This post is the second in a series regarding nursing job opportunities.
To be sure there are still jobs available in nursing but they are not in areas that many new graduates are easily willing to consider. With an aging population the growth in areas like gerentological nursing will continue to be strong for decades. Behavioral Health Nursing is another area which continues to have needs for nurses in many geographic locations.
Another factor to be considered is location. While there appears to be a surplus of nurses in many urban areas needs still exist in some smaller more rural areas. To this point many of these jobs remain open because many who have recently entered the nursing work force had not planned on relocating for a job.
So when I talk to a recent nursing school graduate the conversation inevitably turns to when will things return to the way they use to be?
My short answer is never. While many sources continue to predict a significant shortage of nurses by the year 2020 the days of vast number of new graduates populating inpatient medical surgical, obstetrical and pediatric units are probably gone for the foreseeable future. Healthcare will have growing needs in areas like emergency nursing, critical care nursing, gerentological and behavioral health as well as community health, home health and various ambulatory care settings.
The shift in healthcare that many predicted is well in hand. Nurses seeking employment will need to change their focus. But the need to change does not only rest with new graduates, the need to change also rests with administrators and educators to better prepare new nurses for the changing healthcare environment.
See the final post in this series to learn about how administrators and educators can assist nurses in their careers.