nursing-shortageThese days we’re hearing lots of news about the healthcare job market. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released a report showing that healthcare is one of the strongest economic sectors — with an increase of 20,000 jobs in July. Bearing those numbers out, travel nurse staffing company American Traveler has seen a 100% increase in the number of available travel nurse jobs vs. six months ago.

Overall, no one expects the nursing shortage to go away long term. In fact, earlier this week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Northwest Health Foundation issued a Call for Proposal for Partners Investing in Nursing’s Future (PIN), an initiative that works on the nursing shortage at the community level through partnerships with local groups.

PIN will award up to $250,000 to qualified foundations and charities that develop projects that increase:

  • the diversity of the nursing workforce
  • the number of public health nurses
  • the number of nurses specializing in geriatric and long term care
  • leadership training programs
  • nursing faculty development

In the July/August 2009 issue of Health Affairs, Dr. Peter Buerhaus and his coauthors wrote that despite the current easing of the nursing shortage due to the recession, the U.S. nursing shortage is projected to grow to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025.  A shortage of this scope would be twice as large as any nursing shortage experienced in the U.S. since the mid-60s.

So all nursing students, graduate nurses, and travel nurses as well should take heart.  Your skills will be highly sought-after for years to come. And to those experienced RNs with an interest in higher education, know that the need for nursing professors will be even more acute.

The nursing job market is turning around even as we speak, with demand for travel nurses expected to be one of the first areas to experience the shift. Consider applying for travel nurse jobs now so you don’t miss the sea change!