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What to know about New Nurses: Stuck in Place

The healthcare industry is facing a shortage of nurses as members of the baby boomer generation retire and the industry expands. The upcoming decades are going to be reliant on new nurses to fill the gaps left by their predecessors. As a manager, what do you know about the people that will make up your staff in upcoming years?

Take a map of the U.S. and point to any town with a population of 100 or more. Odds are that within 30 miles of town center you’ll find a post office, a police station, a bar, and a hospital.

Hospitals and healthcare centers are key facilities and can be found pretty much everywhere. Coupled with a growing healthcare industry and more people getting nursing degrees, you would expect that after getting their license most new nurses would flock to big cities and big states for more job opportunities.

A study done by the RN Work Project found that this wasn’t quite the case. Instead, 88% of new nurses find their first job in the same state they attended high school. In fact, 66% of nurses currently work within 100 miles of their high school, with 35% working less than 15 miles away!

There are several factors that a new nurse needs to consider when thinking about moving. There’s economic factors such as the cost of living and average nursing salary in a given state. It may be more feasible for a new nurse to live with their parents and keep their expenses low while they pay off student debt. Then there’s practical considerations like the number of job openings and competition for those openings, particularly considering the difficulty new nurses have finding work. Finally, there’s the social considerations of moving away from friends and family and starting a new career in a foreign environment.

Given the increasing needs for more nurses, this lack of mobility can be an issue for states with fewer nursing programs and smaller nurse populations. A short term solution is to target your job postings at local nurses. If you haven’t already, making inroads with nearby nursing degree programs can help drive more new applicants to your door.

As for long term, you should create some incentives to encourage out-of-state nurses to move to your area. Scholarships and internships for out-of-state nurses can help you recruit and retain new nurses. Starting an off-hours program where locals show newbies and interns around can help them feel more comfortable in a new town.

One big area to look into is tuition reimbursement. As of 2011, only 69% of healthcare facilities offered tuition reimbursement to first time nurses, down from 86% in 2005. Even offering partial reimbursement can make all the difference for a new nurse deciding where to start his or her career.

What to know about New Nurses: Unemployment

The healthcare industry is facing a shortage of nurses as members of the baby boomer generation retire and the industry expands. The upcoming decades are going to be reliant on new nurses to fill the gaps left by their predecessors. As a manager, what do you know about the people that will make up your staff in upcoming years?  

An experienced RN doesn’t need to worry much about finding work. In 2015, the unemployment rate for RNs was a measly 2%, with the industry expected to increase 19% by 2022.

While this is great news, most of these jobs are going to nurses coming out of retirement. During the recession, many nurses came back to work as pensions lost money and family members lost jobs. The fear of financial instability also convinced many nurses who were close to retirement to keep working.

Like many high-stress fields, healthcare facilities prefer employees with prior work experience. Small mistakes like a forgotten medication or unwritten note can have devastating consequences for patients and managers like to know their staff knows the ropes and can work under pressure.

While the preference for experienced nurses is understandable, many facilities won’t even consider applications from nurses fresh out of school. The RN Work Project found that even though RNs consistently have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the county, unemployment rates for newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) roughly tripled between 2005 and 2011, jumping from 15% to 31%.

While job prospects for NLRNs are expected to improve in a few years, many recent graduates are still having trouble finding work. Which is crazy considering how many healthcare facilities are understaffed and that larger nursing staffs have proven health benefits for patients.

In the end, it comes down to if being terminally short staffed is better than hiring a few college grads to pick up slack. Taking the phrase “no new graduates,” out of your job posting will greatly broaden your field of potential applicants, can give a new nurse a much needed chance and ease the burden on your existing staff.

Rock Your Health: Nurses can trade in the old for the new

As a nurse manager or nurse leader, are you hanging on to old behaviors that once were useful but now are not?

For example, do you not speak up when you have the opportunity because you think what you have to say is not important, you are not eloquent, or you think you are not good enough.

To overcome this, first write down one old behavior you cling to that isn’t getting you what you want. [more]

Rock Your Health: How nurse managers can remove the roadblocks of life

As a nurse manager or nurse leader, you probably have many unfilled dreams. What is standing in the way of you realizing those dreams? Think about whether this roadblock is a true obstacle or a false belief about yourself. Break it down into small components so you can chip away at it a little bit at a time. You can’t move a large boulder, but you can chisel off small rocks, until you have the strength to push it aside.

Write down one roadblock standing in the way of what you want in life. [more]

Rock Your Health: Tips for being a great manager

What kind of manager are you? What do others say about you? Here’s a list of qualities that I like in a manager.

M – Meets employees where they are and accepts them.

A – Assesses their attitude daily and keeps a positive attitude.

N – Notices greatness and share with others.

A – Ask questions rather than giving advice.

G – Greets everyone they see with a smile.

E – Engages employees in the decision making process.

R – Recognizes achievements and celebrates regularly.

Join our nursing book review group

HCPro is seeking enthusiastic nurse managers, nurse leaders, and nurse educators to join an ad-hoc group interested in reading and reviewing prepublication drafts of books and training materials in your areas of interest and expertise.

Our editors will send you periodic emails listing upcoming projects available for outside review. If you’re interested, just let us know. We’ll send reviewing guidelines and give you an idea of our timeframe. If it works for you, we’ll send the draft chapters as they’re available, and a printed copy of the book when it’s complete. In addition, you will be recognized as a reviewer inside the printed book.

Please have a minimum of five years of nursing experience and be in an educational, supervisory, or leadership role within your organization.

For more information or to sign up as a reviewer, please send an email including your areas of interest and expertise to Rebecca Hendren at rhendren@hcpro.com.

Rock Your Health: When letting go beats hanging on

How many times in your life have you been unable to let go of something that held you back and made you miserable? Three occasions come to mind for me when it stopped my creative energy from flowing, held me back from new opportunities, unleashed negative energy inside, and caused me to lose focus on being a naturally positive person.

1. I served as a Navy nurse for three years and after discharge couldn’t let go and wanted to get back in. The hold over me was so intense—even though that type of structured military environment did not suit my free spirit—that I still wanted to re-enlist and spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to do that. Had I not let go of those efforts, I might not have found my true path, which shifted me from bedside nursing into wellness, my true passion and a lifetime of rewarding experiences. [more]

Rock Your Health: Take a meditative journey into your future

What if you were free to create your own job? What would that look like?

Here’s a technique I use when I want to create something new, but don’t know where to begin. Look to the future for your answers. It’s called the Future Self experience. Here goes. Feel free to use this script with your team as well.

Get a notepad and a pen, find a quiet place without interruption, get comfy, close your eyes, and focus on breathing slowly for a few seconds until you feel yourself slowing down. [more]

Nurses Week: Your 20% sneak peek savings

HCPro is celebrating and recognizing nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions, but we don’t want to wait until Wednesday to start the celebration!

Starting today, you can use our special Nurses Week 2015 catalog coverdiscount code to save on any and all nursing books, videos, and webinars… Just use discount code NRSWK2015 at checkout to receive 20% off your selections.

Download and browse our 2015 catalogue of resources for nurse leaders and staff development professionals here, and visit hcmarketplace.com to place your order!

 

 

 

 

——OTHER RECENT POSTS——

⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.

⇒ 5/6: A thank you to our favorite nurses, from Boston. Here’s the post.

Pay equity: Who said it?

As a footnote to Rebecca’s post regarding Barton Quoteour reader poll focusing on pay equity between male and female nurses, I want
to share the following quote with you…

Without doing a Google search, can you identify the speaker? Add a comment if so…