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

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