News / USA

Some US Nurses Struggle to Find Work

Some US Nurses Struggle to Find Worki
X
May 10, 2013 9:39 PM
U.S. nurses are caught between a sour economy, a demographic bump and a flood of unemployed new graduates. After years of worry about a shortage of nurses, about one-third of new nursing graduates in the United States have been struggling to find work. Experts tell VOA’s Jim Randle there will be many job openings for nurses - eventually.
Some US Nurses Struggle to Find Work
U.S. nurses are caught between a sour economy, a demographic bump and a flood of unemployed new graduates. After years of worry about a shortage of nurses, about one-third of new nursing graduates in the United States have been struggling to find work. Experts say there will be many job openings for nurses - eventually.

”I’ve applied for 35 different jobs and, despite having a 4.0 GPA [very high grades], I have not received any jobs, so it’s really concerning,” said University of Maryland student Alexandra Bauernschub. She is finishing a master’s degree in nursing, and learned patient care using high-tech simulators, as well as through traditional classroom activities.
   
She is finishing school just as new graduates are struggling to find work. Nurses with a two-year degree have more difficulty than those who graduate from four-year schools or graduate programs.
 
Experts say there are fewer job openings than usual right now because nurses in their 50s and 60s are putting off retirement so they can rebuild savings lost during the financial crisis, or pay the bills when a spouse loses a job.
 
“This economic downturn has created this tension in terms of people staying in the workforce right at the same time we have been working hard to increase the number of graduates to meet that growing health care need," said Jane Kirschling, the dean of the University of Maryland’s nursing school.

Nursing school enrollments have soared in recent years as the medical profession prepared for the retirement of the baby boomers, the larger-than-usual generation of Americans born right after World War II.  Hundreds of thousands of nurses are expected to eventually leave the workforce, just as the rest of their generation reaches the age when they need more medical care.
 
Additionally, changes in health care laws give millions more Americans access to health insurance and care, which means demand for nurses will grow even more.
    
Health economists say if the economy improves, many older nurses will be willing to leave their jobs and make room for newcomers. One study says a drop in overall unemployment could open tens of thousands of nursing jobs.

[A drop of] "One percentage point in unemployment seems to lead to about 30,000 additional nurses in the workforce," said Rand Corporation analyst David Auerbach, who spoke via Skype. "So we are at about 7.6 percent [unemployment]. So if we go down to about 5.5 percent, that suggests that about 60,000 RNs [registered nurses] kind of opening up those spots and retiring."  

Nursing school dean Jane Kirschling said that in spite of problems at the moment, nursing is a rewarding career with a bright future. “The opportunities are going to continue to be very, very strong. We are just sitting in this window of time where the economy has played out, the boomers staying in the workforce."

In the meantime, many nursing students say they are worried because they face an uncertain job future, and the certainty of having to repay thousands of dollars in college loans.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid