More From the Nursing Shortage Myth Annals

December 6, 2013
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nursing shortage myth

Good news or bad news?

nursing shortage myth

Good news or bad news?

FierceHealthcare has a weird little article about nursing shortages or lack thereof (As market worsens for hospital jobs, nurses look elsewhere). As I’ve written before, the nursing shortage is a myth. If you’re thinking of going to nursing school or sending your son or daughter there based on the inaccurate notion that good nursing jobs are plentiful, you should think twice.

The Fierce article mixes together two articles that tell almost opposite stories. The first, from the Indianapolis Star describes the dearth of hospital nursing jobs –which generally pay well. Nurses who can’t get jobs there are moving down the food chain to lower paying outpatient and home care positions.

New nurse grads are sending out 60 to 100 resumes and getting no responses, we are told.

That article mirrors my sense of the market. If there were a real nursing shortage you’d expect employers to be talking about it, yet I almost never hear a hospital clamoring for more nurses to be trained. Contrast that with the situation in high technology where employers are constantly beating the drum for more STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) graduates.

The second article from the Long Beach Press Telegram is about a faculty shortage in the California State University system. Something like 90 percent of qualified applicants are being turned away, which we are told “is exacerbating the state’s nursing shortage.”

Actually, with a national nursing glut, the applicants may be receiving a blessing in disguise.

A commenter captures my feelings about the article well. He has a niece who graduated with her RN but is still waitressing six months later. Meanwhile, “if California has such a shortage of nurses, why don’t some of the new grads sending out the 60 to 100 applications go west?”

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