One of the most in-demand jobs in the healthcare profession today is that of the nurse. Nurses are needed everywhere – in schools, hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other facilities. It seems like more and more people have moved out of the nursing field and into other, more technologically advanced, positions. This has caused a nursing shortage across many states.
The nursing shortage has definitely affected the way facilities recruit. In fact, many nurses, already employed, are getting notices in the mail and in their email inboxes for potential nursing positions. It can be overwhelming to say the least, especially for nurses who are already employed and have no intention of moving or changing jobs.
One of the most aggressive recruiters is the hospital. According to the National Association of Nurses, or the NASN, hospitals have a vacancy rate of about 8%, which makes them the most desperate. In fact, these facilities are so desperate that they are now offering really impressive relocation packages that include covering moving expenses, residential assistance, and even cash bonuses for coming onboard. Some have even offered to help pay off student loans.
In the next few years, it looks like the nursing shortage is only going to get worse. Why? As baby boomers age, the overall need for healthcare will increase. And while there will be plenty of openings out there, there will also be a shortage of adequately budgeted positions across the board. That means there won’t be enough money to go around for salaries, supplies, and so forth.
One of the sectors to suffer will definitely be schools, which are already under plenty of budget restrictions. Typically speaking, the average public school nurse will care for almost 1,200 students across 2 ½ schools. But, about 25% of schools in any given area have no school nurse to speak of, mostly because of budgeting issues. An average salary for a school nurse is between $34,000 and $54,000.
Schools and hospitals aren’t the only ones with a high need in the nursing industry. Universities do as well, and we aren’t talking about in the infirmaries! There is a shortage of nursing instructors – so much so that in fact that there are waiting lists for students to get in. States across the country are starting to offer initiatives to draw in potential instructors, and nurses, to their regions. This may mean plenty of nurses will be moving over the next couple of years.
So, while there is a high demand for nurses across the board, it really depends on what sector you want to work in. As a school nurse, you may not want to relocate to a new town until you know you have a job at a school. If you are recruited by a hospital, you may find you relocation fees covered and a job right away.