Is Nursing a “healthy career choice” for Spokane?

The Spokesman-Review ran a feature article about the WSU-Spokane nursing program. Please see WSU associate dean says nursing can be healthy career choice – Spokesman.com – Jan. 24, 2011.

The first sentence reads:

Today’s nursing school graduates continue to find good jobs even as the economy stumbles along and the uncertainty of health care reform looms.

Sounds promising.

Q. Are there jobs for today’s nursing school graduates?

A. Absolutely there are jobs. Recently we did a survey. … About 80 percent of newly licensed nurses are finding a position within one year.

That sounds very good.

But … there is always that but … what type of position are they finding and how long did it take to find work? The article does not say but gives hints.

Whether it is the exact job, location and shift they envisioned for themselves remains to be seen. Many new nurses are applying to long-term care facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and home-health centers. These are not the typical acute care jobs at hospitals that new nurses tended to gravitate toward. It’s true that those jobs aren’t as plentiful, especially not in Spokane right now.

Say what?

If the jobs are not in Spokane’s booming health care “cluster”, where are the jobs?

Q. Where are the jobs?

A. Many nurses graduating from WSU are going to the West Side. It used to be that they would walk out our doors with five job offers in hand. That may not be the case anymore.What we tell these graduates is to take a job in nursing, to work with other nurses and continue to learn. Sometimes that’s in long-term care.

From my own conversations with a few recent nursing graduates from other 4 year nursing programs, many have gotten jobs – but not yet as licensed R.N. positions. Many are working as part time or contract nurse’s aides, which is a position requiring only a 1 month certification program, not years of college. This is anecdotal of course and not real data.

Nursing has been and is likely going to be a good career choice in the future. For the past two years, the job market has been tough, even for health care workers. Imagine how the local job market is for those not in the favored industry sectors?

WSU has an excellent nursing program and their associate Dean is honest about the job market. But the SR headline on the story is odd considering what the article actually says.

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One Response to Is Nursing a “healthy career choice” for Spokane?

  1. Pingback: WSU Enrollment Up, but Down at WSU-Spokane « Spokane Economic And Demographic Data

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