Need For Nurses In Rural Markets

Finding Qualified Nurses

While unemployment remains high in the United States as the country recovers from the economic downturn, hospitals and other medical facilities are still struggling to fill open nursing positions. The nursing shortage is especially true in western and southern states, and rural areas across the country.

In North Dakota, which unlike the rest of the country has low unemployment due to the state’s oil boom, there is a critical shortage of nurses.

“If I could hire 30 nurses today, I’d do it,” chief of nursing Rosanne Schmidt of the St. Alexius Medical Center told the Bismark Tribune in November 2012.

In the same article, Jan Kamphuis, chief nursing officer at Sanford Health told the Tribune her hospital had hired 119 nurses since the beginning of 2012. “Because Bismarck’s growing, it increases the workload in the medical center, meaning we need more nurses,” Kamphuis said.

In March 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job growth in the healthcare sector was outpacing the growth realized in 2011, accounting for one out of every five new jobs created in that year. Hospitals, long-term care facilities and other ambulatory care settings added 49,000 new jobs in February 2012, up from 43,300 new jobs created in January.

The Bureau’s Employment projections for 2010-2020 released in 2012 showed the Registered Nursing workforce as the top occupation in terms of job growth through the end of the decade. The report predicted the number of employed nurses would rise from 2.74 million in 2010 to 3.45 million in 2020.

The “United States Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast” published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Medical Quality predicted a shortage of registered nurses will spread across the country through 2030. In the report’s state-by-state analysis, the authors forecast the RN shortage to be most intense in the South and the West.

With the ongoing nursing shortage, many hospitals are turning to foreign countries to help fll their openings. The Philippines has long been a leading source of foreign nurses coming to the U.S. because of the country’s reputation for the quality of nurse training and the ability to offer nurses with a bachelor’s or advanced degrees.

Hiring nurses from the Philippines may seem like a daunting task to medical officials responsible for hiring. Medical Staffing Worldwide eases the task for recruitment by maintaining its own office in the Philippines to locate qualified and experienced healthcare professionals in high demand specialties. The recruitment company arranges for video conference interviews, and employs its own immigration attorney to handle all immigration and legal matters

While American schools actively increase their offerings in nursing education, the need for U.S. medical facilities to depend on foreign recruitment to help meet the nursing shortage is likely to continue for decades.

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