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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid