In a down economy, nursing jobs thrive

Today's economy is not the best for many people looking for employment. If you are considering a certification for nursing assistance, are in school for a nursing degree, or already have a nursing degree but have not yet found a job, you may be wondering if available nursing jobs decreasing. 

Although some hospitals and clinics are experiencing budget cuts like many other organizations, even in the worst of times, healthcare positions are always a priority. 

ABC news has reported that there is a dire need for nurses, so much so that larger sign-on bonuses are often offered. A huge portion of the population needs health care at any given time. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, X-ray technicians, and others will be able to find employment within the range of their profession.

Hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are trying to cut costs in order to stay in business, but they are required to have a specific number of required personnel on duty at all times in order to pass their standardization and certification requirements. 

As a nurse, there are many different departments available to work in, such as pediatrics, emergency room, intensive care, cardiac care, geriatrics and many others. If you are willing to accept work in any department, you will have a much better chance of finding employment. Taking extra classes to further your credentials is also always a good decision when trying to make yourself more marketable.

With the baby boomer generation getting to the retirement age, there will likely be even more of a demand for healthcare employees. Also, as this generation ages, there will be recurrent medical issues to handle. 

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing shows a portion of some of the concerns in the health care field. Nurses, on average, now earn more than $62,000 per year. 

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that the average salary in the United States is only approximately $36,000. In fact, it is expected that the United States will be short by approximately 300,000 nurses by the year 2015. That is definitely a good sign for nursing students in school today. 

The number of nursing students at this point is not even close in keeping up with that demand. The job growth projection chart, into the year 2018, shows that four out of the top nine jobs are in the health care profession. There is still a need for nurses. In fact some facilities are in such dire need of nurses that they are recruiting nurses from India and China.

Nurses who are working today are beginning to age and nearing retirement age, which on average is 47.3 years old. There are a higher number of older nurses employed than those under the age of 30. There will not be enough nurses to replace those nearing retirement. Historically, nursing has been a female profession. That has been changing, likely because of the wide array of other professional opportunities available to women.

One of the major problems for the shortage of nursing students to fill the growing demand is the lack of availability of slots in nursing schools. Because of this, in 2007, over 40,000 qualified nursing applicants were turned away. 

Nurses holding a master’s degree could be teaching at the university level. However, they earn more in clinical practice than they would at a teaching facility. Thanks to some non-profit groups, scholarships and subsidized money is being offered to nurses to remain at the teaching level while still allowing them to continue with research. Some nurses are moving back to academics due to high stress levels in the clinical setting, helping to alleviate the shortage. shortage.

There are many other avenues available of nursing careers, such as education facilities and government positions. The military is in need of nurses. The pay may not be equal to what is paid on the “outside” but the benefits generally make up for the difference, especially if you make the military a career. Veteran’s hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities, and Alzheimer homes should also be considered.

Budget cuts are affecting nurse work-loads, even if not affecting the number of nurses hired. Oftentimes, higher-level positions are cut, so more of the burden falls on the nurses. There are often many stresses of working as a nurse, even if there is much demand for nursing positions. 

Nursing jobs are not decreasing—in fact, there are nursing jobs available to anyone looking. Be ready to be flexible and be ready to work. You are definitely needed! Even in  a down economy, a job in nursing is a sure bet. 

Author: Elizabeth O'Malley

Bio: Elizabeth graduated with a degree in Public Health Administration before relocating with her family to Seattle. 
She is currently writing, and her favorite topics include health care, work-life balance, and travel.