Despite Layoffs, Nurses in Demand: Nurse Educators Needed

Despite Layoffs, Nurses in Demand: Nurse Educators Needed

Tim Krohn / The Free Press

April 08, 2009

The news in recent weeks has been jolting to many in a profession that most considered recession- proof. Licensed professional nurses have been laid off in significant numbers at area hospitals and clinics.

“Students do question, ‘Will there be a job for me when I graduate?’” said Cheryl Pratt, regional dean of nursing for Rasmussen College.

The answer, said Pratt and other nurse educators, is that the recession is hitting all sectors, including health care, but the long term demand for nurses is huge.

“Hospitals are businesses, too,” Pratt said. “People put off elective procedures and that hits the hospitals in the short run and they don’t need as many nurses.”

Paula Swiggum, associate professor of nursing at Gustavus Adolphus College, said the long-term demand for nurses – particularly registered nurses – isn’t going to change.

“Even now, there are places in the country that have a chronic shortage of nurses. A lot of our seniors have been applying in the south and west and easily getting jobs,” Swiggum said. “Minnesota has had some shortages, but it’s not as bad as other parts of the country.”

One thing both women said, however, is that LPNs are taking a bigger hit now and may have more limited employment options in the future.

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