Recession Ending Nursing Shortage? via Fox News

Recession Ending Nursing Shortage? « On The Scene «

Normally I’m loathe to have anything to do with Fox News, but this particular headline caught my eye.  And it’s complete bullshit.

The recession apparently has solved a problem in the healthcare industry, at least temporarily. A study out of Vanderbilt University shows that a decade-long nursing shortage has nearly disappeared in the past year. Researchers found that more nurses are delaying retirement or coming out of retirement because of demolished 401K’s and partners who have lost their job.

No, not totally.

Well, at least partially this is the case.  But usually the determinant of a shortage is am overabundance of open positions.  This means there are jobs that need to be filled, hence not enough nurses (or whatever) are filling those positions.  The problem here is this:  NO ONE IS HIRING.  Maybe I shouldn’t yell, but I am talking about Fox News…

OK, there are pockets of hope where folks are getting hired, but there are none in my city.  We have no, read that zero, positions open for nursing staff at my facility.  And it’s a story being told around our city, and across the country (some places worse than others).  The nursing shortage has been solved by the institutions not creating a shortage by having open positions.  Added to nurses staying put longer and voila’, no more shortage.

It’s going to suck when the economy does turn around and the boomers will finally retire.  It’s not going to be pretty.



  1. I’ll be graduating in six months, and am thinking about just jumping back into school and going on for my BSN. Because honestly, I live in an extremely small town. We just dumped about 25 new nurses into the community and are going to do so again in 6 months. 50 new nurses in a rural area seems overwhelming. I have no idea where we’ll all find employment.


    1. If you can swing the expense of going for your BSN, it’s not a bad idea. If nothing more, it may give you a leg up when the market swings back. There is hope, the market will turn around. It always does….


  2. I agree, if you can use this time to pursue your education it is a “no Brainer”. There are also wonderful government grants available for those who wish to pursue their RN, BSN or Masters. The challenge is that sometimes you are required to agree to work in underserviced areas for a period of time, but it would be good for your “soul” right? Add to this, the benefit of clearing up your student loans or paying for your education, not a bad payoff.

    My suggestion for all nurses is that if you have a nursing job, it is wise to hold on to it. If you are a specialty nurse, keep up your acute care experience or you will lose your marketability, which is critical in hard times. Even working a day here and there (depending on the area) may be enough to keep your skills current.

    If you are a new grad, there seems to be great difficulty finding preceptorships in hospitals, at least in San Diego. Once again, if you are willing to go outside of the area there are phenomenal opportunities. We have spoken with several hospitals which are open to new grad programs, but of course, you have to be willing to go outside of your area. The beautiful part is that once you have a year of experience in an acute care setting, there will be plenty of jobs for you. With the average age of the nurse crossing over 50 yoa, it is only be a matter of time before the demand rises again.

    We own a medical staffing company in San Diego and we are seeing a need for RN’s: med surg as well as most specialties. But business is definitely significantly slower in California than in the past; previously more discerning nurses, are now accepting any type of FT job for the security, there are lower numbers of insured so fewer hospitalizations/unnecessary surgeries, hospitals are having to tighten their fiscal belts due to MediCal/Care cutbacks and, of course, the recent release of the staffing acuity restrictions has added to decreased demand for medical staff in general. For a small, local, woman-owned staffing company such as ours, it doesn’t help that lately that many of our local hospitals seem to prefer to use 1-2 large national staffing company’s versus the local, smaller counterparts…without good competition in the market place; I can’t envision a good LT outcome for either the hospitals, our local nurses or for that matter, small businesses. I do admit, however, I am a little biased.


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