Nursing: Hot job in lean economic times - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Nursing: Hot job in lean economic times

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- As more and more layoffs continue at companies around the nation, some companies are offering sign-on bonuses to recruit workers.

Some health care providers offer sign-on bonuses to fill nursing jobs.

Iowa doesn't have massive nursing shortages that other states are seeing.

But there's still a shortage, especially in critical and long-term care areas.

That's why educators and recruiters say they expect nursing jobs to be in demand for several years.

At Allen College in Waterloo, more students are walking through the doors than ever before.

420 are enrolled this spring semester.

Almost all will have at least one job offer upon graduation.

"Nurses as a group tend to be very service-oriented and that has not really changed over the years. We are seeing a few more men in the field, not great numbers more, but a few more as they see their career as one with a lot of potential," said Allen College Chancellor Jerry Durham.

Durham says job-seeking nurses are more apt to see bonuses or other incentives in other parts of the country.

But recruiters say while many of Iowa's nurses want to stay close to home, it's also a profession where layoffs don't appear to be on the horizon.

"Healthcare is one of the top places to be as much as you can have job security because there will be a need and i think some people are looking at that," said Allen Hospital Recruiting Specialist Jan Erpelding.

Last year, the Iowa Department of Public Health estimated that 23% of the state's healthcare workforce will be eligible to retire by 2012.

Although, thanks to the economy and Wall Street, many of those workers will stay on much longer than they originally intended.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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