For many years, nursing was touted as a recession-proof career, however, the monstrous recession of 2008, proved otherwise. In 2001, reports of an impending nurse shortage sparked widespread interest in the profession. Subsequently, an influx of eager nurse wannabes flooded colleges across the country to help fill the critical shortage gap. Jobs for nursing majors were seemingly plentiful and institutions were all but reluctant to open their doors as wide as possible. The title, “nurse,” quickly became synonymous with recession-proof. Fast forward to our present-day economy and those same fluffy, white clouds that once represented opportunity, are now fifty shades of gray.
Determined to earn a degree in what promised to be an emotionally and financially rewarding career field, hundreds of thousands of nursing students studied day and night, participated in clinicals, raised young children, took care of families, worked part-time (or full-time)—some even decided to quit their jobs in order to focus on their education, while their spouses temporarily assumed the dual role of breadwinner and caretaker, convinced they would be relieved of such pressure in due time. But for recent nursing graduates across the country, such a time has not come yet, leading many to believe the nursing shortage is simply a myth.
The once recession-proof profession has become markedly more elusive as complaints from recent graduates and experienced nurses inundate nursing forums and social media sites. The average nursing graduate is considered fortunate if he or she lands a nursing job within 6-8 months of graduation. Mounting frustration and student loan debt has left some nurse hopefuls feeling hopeless.
Despite information that suggests the contrary, claims of a nursing shortage are rampant across the Internet and various news outlets, leaving recent graduates confused and upset.
The healthcare industry boasts such compelling employment prospects; it’s rather baffling as to why the nursing profession is experiencing what appears to be a “surplus”—in other words, too many nurses and not enough nursing jobs.
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Is becoming a nurse in today’s economic climate a curse? Is the nursing shortage real? Share your comments below.