember when it was engineering, MBA or computer science (web design, etc.)?

It's being said that these are unprecedented economic times ... life will be interesting over the next couple of years. This makes it hard to predict where the nursing industry will go from here. One thing is sure, those who are changing field JUST for the paycheck are in for quite the reality check.

Flightline, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in ICU.

It will be interesting to see where the economy goes from here. In the eighties we started using credit cards big time, and that was one way out of a depression. In the nineties, we had the internet boom, and that brought us out.

What will bring us out this time? Are people suddenly, for no reason at all, going to start earning more and spending like crazy again. Will we go back to the ATM housing loans? I don't see something coming that will "bail us out."

I see people either going bankrupt, going into foreclosure, or starting the long hard road to paying off debt. If people decide to pay off debt, it will drive us into a depression--and yet, we have to pay off debt or we will all be bankrupt.

I wonder what effect a depression will have on this nursing shortage we all counted on.

noc4senuf

Specializes in Geriatrics, WCC.

I am hoping it will blow over soon. I had an ad out for a couple of PM positions and had resumes on my desk but, our census is and has been down quite a bit that after a chat with my CEO, we are choosing to not fill the positions at this time. The hospitals in the St. Paul area are laying off not only nursing positions but other departments as well.

The economy seems to be the major factor at this time. So, as my administrator stated yesterday, the nurses we do have had better show us they are the best as he wants the "cream of the crop" since, there are others out their looking for a job.

Flightline, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience. Specializes in ICU.

I am hoping it will blow over soon. I had an ad out for a couple of PM positions and had resumes on my desk but, our census is and has been down quite a bit that after a chat with my CEO, we are choosing to not fill the positions at this time. The hospitals in the St. Paul area are laying off not only nursing positions but other departments as well.

The economy seems to be the major factor at this time. So, as my administrator stated yesterday, the nurses we do have had better show us they are the best as he wants the "cream of the crop" since, there are others out their looking for a job.

That's very interesting. I didn't realize there was an impact on census when the economy is turning down. And it's a bit frightening to hear CEOs say they want only the "best" nurses in such times. Given that "best" often equates economically with "10 pts per shift, high acuity, and no complaining about it, or you can hit the door and we'll hire another nurse who's waiting in line for your place."

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