Shortage of nurses, but not easy to get nursing job - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Shortage of nurses, but not easy to get nursing job

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Each semester at Darton College, twice as many people apply to the nursing program as the program can accept. Until recently, almost all of the graduates got jobs as soon as they passed their boards.

There's still a nursing shortage in many areas, but not all hospitals and doctors offices are hiring those new grads. One reason nursing grads aren't finding jobs is the same as others entering the job field, the economy.

A lot of medical practices are making it by with fewer employees. And while there may be plenty of shortages, experienced nurses are wanted to fill those slots.

When a patient comes into the emergency center at Phoebe Putney hospital, the majority of their time will likely be spent with a nurse.  EC Director Todd Braswell said, "Nurses are at the bed side more. Physicians will come in and assess patients at the beginning, intermediate follow up and at the end of their care, but yeah, nurses are the ones at the bedside actually rendering the care in most cases."

Care that is critical for their well being. "It's vital. Everything we do is based on core staffing," said Braswell.

And nurses are vital to all parts of healthcare, not just the emergency room. "There are so many places that we can work. I just can't think of another industry that offers that much and the thing about it is you get to choose."

And that's why so many people choose to go into nursing. "We are always full," said Dr. April Reese, the interim Dean of Nursing at Darton College.

She says nursing is so popular, the program has to turn away as many people as are accepted each semester.  Reese said, "I think because nursing is such a great career for numerous reasons. Jobs are not typically an issue. There is definitely a nursing shortage."

And while there may be a shortage, that doesn't mean graduates are being placed into jobs.  She said, "I think it's just directly related to the economic situation. I think as soon as the economic situation turns around people will start hiring again."

And soon, she says, many of the nurses already in the field will face retirement, and will need someone else to take care of them.  Reese said, "There's a high volume of older nurses that are retiring and add the baby boomers coming of age and that certainly is going to have a big Impact on nursing."

And that's why they'll continue to turn students into healers, in hopes they'll find a job when the economy heals. While job openings may exist for nurses, new graduates may not always get the first choice at the job.

Like many jobs, experience is often desired by employers looking to fill vacancies. There's also a shortage of nursing instructors. That's one reason Darton College has to turn away so many potential nursing students. @


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