For now, nursing jobs have been in flux throughout the country. This has been due in large part to the major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid at both the state and federal levels. While there have been many areas where these cuts have hit hard throughout the country, the pain has not been felt equally.
If you review the major staffing cuts, you’ll find that they revolve around major healthcare facilities. For example, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that major clinics in Georgia haven’t seen the major boom in nursing jobs that have been seen on the national level. In many cases, they blame this on the fact that most emergency rooms in Atlanta are run by major providers.
These major providers have to take in all patients, including those without health insurance. The costs of covering uninsured ER patients can run into the millions of dollars each year. And it’s not just a factor in Atlanta. Places like Louisville, Kentucky and in Dover, New Hampshire are also seeing cuts.
Part of this is due to the fact that hospitals are quickly leaning towards consolidation. The ability to shift staff among different hospitals and to reap the benefits of a larger organization is a big cost driver, but ER patients and the lack of Medicare and Medicaid payments is also a major factor.
This does not mean that nursing jobs can’t be found in any of these areas. In fact, at smaller facilities there are still jobs to be found. Many doctors’ offices and similar facilities will need nurses on a large-scale basis. These kinds of positions may be best found by making friends with fellow healthcare workers in the area for networking, or reviewing local classifieds. They may not be as prominent on the most popular online job sites.
This, also, means that nurses need to be aware of economic pressures. The fact remains that healthcare centers are tending to stratify themselves. Smaller offices are doing well in less-utilized areas, while major national for-profit centers are doing well in more built-up areas. But the age of small and medium hospitals may be over outside of the major cities. It’s something to keep in mind when searching for your next job.