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How Will the Recession Affect Nursing Employment?

How Will the Recession Affect Nursing Employment?

John Rossheim | Monster Senior Contributing Writer

Downturn to Put Downward Pressure on Salaries

The economic collapse that began in late 2008 may have a number of additional effects on healthcare job opportunities. For example, insurance companies that need to control healthcare costs might be tempted to cut case managers who work with employees of client companies, Ferguson says. “But ensuring that patients are tended [to] properly is actually a financial benefit for the company,” he says.

Despite the squeeze on healthcare spending, experienced healthcare professionals may find that if they do search for a new employer, they may be in great demand. “In this troubled economy, it can be hard to hire people, because they don’t want to risk going to a new employer,” says Jim Maestretti, director of compensation and talent acquisition at Regence, a nonprofit health insurer.

In the long term, the difficult economy is likely to exert downward pressure on healthcare pay. “Reimbursements are going to go down considerably, so healthcare professionals have to be concerned about their salaries,” says Levi Buck, CEO of Pacer Health Staffing.

Another potentially critical development for healthcare workers in 2009 and beyond: Reform. Fixing the broken healthcare system is a high priority of the new administration. “I see major reform ahead, with coverage expanding for the uninsured,” Buck says. “As more people gain access to healthcare, there will be fewer health professionals per capita, so the worker shortage will increase dramatically.”

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