Is nursing recession-proof?

Amid a growing risk of recession for the U.S., there is at least one healthcare occupation that appears in solid position to withstand an economic downturn: nursing, a registered nurse from Louisiana argues in a June 20 article on  

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal on April 1-5 put the odds of recession in the next 12 months at 28 percent, which is more than double what the probability was a year ago.

The article is written by Christy Book, BSN, RN, who makes her case using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data is based on how healthcare professions fared during the Great Recession — the sharp decline in economic activity from 2007 to 2009.

Among the statistics cited in the article:

  • From 2007 to 2010, which encompasses the Great Recession, the U.S. economy lost 7,257,090 jobs — an employment decline of 5.4 percent.
  • By contrast, registered nurse employment climbed by 7.6 percent, or 186,680 jobs, during the same period.
  • The average wage for nursing increased 8.4 percent from 2007 ($30.04 hourly, $62,483 annually) to 2010 ($32.56 hourly, $67,725 annually).

Ms. Book also points to hospitals offering internal travel programs. She said this allows hospitals to become more competitive with third-party agencies and attract nurses who may have left their hospital jobs during the pandemic to join an outside agency.

"Even if there is a large decline in agency nursing with the next recession, there is a new emerging market for agency nurses to fall back on," she wrote.

To read the full article, click here

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