Slowdown’s Side Effect: More Nurses – WSJ.com

 

Slowdown’s Side Effect: More Nurses

Economy’s Woes Prod Many
Who Left Field to Return;
Brushing Up on Anatomy

By CONOR DOUGHERTY
May 7, 2008

The Wall Street Journal Home PageThe ailing economy is helping to ease the nursing shortage.

With house prices falling and the cost of gasoline and food rising, many nurses are going back to work, in some cases to make up for the income of a spouse who has lost a job. Hospitals say part-time nurses are taking on extra shifts. And nursing schools are seeing an increase in people applying for refresher courses on the ins and outs of modern hospitals. Some older nurses are putting off a planned retirement.

“We are seeing a temporary lessening of the nursing shortage,” says Jane Llewellyn, vice president of clinical nursing affairs at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. But, she says, “as soon as the economy turns up we’ll see them staying home again.”

 

So, it’s a WAGE shortage, not a nursing shortage.  There are nurses out there, but for the current wage structure they’d rather stay home.