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How Will the Recession Affect Nursing Employment?

How Will the Recession Affect Nursing Employment?

John Rossheim | Monster Senior Contributing Writer

Will a global recession send millions of healthcare workers to the unemployment lines in 2009? Not likely, but healthcare job opportunities are likely to be trimmed on the margins, as US employment continues to drop, taking with it the health insurance of many Americans and reducing consumers’ appetite for elective procedures. That’s the consensus of industry insiders and observers.

Employment Growth Likely to Soften

The outlook for 2009 is for a gradual softening in healthcare employment. “Growth will continue to slow,” says George Van Horn, a senior analyst with industry research firm IBISWorld. “Unemployment affects insurance coverage and how often people go to the doctor. Income and the availability of credit affect the ability of medical practitioners to expand. And you’d expect that elective procedures will decline.”

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Still, even in October 2008, as the financial crisis spawned broader economic woes, medical and allied healthcare employment continued to rise. Employment in the healthcare industry topped 13.4 million workers, up 26,000 from the previous month and 348,000 greater than a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment marched upward in nearly all care settings: hospitals employed about 750,000 more people than a decade earlier; physicians’ offices had 60,000 more workers than in October 2007; and employment at nursing and residential care facilities was on track to hit 3 million by the end of 2008.

Recession Will Create Winners and Losers

The impact of the recession on healthcare employment will vary considerably according to healthcare specialty. “The winners will be critical care, outpatient care and emergency rooms; blood, organ and ambulatory services; and psychologists, social workers and others who treat stress,” Van Horn says. “The losers in this economy will be dentists, optometrists, chiropractors and practitioners in fertility and family planning.”

Certain niches, such as occupational health nurses, may see slower or declining growth in employment in 2009. Although demand for these specialty nurses, who treat workers in industrial and manufacturing settings, was strong into the last quarter of 2008, plant closings in some industries, especially automotive, could reduce demand, says Peter Ferguson, president of Health & Life Sciences at staffing firm Yoh.

Next: Downturn to Put Downward Pressure on Salaries >>


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    ValenS

    over 2 years ago

    2 comments

    Why, oh why is it always nursing numbers that are scrutinized when cuts are having to be made? Why not take a really good look at the staggeringly, top heavy management tiers within the NHS? Cutting some of these inane, totally worthless administration posts would financially make more sense; managers earn far more than nurses! And what about the duplication of all management posts within Primary Care -by getting rid of a whole layer of managers in every PCT it would save the NHS a fortune! These administrators only make a mockery of 'patient-focused' care or 'death with dignity' or 'compassion in nursing' by their inept, paycheck loans wasting decisions that only ever impact negatively on both patients and staff. Cut their jobs and it's a win/win situation - save money and lose pointless people whose only function is to attend meetings! Genius!!!!!!

    However, if the NHS is looking to cut clinical nursing jobs, after nearly 35 years in nursing I could be persuaded to go for a very favourable redundancy package....

    .....and then return working for more money back-filling the post left vacant by my redundancy!!!! Don't laugh, it will happen that way - my experience tells me so!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    paputoto

    about 5 years ago

    2 comments

    WE just dont know when is this going to affect everyone but nurses from my country are still keen and interested to get their dreams. Were still hoping this will not be detrimental to our working visa applications which are still pending for more than a year now.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ivy_RN

    over 5 years ago

    2 comments

    USCIS should do something about this problem.... I believe the patient nurse ratio right now is not appropriate to deliver proper health care programs. Visas should be released for the qualified nurses from different or foreign nationals.

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