Next up in the nursing news is a look at an article on nursing school student loan debt levels in the U.S. I found this article over at Nurse.com where they refer to an analysis of the National Association of Student Nurses (NSNA) annual survey of new grads.
Nurses Have Similar Student Loan Debt
The nurse researchers who reported on this in the online journal Nursing Economics hoped to see if financing a nursing education was affecting how quickly the nursing shortages in some areas were being filled. In their analysis about 70% of the recent grads said they left school with student loan debt. Their loan debt load is similar to other types of college grads nationwide with an average load of $30,000 per student borrower.
These numbers are higher for those proceeding to higher degrees and advanced practice. The trend also seems to show that more student nurses are incurring debt to get their degrees and that this will likely continue unless further channels to support funding for these students in the form of scholarships and grants are created.
Finding That First Nursing Job is Tough
The biggest challenge is that in some areas the nursing workforce is saturated with only about 50% of new nursing grads being able to find work. This is largely true in urban areas and in the mid-atlantic region. But, when you look at rural areas and the upper midwest in particular, there are many nursing positions going unfilled.
So in order to pay off those student loans, new nurses may need to be prepared to pack up and move to a new town in order to find that first nursing job. I’ll keep an eye on this and let you know if there are any more reports like this in the future here on the Nursing Show.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Enterovirus D68 Respiratory Illness Overview for Nurses and Episode 313.