WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – While the job market is shrinking in many fields, careers in nursing seem to be expanding. In some cases, the market is so good facilities struggle to find qualified applicants.
A study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing says the nation will need one million additional nurses over the next 15 years.
There are several respected nursing schools in Youngstown, but that doesn’t mean the shortage hasn’t spread to the Mahoning Valley, according to Mercy Health recruiter Kathy Tsilinos.
“There is a nursing shortage from what we can see for experienced nurses. There are a lot of new nurses graduating and that’s great. In May, we hired 60 to 65 new graduates,” Tsilinos said.
There are four-year nursing programs at Youngstown State University and Kent State University. There are also several two-year degree programs in the area.
A career fair is being held Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Joseph Hospital in Warren. Interviews are being conducted in the skills lab inside Building A.
“We are fortunate that there’s many universities that feed in to our organization,” Mercy Health Director of Nursing Services Renee Jones said. “But there are also many places for them to pick to work.”
YSU awards about 100 bachelor of nursing degrees every year. At Kent, they award about 200, but applications to the school of nursing are down. And a University of Akron spokesperson said that they give out 200 per year.
Most of the hospitals in the area have dozens of nursing jobs available.
“There’s a lot of new nurses graduating, and that’s great. In May we hired 60, 65 new graduates,” Tsilinos said.
Many of those jobs require experience, however.
“That’s what makes it hard, because a lot of people, if they have experience, they are happy where they are at and they are not wanting to leave,” Tsilinos said. “If they do want to leave, it’s probably because they have a conflict, with maybe a shift that they want.”
There are lots of ways for nurses to specialize their practice.
“Each specialty area and even our med-(surgery) areas have become busier and busier,” Jones said. “I started out in oncology. Then I went to orthopedics, then OB. So you have to find your niche.”