Where, Oh Where, Have All The Nursing Jobs Gone?

I have posted some information related to this topic in an earlier post, but it seems to be a popular question so I thought I would give a little more insight on the matter of nursing jobs here.

There are reports from many agencies that indicate a need for more RNs.

There are also many reports that suggest that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that in a few years we are going to see a huge number of open positions. Here I will give you a little more specific information about the outlook of nursing jobs.

nursing-jobsCurrently, according to several of these reports from agencies like The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the average age of nurses above 45. They also seem to suggest that by age 55, nurses progressively work less and less and finally retire.

Now, back a few years ago (2006ish) as aging nurses were retiring and the economy seemed be on the right track, there was an influx of new hires that were much younger. There are still young nurses entering the profession, however now we seem to have a lack of open positions.

Let’s think about this for a moment. The economy had a rough blow right around 2007. People lost jobs and also lost retirement investments in the stock market.

So how does this affect the available nursing jobs?

Well, if you loose your retirement investment, you have to go back to work. If your spouse looses their job, then you have to try to get a job to cover costs. You see, from the reports that I have read, a little over a third of the positions employed in 2007-08 were filled by nurses over the age of 50. So, I infer from this that nursing jobs have been temporally infused by returning nurses to make ends meet. Which means that when the economy returns to more prosperous times and the nest eggs are back to where they need to be, those returning nurses will be leaving those nursing jobs.

Not only will the returning nurses will be leaving those nursing jobs, but by then there will be even more aging nurses that are ready for retirement.

Thus there will be a huge flux of open positions available. So we need to think long term here.

Think about it, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that by 2020 there are going to be about a million job openings for RNs.

“Yes ok”, you say “but that is 10 years away!”

Well, sure it is, but it is not like all million nursing jobs are going to open up on January 1, 2020! So keep working hard, keep educating your self, and hang in there. I think this slump in job openings is just a temporary thing and

Soon you will find that the nursing jobs are going to be open all over the place once again!


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