Nursing has been described as a virtually recession-proof occupation, one that will always be in demand. Even so, the heads of nursing departments at both the University of South Carolina and Midlands Technical College decry the critical need for bedside nurses, in spite of the fact that their nursing programs are full. They cite bedside nursing is physically demanding, and added to 12-hour shifts, night and weekend work and new positions in other areas of nursing as reasons for the shortage.
Looking ahead, the retiring baby boomers will soon create more demand for bedside nurses. USC Nursing School Dean Jeannette Andrews says part of the solution might be to create a more supportive workplace atmosphere for nurses, as well as equitable pay for experienced nurses.