How good is the nursing job market? Depends on where you are

Nursing jobs are frequently cited as among the most in-demand professions, but the reality is more complex, according to

For example, although Massachusetts has large numbers of nursing students in search of a job, the ease of obtaining one varies by region, with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reporting that in 2013, nursing schools in the South had a 68 percent job offer rate for graduates, compared to 59 percent in the Midwest, 50 percent in the Northeast and 47 percent in the West.

This means that many graduates of Boston College's nursing program must look beyond major East Coast cities, and potentially in other regions of the country, Sean P. Clarke, associate dean for undergraduate programs at Boston College Connell School of Nursing, told

Judith Shindul-Rothschild, an associate professor at Connell, added that despite projections by the AACN of a coming nursing shortage, those predictions rely on a wave of nurse retirements that have not yet occurred. "The average age has increased to 55-60 and the numbers of nurses retiring has slowed," she said.

The regional nursing job market is doing better elsewhere. For example, in Sacramento, California, "middle-skill" nursing jobs, which require a certificate rather than a four-year degree, are in high demand, according to CBS Sacramento.

However, the Oregon Nurses Association (ONA), the state's largest union, says nurse staffing at hospitals is inadequate, even after a 2001 state law that required that nurses and administrators collaborate on staffing plans, according to the Register-Guard. Under legislation proposed by the union, Oregon nurses would have the same input as hospital administrators on their staffing levels.  

"Everybody at some point is going to end up in the hospital. We want to ensure that they receive the best possible care," said Sarah Baessler, a lobbyist for the ONA. "There's a lot of interest and momentum right now." The market for nursing jobs in hospitals is far less reliable than it once was, with growth in the profession more concentrated in lower-paying jobs in patient homes, outpatient clinics and rehabilitation centers, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the article
- here's the CBS article
- check out the Register-Guard article