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Nursing remains a recession-resilient career

  Vanderbilt University study shows nursing demand remains high

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 at 4:24:00 PM


A recent Vanderbilt University study showed that nursing demand remains high, even in this difficult recession...

The study was performed by Dr. Peter Buerhaus, director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Workforce Studies in the Vanderbilt Institute for Medicine and Public Health.

Buerhaus and his team collected registered nurse workforce data from 2002 through 2007 showing increases of 228,986 full-time nurses in hospital settings and 136,779 in non-hospital settings during that time. Data from 2007 shows nurse wages decreased by 1.7 percent, which correlates to the economic slowdown that started in late 2007. With unemployment rates anticipated by many experts to increase by 8 to 9 percent by year’s end, nursing still emerges as a more resilient career compared to most others.

But more nurses are carrying larger responsibilities among their families because of the recession. “Seventy percent of nurses are married,” said Buerhaus. “This increases the pressure for RNs to work because they may very well be the sole breadwinner in the household.”

His previous research projected a nursing shortage of 800,000 to 1 million by 2020. However, based on current trends, the nation will have 285,000 empty nursing positions by 2020, growing to 500,000 by 2025. “Increasingly, the projected nursing shortage is viewed as much as a quality and safety problem as it is a workforce problem,” said Buerhaus. “There is no way possible that our health care system could function without a half million nurses.”

Enrollment demand at universities remains high as well..

Paddy ...

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