Why Can't New Nurses Find Jobs?
Kathy Quan | NursingLink
Traditionally, when hospitals face economic issues, the first people they let go are nurses. Hospitals usually make deep cuts before rehiring nurses when they can raise the bar and demand nurses with better skills and more education.
This makes it even harder on nurses fresh from nursing school, who are more of a liability. Many hospitals are no longer looking to hire new grads because they don’t have the staff educators to train and supervise them, and hospitals aren’t willing to pay floor nurses to act as preceptors and mentors. Instead, hospitals would rather use the same money to invest more in fewer nurses who have more experience and better skills.
Health Care in the Future
The BLS predicts that hospitals will be one of the smallest employers of nurses in the coming decade. Instead, we will see a big boom in home health care, which will have one of the highest demands for nurses as the population of patients grows. But home health requires at least one year of acute care experience.
That doesn’t mean that new nurses should despair quite yet. Nursing jobs may be hard to find, but as the economy continues to recover and the health care reform act becomes a reality come September, the demand for nurses will grow again, bringing health care coverage to over one million Americans.
Nurses who are currently unable to find employment should consider broadening their horizons and look into continuing their education. Remember, where one area may be saturated with nurses, there are other areas that are begging for nurses.
In the coming months, as the economy continues to recover, nurses will find jobs in less traditional settings. The good ol’ days are not likely to return, but new nurses will always be needed, especially to replace retiring nurses. The shortage of nurses has been stalled temporarily, but it could reach crisis mode again if the anticipated mass exodus of older nurses comes to fruition in an improved economy.