VITALS: April 2015
The healthcare sector continued its upward hiring trend by adding 22,300 jobs in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This caps off a 12-month period in which healthcare employment has grown by more than 360,000 jobs.
Despite the growth, the number of new jobs created in March was down slightly from the 27,300 jobs added in February. That can be partially attributed to a decrease in hiring at nursing homes and residential facilities, which lost nearly 5,000 positions. However, other areas continued to show growth: hospitals added 7,900 jobs and ambulatory health care added 19,200 jobs in March.
There are nearly 70,000 registered nurses prepared to work as clinical nurse specialists, and about 15,000 qualified to work as clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner, according to the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS).
The association recently surveyed 3,370 clinical nurse specialists and students to get a clearer picture of the roles these expert clinicians are currently filling, and the results of this first-ever national census found that about 85% work full-time.
Where they’re working: Nearly 65% currently work in hospitals, with 39% working in hospitals with Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. About 23% work in hospitals seeking Magnet status. The survey also found that about 7% work in nursing education and another 7% work in ambulatory care.
A recent study published in the journal Telemedicine and eHealth examined possible licensure barriers that may exist for healthcare professionals who want to practice telemedicine.
The findings: The length of time it takes to apply and receive approval for licensure from various states can vary significantly. And the process itself can be frustrating.
C30 Telemedicine researchers noted that the inconsistency between states and the variable requirements can be a barrier for doctors who want to get licensed to practice across state lines. It might take you one to three months if you want to get licensed in a state such as Virginia, Indiana and Arizona, but it could take as long as 10 months or longer in states such as California, Illinois and Texas. Additionally, state medical boards are not always responsive or cooperative, the researchers learned, with some deemed more “reasonable” than others.
Access to care is at stake, the researchers concluded, noting that the barriers to timely licensure make it difficult for patients to ultimately get care from physicians.