There really is a shortage of nurses!

I am sure you have heard that there is a tremendous shortage of nurses in the United States and that it looks as though that amount of nurse job openings is only going to increase in the near future. This is factual information with statistical data to back it up, and I will talk about this in a minute. However, I keep getting asked,

“If there is such a shortage of nurses, then where are all the nurse job openings?”

Well, lets start with the information about the shortage, then more specifics about the what and where of the open positions, and then finally why it seems that finding a job right now can be so difficult.

If we consult the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), we will find that they are expecting the the employment of nurses should grow by about 22% from 2008-2018. Now this need is assumed to be due to a few factors, like nurses retiring or leaving for other reasons, the number of elderly is growing rapidly, not to mention reasons like requiring a higher nurse per patient ratio. Thus, with knowing this information we can see that there is indeed a generation of more nurse job openings.

Ok, so now you have the data, now what?

Well, lets take a look at where these nurse job openings are within the health industry. According to the BLS, the growth rate of open positions vary. The highest growth rate occurs in physician offices, then home healthcare services and the least amount of growth will be in the public/private hospital sector. There are specific reasons we can talk about for this, but I want to stay focused for now.

Let’s think about this for a moment.

Currently, over half of the registered nurse population works in hospitals but that is the area that has the leas amount of projected growth. So, if you are looking for nurse job openings at hospitals, your looking in the smallest pool of potential positions.

Therefore, if you are one of those people that keep asking “If there is such a shortage of nurses, then where are all the nurse job openings?” I have a question for you-

“Where are you looking?”

If I were looking for an open position, the first place I would start is in the Doctor’s Office and then maybe nursing care facilities.

Now, obviously nurse job openings vary due to location. So, you might have to step out beyond your current circle of comfort and expand your search a little. There are other factors that come into play here too.

  • What is your experience level?
  • Did you just pass the NCLEX or do you have 15 years under your belt.
  • What about your specialty, do you have one?
  • It is one that is in demand?

(If it is not, then perhaps it is time to work on introducing yourself into another specialty.)

I will be discussing these issues and much more as we build our relationship.  I hope this has given you some insight on the nursing shortage and where all the nurse job openings are. I am very interested in your thoughts and questions so be sure to make a comment while you are here.


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Filed under: Nursing Careers

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