Is There A Nursing Shortage? [Infographic]

nurse job shortage

Despite reports that some nurses are having trouble finding jobs, government statistics suggest many positions are being left unfilled and the need for nurses (and other health-care professionals) will continue to grow through the end of the decade.

Driving the demand for the tens of thousands of nursing jobs expected to be created by 2020 are aging baby boomers, who are living longer but not necessarily healthier. So how is it that some job seekers can't find nursing jobs? As CNNMoney recently reported, despite thousands of job postings, registered nurses fresh from school are meeting resistance from hospitals that don't want to hire new grads.

More than a third (36 percent) of newly licensed registered nurses who graduated in 2011 weren't working as RNs four months after graduation, according to a survey by the National Student Nurses Association. In California, the problem appears even more acute. About 43 percent of recent grads still didn't have jobs 18 months after graduating, according to a separate survey by the California Institute for Nursing & Health Care.

More: For Nursing Jobs, New Grads Need Not Apply

In response, some new grads are taking out their frustrations by posting comments on One contributor, who goes by the handle duhitsbrielle, recently wrote that nearly a year after graduating, a job remains out of reach: "I graduated almost 7 months ago and cannot get a job. I graduated from a well known reputable university with my BSN and have over a 3.5 GPA and still haven't had any luck."

Another factor preventing new grads from getting jobs is the recent recession. Before the economic downturn, some 73,000 nurses left the profession each year. When the recession hit, however, many nurses had to rethink retiring -- as spouses lost jobs, housing values plummeted and financial uncertainty set in.

Many of those nurses are still in the workforce and aren't leaving anytime soon, says Peter Buerhaus, a registered nurse and economist who teaches at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. As Buerhaus told CNNMoney, "They're clogging the market and making it harder for these new RNs to get a job."

Looking for more information about the challenges in becoming a nurse? Check out the infographic below by

nursing shortage

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

More From QuinStreet

Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:
Jerry Hope

It's not just new grads having difficulty. I've been looking for work since December of 2012. I finally found a temporary positing this month but it is with a vaccine company. Instead of continuing to advertise the nursing shortage that supposedly exists, why doesn't someone investigate further into why hospitals are refusing to hire experienced nurses as well. If experienced nurses can't find work there is no hope for nurses just coming out of school is there? I feel like I've just wasted the last couple of years going back for my bachelor's in nursing never mind the debt I've incurred.

September 14 2013 at 12:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You just cannot make generalizations when it comes to Nursing. It all depends on the state, city or town. Anyone pretending to know everything about every single place is delusional. I live in New Mexico and graduated with my ADN in October of 2012. I began working as an RN on a med/surg unit in December of 2012. Be smart and do what I did if you can. As soon as I graduated I got a job as a CNA at the hospital and worked there while preparing for my NCLEX. Then as soon as I passed my status changed to RN and I started my 6 week orientation. Get your foot in the the manager(s) that you are hard-working and not lazy. Too many people want the top jobs handed to them without putting in any effort. Nursing is hard work. We are regularly understaffed and over assigned patients. In fact there are ALWAYS opportunities for overtime where I work, but nurses just don't want to take on extra shifts because of the heavy patient loads. Anyways I am working as an RN while earning my BSN and hoping the experience I am getting will help me to get a good job in Las Vegas when we move in July. Hard work has paid off so far.....we will see what a new state brings! :)

April 17 2013 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

there's no nursing shortage....nurses choose other fields to work for better hours and pay with less stress and less of the bull put upon them.

March 13 2013 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

may God bless all those who pick up the responsibility to care for another. Now that being said Nurses must start being educated to replace the dwindling GP or Family MD's in this country it is a important way to bring the cost of health care under control. ARNP's can diagnose and prescribe and MD's to cut and cure. On a planet of seven billion this is the future. Rn's must step up schools must educate appropriately

March 06 2013 at 6:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Once again, an Article about Nurses with no mention of LPNs. We are Nurses as well. Many work in hospitals, offices, and Nursing homes...!

March 06 2013 at 6:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to nanakathy's comment

The reason for that is based, again on who framed the issues for the writer of this story. The goal of the sources for most stories written about nursing is to downgrade associate degree RNs to "technical nurse" and to completely obliterate LPNs and disparage them as a commenter did here. The BSN programs indoctrinate their students into believing that they are far, far superior to any other kind of nurse.

Their argument got very little traction in the past because there was a nursing shortage and people who hire nurses were not going to have their hands tied by a group of overweight nags making specious claims back in 1965 when they launched their seek and destroy mission against practical nurses and diploma nurses. The economy has handed them the first real opportunity to shove their false claims down our throats. The will say that it's because BSN nurses are superior, and not mention the nursing glut. That is a certainty.

March 06 2013 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

there are many, many, many foreign nurses working here and most of them work more than one job...that is an interesting phenomenom and is rarely discussed...also, facilities are staffing according to budget and not according to safe ratios...this can be expected to continue and intensify...there is now an employment struggle in nursing that was previously unheard is not guaranteed...

March 06 2013 at 3:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice blog and here I read good information , According to Pollard, raw almonds are an excellent prevention technique against a hangover. Eating of five to six almonds before a night of drinking alcohol will help curb the effects of intoxication because the tiny nuts are chock-full of nutrients. Almond trick is an old method used by American Indians. ProCare One offers one of the largest national networks of traveling healthcare professionals. Although our experienced travelers possess a diverse range of skill sets, they all have something in common—they work hard to meet or exceed the highest standards and competencies in the industry.
For more details:

March 06 2013 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Both of the hospitals in Waco Tx do not hire new grads. They expect them to get a years experience before they will hire. Ridiculous! Everyone in my nursing school class had a job. There was actually a glut of RNs. These hospitals don't want to take the time to buddy train a new BSN. The experience is nothing like it used to be. They come out book smart but having almost no experience with real patients due to legal issues. Several hospitals will do internships as an entry into their hospitals.

March 06 2013 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Get rid of the 50+million Illegal Aliens& their Anchors & millions of Real Legal American citizens will be able to get jobs !! Almost No english is spoken in these hospitals !!

March 06 2013 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to willlon928's comment

illegal aliens cannot get nursing licenses.

What is your problem?

March 06 2013 at 2:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hospital based nursing with a strong on emphasis on teaching discipline by highly trained professionals who also work at these jobs would result in RNs that are ready to go to work. Also, it would drastically cut the costs of medical care. The reason for all these layoffs, etc is not that nurses are not needed -- they are too expensive. Substituting highly trained diploma nurses would reduce costs and provide more nurses.

March 05 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Susan's comment

Diploma nursing is an antiquated concept. It turns out nurses only prepared to work for the hospital that trained them.

March 06 2013 at 2:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to gramos555's comment

I don't know where you got your information, but you are absolutely incorrect. Diploma nurses are/were the most flexible, informed, and skillful. A BSN, however, catches up in a couple of months

March 06 2013 at 5:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

I am a diploma educated R.N. of 14+ years and having been a preceptor to many a diploma, associate, B.S. and M.S. nursing students from many different schools and universities. I can attest that clinical vs. theory training is of equal relevance and that within a few months to a year “on the job” a good nurse will be equal to any other good nurse, if they choose, no matter where they graduated from. You’re opinion of “Diploma nursing is an antiquated concept” is possibly coming from the same dribble that was preached to me when I was in school that “the powers that be” wanted all nurses to be B.S. trained before the year 2010, then it changed to all nurses to be M.S. nurses before “X” year. I believe this “educational assembly line” was coming from the educational complexes that want more dollars and have little to do with making sure new nurse grads could take care of a patient. Let us not forget that not all nurses want to go into management positions. Why does a nurse who wants to do bedside nursing only, need a M.S. degree? We (R.N.s) all take the same boards after graduation don’t we? These are questions that I think about when discussing manufactured nursing shortages that hospitals use to keep their cost down at the sacrifice of nurse to patient ratios, which in turn affect patient safety.

April 01 2013 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down

Search Articles

Picks From the Web