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how will health care reform impact the nursing job market?

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I am just curious to everyone's thoughts about the subject -- do you think job opportunities will open up once the major phases of health care reform roll out in 2014? Do you think it will be like in the past where nurses have more freedom to switch specialties and new grads can find jobs easily?

I don't even know if healthcare reform will ever roll out, and that being said, if it does, no one can predict the future. We can only hope.

I think the nursing shortage will come back with a vengeance. You'll have the pre retired nurses likely retiring again, those who were delaying finally getting to, and now millions of people who didn't previously have insurance will have it. People will go.to the doctors for EVERYTHING now. They'll need nurses worse than ever, imo.

evolvingrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice.

Our facility is preparing for medicaid changes related to healthcare reform.......their response is no much hiring.............but lots of overtime to be had....people are so tired they often go unfilled because even the agency we use can't find people.

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I guess I am the dissenter so far.

IMO, Reform will not result in a net increase in jobs. Maybe there will be more non-acute jobs created, but this will undoubtedly offset by hospitals desperately trying to reign in labor costs by using more non-licensed staff to stretch their existing RN workforce as far as possible.

Healthcare reform will continue to squeeze down reimbursement for acute care services... if hospitals are going to survive, they will have to make the cuts somewhere and labor dollars are the most likely target. If you examine the 'situational reimbursment' models that come in to play it's easy to see what a negative effect this will have. HCCAPS, for instance - will reduce reimbursement for anyone who does meet targeted patient satisfaction goals. There will be no payment for treatment of nosocomial infections and complications that occur while in the hospital. etc. etc. etc.

Face it folks, our esteemed legislators are trying to balance the budget by carving out enormous chunks from healthcare. This is going to trigger a cascade of 'unintended consequences' that no one can really predict at this point. I fail to see how this will increase nursing jobs.

I don't think anyone can tell you for certain what will happen. There are things that can back up anyone's opinion as to what will happen.

I do however, think that in the next few years to a decade, we are going to see a nursing jobs situation like we did 3 to 4 years ago. I believe the economy will rebound, but even if it doesn't nurses can not work forever and with the average age of nurses being what it is, it is a matter of time, not to mention formerly retired nurses a previous poster mentioned.

Also keep in mind that even with all the fud and panic you read/hear about nursing job prospects being worse than a few years ago (that is true), the nursing field is still better than most other fields, as far as new grad jobs go, in terms of starting pay, security and ease of placement.

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

I think our health care system is broken. This reform is an attempt to fix it, or at least get it working better. All I can say is AT LEAST SOMEONE IS DOING SOMETHING. All this fear mongering going on about this legislation is ridiculous.. nothing will ever get fixed in this country if we remain afraid of CHANGE. People cry for change constantly and then when someone attempts to change things everyone gets their panties in a knot. It's insanity.

Will it have a positive or negative impact on jobs or health care in the long run? We can't speculate with any accuracy as nobody has a crystal ball that can see into the future.

All I can say is lets give it a chance! My personal opinion is that it WILL create more health care jobs as more people acquire health care and seek treatment sooner than they would have had it had to come out of pocket. I believe we will see more patients with chronic illnesses visiting the doctor more often to keep their conditions under control.. an increase in patients will probably result in an increase of health care workers.

I don't see how this reform will be beneficial for nurses in any way. People are already getting free healthcare through medicaid when they walk in the ED. That hasn't created more jobs. And people are still going to use the ED as their primary. Nothing will change, except that our nations debt keeps growing, dollar keeps sinking, and eventually we'll be taxed even heavier in the near future. I hope you didn't buy that no one who makes under 250K a year will see tax increases...

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

I don't see how this reform will be beneficial for nurses in any way. People are already getting free healthcare through medicaid when they walk in the ED. That hasn't created more jobs. And people are still going to use the ED as their primary. Nothing will change, except that our nations debt keeps growing, dollar keeps sinking, and eventually we'll be taxed even heavier in the near future. I hope you didn't buy that no one who makes under 250K a year will see tax increases...

First of all- health care reform isn't about FREE health care..

How can you conclude 'people will just keep using the ED for their primary'? That nothing will change? You have no way know knowing that.. It's an assumption based on what?

There are a lot of people who don't use the ER for free health care that will benefit from healthcare reform. These people, who simply don't seek medical care AT ALL will actually start going to the doctor. Utilizing health care instead of suffering it out at home because they can't afford a doctor or hospital bill. Believe it or not.. not everybody will go to the ER with no intention of paying the bill for 'free' health care.

Perhaps if some other sides of the 'coin' would suggest other ways of fixing health care we'd have some stuff to argue about.. but all I see is "Lets give big business huge tax cutes and it will trickle down" as a cure-all for all the nations problems. But hey- that worked so well in the 80s, didn't it?

ebear, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg/Peds/O.R./Legal/cardiology. Has 37 years experience.

Two words: RED. TAPE.

Witty3RN

Has 1 years experience.

I don't see how this reform will be beneficial for nurses in any way. People are already getting free healthcare through medicaid when they walk in the ED. That hasn't created more jobs. And people are still going to use the ED as their primary. Nothing will change, except that our nations debt keeps growing, dollar keeps sinking, and eventually we'll be taxed even heavier in the near future. I hope you didn't buy that no one who makes under 250K a year will see tax increases...

How many people are getting free healthcare through medicaid?? I don't think it's as many as you think lots of people can't afford Insurance and don't qualify for medicaid and don't use the ED as their primary. I would like to know what your facts are based on because I disagree. I think if everyone had access to afford healthcare the last thing they would want to do is go set in an ED for 5 hours waiting to be seen instead of making an appointment with their primary and being in and out in maybe an hour.

I think the health care reform will open up the nursing market. You will have people going to the Dr. for regular check-ups again, having surgeries that have been put off, and just being able to seek medical attention when sick. .

Come live by the border...you'll see how many people are getting free healthcare...

The only thing this reform is good for is increasing the insurance companies pockets...now that everyone has to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. It really changes nothing except that the government is attempting to get people off of their programs and onto the private sector. Its' all about budgeting.

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

I can't discuss HC w/ people who think there is anyone who is not entitled to care by the very fact that they breathe, so I'm not getting into that. No, I don't think HCR as it is presently drafted is going to improve the job market for RNs. I think the market for techs will improve, I think the market for midlevel providers will improve, I think the market for bedside RNS will actually get worse. There are going to be fewer inpatient beds with higher ratios and more delegated care.

For crying out loud, health care is not FREE. Ever. The nurse still needs to get paid. The doctor still needs to get paid. The phlebotomist still needs to get paid.

Just because the patient does not pay DOES NOT MEAN IT IS FREE.

The money HAS to come from somewhere. Honest. It just doesn't appear. Where do you think it will come from, if not from the patient?

The health care system is broken. No one is arguing that it is not. The problem is that there is mismanagement of money all over the place.

Here's a question for every nurse who reads this: would you mind donating a couple of days per week, without pay, to see patients? Of course not. But if suddenly everyone was able to go to the doctor, where is the money to pay the nurses?

Also, think about this: why would you pay the nurses so much, when you can get any schmoe off the street who can do the same thing nurses used to do, only for much, much less?

Personally, I would like to see the insurance companies get a big slap down, because they are the ones screwing both the patient and the reimbursement the providers (nurses) get.

linearthinker, DNP, RN

Specializes in FNP. Has 25 years experience.

I'm not sure if you are talking to me. I would prefer socialized medicine, such as in France.

lifelearningrn, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 7 years experience.

But if suddenly everyone was able to go to the doctor, where is the money to pay the nurses?

People will be able to go to the doctor because they will be carrying insurance! The money to pay nurses will come from the same place it always has. Again, this isn't about FREE health care... but requiring everyone to carry insurance will put more money into the system, not take it out of the system.

Also- this reform focuses on preventive care, which in the long run, will free up a LOT more money in health care.

People in this country should have access to affordable health care. IMO, it is elitist to think otherwise.

Personally, I would like to see the insurance companies get a big slap down, because they are the ones screwing both the patient and the reimbursement the providers (nurses) get.

Now, this is interesting to me when people say this. I work for a major health insurance company (has a primary color 2x in the name ;)) full-time while taking my pre-nursing courses. I've worked there about 5 years, enough time to see how the beast works from the inside. Making health insurance companies "pony up" is not going to work -- the cost is just passed on to the folks that hold private and group insurance policies with them.

Let's take for instance, Medicaid. I work on the provider reimbursement side of the aforementioned company. I've worked many of these claims before, as the company administers some of these Medicaid plans in other states. A doctor's visit typically pays about $7-$11 a visit under a Medicaid type plan (A normal "PPO" or something paying at the usual and customary rate would reimburse roughly $80-$100). Under Medicaid, labs are done for pennies. Pennies! I mean seriously, I don't know why any physicians would want to accept these patients - they ARE practically doing it for free! Now, what if we give millions more people in the country policies that reimburse this god awful amount, how are the physicians and all medical personel going to be reimbursed for their time appropriately? Thats right, they will need to turn to the private sector and demand higher reimbursements. This, plus forcing the insurance companies to never deny anyone for pre-ex, put a cap on out of pocket spending, forbid them to raise premiums of the sick -- what happens then? Private insurance becomes virtually unaffordable.

The heath care reform stages have just started, and already (as a ******* employee THERE!) my deductible went from $500 to $2000, my copays increased, my premiums increased. This is ONLY the beginning. Now, everything I said before is just my humble opinion - and like others have said, we just have to wait and see.

So, this all being said, I do expect the need for healthcare workers to increase, but I'm not sure how the bill is going to get paid :eek: