Nursing openings disappear Many positions lost amid recession

February 04, 1992|By Jacques Kelly

Nurses and student nurses are discovering that the recession and an abundance of nurses have combined to make it difficult to find or change jobs.

Two years ago there were plenty of positions, but now "the jobs simply aren't available," says Ida Ross, a St. Joseph Hospital nurse who was among 900 nurses and nursing students who attended the Baltimore Association of Nurse Recruiters' career day at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Forty Maryland hospitals sent recruiters to the event on Saturday.

"The recruiters once hawked you, sought you out," Ms. Ross said. "Now they are very laid back."

Carrie H. Roll, who hires nurses for St. Joseph, said, "People once thought that nursing was recession-proof. It's not so. [Prospective patients] are being laid off and losing their medical benefits. Others are putting off elective surgery."

Mrs. Roll said a campaign several years ago to boost the image of the nursing profession "was successful and now we have many nursing students. Many are women in their 30s and 40s. They are full of good judgment, common sense and life experiences. They have wonderful skills with people and are good patient advocates. But the job outlook is not what it was two or three years ago."

Kathy Stinefelt, president of the senior class at the Catonsville Community College nursing school, said, "The money offered is low after you've put your heart and soul into years of studying and keeping grades high."

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