Nurses are needed now more than ever, according to new study.
Georgetown University published a study about how nursing is in dire need of more people. The study shows that the economy will create 1.6 million job openings for nurses through 2020. However, there won’t be enough nurses to fill those openings which will leave the profession with 200,000 unfilled jobs.
Hannah Fluhler is a Senior studying nursing at Ball State and always knew she wanted to pursue a degree combining her passion for medicine and taking care of others.
“I wanted to take care of people. I grew up babysitting children a lot and specifically a few children who are very medically complex and had a lot of medical issues,” Fluhler said.
Now, that she’s on the verge of graduating, she’s optimistic her hard work will pay off. Whereas a lot of students struggle landing that first job, Fluhler sees this shortage as a highlight to her upcoming graduation.
“I think that also speaks to the job security in the profession,” Fluhler said.
While that may mean Fluhler will have an easier time securing a job, her presence alone won’t be able to fix the shortage. Mahnaz Mahmoodi is a nursing professor at Ball State and says the shortage is due to young new nurses leaving the field more often than staying.
“Nurses are graduating, but they’re not working as a staff nurse for a long time in the unit. They stay for a few years, and they leave. It’s due to: physical strain, mental pressure of the job, high demand of technology and not getting compensated enough,” Mahmoodi said.
For Fluhler, she says finding a work balance will be key in ensuring she stays passionate about the profession she’s fallen in love with.
“I have to remember to take my ten-minute breaks when I’m on the floor and just have relationships with my co-workers. Also, for me, dance is a way to relieve stress.”
While the goal is to get more nurses onto the hospital floor, the biggest problem for Ball State is the lack of a larger facility. Mahmoodi says that because the clinical sites are so small, and resources aren’t plentiful, simply admitting more students isn’t a solution.
“While there are more students applying, and admission is growing; we cannot allow more students. We are not able to admit more than our facilities allow,” Mahmoodi said.
While Fluhler was one of the students accepted into the competitive program, she says nursing can be a great choice for students who may not know exactly what they want to do.
“If job security is something you’re looking for, you’re passionate about taking care of other people and you’re not afraid to learn new things, then go for it. Nursing is the way to go,” Fluhler said.
Fluher hopes to pursue a nursing career working with sick infants in the NICU and is applying for nursing jobs now.