NPs a Hot Commodity

Nurse practitioners are in high demand, more so than the vast majority of physician specialties, reports Forbes magazine. Citing a report from recruitment firm Merritt Hawkins & Associates, the Forbes article states that growth in nurse practitioner recruitment may accelerate even more as additional states give direct access to nurse practitioners. The Merritt Hawkins report places nurse practitioners in fourth place in terms of number of requested searches (137), behind family practice docs (607), psychiatrists (256) and internal medicine doctors (193). Physician assistant searches (87) ranked eighth.

Men Shying Away from Nurse Profession

The nursing field has been in dire need of staff for years, which has led to a well-documented nursing shortage across the country. And while the field is growing, pays well and offers meaningful work, it’s not necessarily the first choice for men in need of a job, even those who have been laid off from fading, male-dominated industries (such as manufacturing). Why? Because of stigma, PBS reports. Nursing is dominated by women, and thus has earned the label of “women’s work,” the news outlet explains. And even though it is 2017, many assume female-led occupations still pay less than what a typical “man’s job” would. While there is some truth to that, the irony is that men tend to advance faster than their female counterparts in fields like nursing, via a “glass escalator” phenomenon. Despite this occurrence, average salaries and career growth for nurses remain relatively high and stable.

Nursing Shortage: It’s All in the Details

It depends on where you are. While a shortage of nurses is a widespread problem, the numbers vary from place to place — even within a state. A recent study by the Idaho Department of Labor finds shortages and surpluses in different Idaho regions, The Salt Lake Tribune reports. Southwestern and northern Idaho face the largest shortages, according to the Utah newspaper, because of population growth and competition from nearby Washington, respectively. Colleges produce more than enough nursing graduates in other Idaho regions, although there still can be a shortage of advanced nurses. Another issue is a growing shortfall of nursing instructors. And relatively low nurse wages compared with those of neighboring states means that the nursing shortage is no small potatoes in Idaho.

Rapid Fire

Here are a few more nurse-related items of note that caught our eye in the past week, in rapid fashion:

  • Medscape takes a closer look at new surgeon general Sylvia Trent-Adams, whom the site says is the first straight-up nurse to step into this role in 146 years (Richard Carmona also held the title, but he was an MD in addition to an RN).
  • Pennsylvania prisons are attempting to curb addiction by having nurses administer the opioid antidote Vivitrol, reports.
  • And finally, the New York Post has the sad details on 28-year-old Australian nurse Kirsty Boden, who heroically died after running to help those injured in the recent London Bridge attack.