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Scoping out the nurse competition

There’s a shortage.  There isn’t a shortage.  There’s a shortage.  There isnt’ a shortage.  Seems like every day for every one ‘nursing shortage’ headline there’s two more about the ‘cooling nursing market.’

MSNBC attempts to explain why landing a nursing job has all of a sudden gotten so competitive, despite the continued ‘shortage’ projections:

“In the past six months, the market has changed and the experienced nurse is coming to us to look for a job,” said Deborah Mello, a nurse recruitment and retention consultant for LifeBridge Health, which operates Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital, Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital and the Jewish Convalescent & Nursing Home. The hospitals’ turnover rate has dropped to 4.2 percent, about half its normal rate, in the past two months.” (msnbc)

The  nursing school grad faces competition from existing staff nurses who are opting to stay on for the sake of job security (as opposed to on demand assignments through staffing agencies), as well as nurses re-entering the job market.  And add to that, hospital hiring freezes, benefit cuts, and generally people putting off elective surgeries due to lost healthcare coverage or inability to cover copays.

The article cites that in Maryland there were still 1,640 available nursing positions last year, and those jobs are still out there.  But the new grad is going to have to work a little harder to nab one of those coveted positions.

May the best nurse win.

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