Community colleges are jammed with people who’ve already got college degrees, people trying to get practical degrees. The nursing shortage is no longer. Even the employers have said there’s no shortage of nurses now, because so many people were chasing those certificates and those degrees and those learning experiences.Thanks to @CoulombicExplosion, I see some confirmation for that opinion this week via CNN:
About 43% of newly licensed RNs still do not have jobs within 18 months after graduation, according to a survey conducted by the American Society of Registered Nurses. "The process has become more and more discouraging, especially since hospitals want RNs with experience, yet nobody is willing to give us this experience," said Ronak Soliemannjad, 26, who has been searching for a nursing job since she graduated in June.They interview Professor Peter Buerhaus, a registered nurse and a health economist, who has an interesting hypothesis:
Prior to the recession, about 73,000 nurses left the profession each year due to childbearing, retirement, burning out or death. But when the recession hit, spouses lost jobs, 401(k)s lost money, and facing financial uncertainty, fewer nurses chose to leave work, Buerhaus said. "Many of those nurses are still in the workforce, and they're not leaving because we don't see a convincing jobs recovery yet," Buerhaus said. "They're clogging the market and making it harder for these new RNs to get a job."My thoughts on the CNN piece:
- Profound sympathies to young nurses, who are getting into a tough field because of practical reasons. I suspect a lot of nurses will be moving to fairly remote places to do healthcare; that's not fun.
- Buerhaus' working hypothesis is that nursing employment is counter-cyclical; that nursing employment is high when unemployment is high and vice-versa. His NEJM paper from 2012 indicates he thinks that nursing employment will trend back down as the economy improves. I'll be frank, I'm skeptical, because I'm waiting for other shoes to maybe drop in 2013.
- That said, those same shoes (slowdowns in China, overall middling GDP growth in the US (predicted to be 1.5 or 2%), a crummy UK/Europe economy) were supposed to drop in 2012.
- Buerhaus' NEJM paper seems to say that it's possible to have 2 problems: a short-term pop in the supply of nurses and a long-term shortage as the US population ages and demands more healthcare.
- I wonder how that might apply to chemistry?
- If you go to the American Society of Registered Nurses, you'll see a "Save the Grads" program. It's a program to locate entry-level positions exclusively for young nurses. It'd be pretty darn great if other professional societies, say, the American Chemical Society, would be willing to do the same thing.