A Change in Priorities
OK, so here’s the scoop. I am a travel nurse recruiter and I use this blog to support my main website and keep the URL visible to the search engines. My original intent was to make this blog a running update on anything that might be of interest to travel nurses. If I was able to attract some good nurses to fill out an application, great! But the search engines pay attention to blog content so I wanted to feed these search spiders as much as I could.
But something quite interesting began happening. One of the factors that drives the need for travel nurses is the growing shortage of nurses. Whereas travel nursing originally addressed seasonal staffing deficiencies, the profession now helps fill holes wherever there is a need. And that is nearly everywhere. There is almost no location in this country that is immune to the growing problem of finding enough qualified nurses to fill the needs. A travel nurse can find work pretty much any where they want to go. The circumstances aren’t always ideal but the jobs are there.
Since the nursing shortage fuels travel nursing, I keep track of the news about staffing issues by way of a program called “Google Alerts.” Just put a term into Google Alert and this service lets you know whenever something shows up in the massive Google data base about that term. One of the terms I track is “nursing shortage.” Every day I receive notifications about news stories or blog entries addressing the problem. And every day I realize that, rather than getting closer to a solution, we are gaining ground on a health care catastrophe.
I read news article after news article each depicting the seriousness of the problem. Some identify solutions being proposed but among those in the most favorable position to address the growing crisis with some sense of urgency I see and hear very little of substance. What fascinates me about this is that the group that will be most seriously affected will be the baby boomers. And in what I have seen described as a “perfect storm” of circumstances, the majority of registered nurses are members of this population segment and will be retiring as the boomers begin to fill the pipeline of the ill and infirmed. So guess who loses.
That being said, I have decided to place a much stronger focus on the nursing shortage on this blog. I intend to point out examples of the problem, highlight proposed solutions and point fingers at those who ignore this issue and shouldn’t or simply don’t care about it and should. Of course, anything that comes to light that I think would be of interest to travel nurses will still be presented but I will definitely be assuming the mantle of advocate from now on.
If you have any information or resources that you would like to share please let me know. I certainly have a long way to go before I can really be smart about this issue but at least I am awake to it now in a way that I wasn’t before. Selfishly, I looked on the shortage as a benefit to me since it means more travel nurses. But there is more riding on this than commission checks. This is a disaster in the making.