Nursing Schools Adjust to Recession

Nursing schools in some states might be having a tough time explaining the recession and eventual increase in job demands to students, but they should remain optimistic about the immediate future.

For a few years now, industry representatives and health officials have claimed that there will be a significant increase in job demands, but some nursing school students are worried about the present situation.

In some states, nurses are in very high demand and the lack of qualified applicants is making it difficult for these facilities to fill the open positions. In others however, there is an abundance of nursing graduates but relatively few jobs to place them in. Reports indicate that while hiring has slowed recently, this is a temporary phase resulting from a nationwide recession.

Nursing jobs across the board are expected to rebound in all states soon. But in the mean time, a combination of relocation flexibility and increased standards in states with an abundance of applicants is a mix that can help both the graduates of nursing schools and the facilities that need nurses. Nursing schools are accommodating this shift in some cases, as well.

The nursing school at Radford University responded to a stark increase in the demand for nurses less than a decade ago and doubled the number of students accepted into its nursing school program. However, they are now taking a different approach. Radford is reducing the size of its largest nursing program and instead encouraging participation in advanced nursing studies. This will result in more qualified nursing graduates that are better able to face the job market.

Other nursing schools may soon consider similar changes, especially as states like New York begin to consider changing laws related to nursing programs to require a 4-year degree to work as an RN. If New York decides to change the regulations and other states follow suit, nursing schools may see an increase in advanced degree enrollments anyway.