Nursing Homes and Hospitals Hire Laid Off Blue Collar Workers Who Retrained to Become Nurses

Many people are considering careers in the medical field, particularly in nursing. According to one study, the state of Michigan faces a critical shortage of nurses.

In order to meet this estimated job shortage, many workers are changing from their current volatile careers to what they see as a more stable career choice. A recent New York Times article showcased some Michigan natives making the shift to nursing, many of which were male. Examples are the 49-year-old grocery warehouse employee who now works at a nursing home, or the 59-year-old nursing student who used to work as an automotive vibration engineer. These men represent the growing trend of keeping their options open and finding work where it’s available.

Currently, Michigan’s unemployment rate is at 4.3 percent. In order to not become a number in that statistic, many former automotive employees are turning to nursing as a way to jumpstart a new career. In fact, the trend is so common that Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., established a program specifically geared toward training former autoworkers in nursing careers.

Strong male nurses bring some advantages to the job that many of their female counterparts lack. For example, that former warehouse employee now working at the nursing home has no problem lifting and transferring patients. However, his nursing administrator noted that former autoworkers can have some difficulty adjusting to the demands of nursing. She notes that while autoworkers were used to dealing with repetition as a major part of their factory jobs, that regimen-style approach does not work when dealing with people.

However, for many unemployed males, any adjustment is welcome if it means they have some job security. In fact, so many people are turning to nursing for a secure future that the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that in 2010 more than 67,000 applicants were turned down for nursing programs due to lack of available space.

Depending on the amount of time one wants to spend, there are several different levels of nursing degrees available. The shortest path to entering the nursing field is by obtaining a C.N.A. certificate, or certified nurse’s aide, which can consist of as little as eight weeks of training and a certification exam. Next, an L.P.N., or licensed practical nurse, generally requires one to two years of study and a licensing exam.

Those interested in becoming an R.N., or registered nurse, can do so through a four-year bachelor program or in some cases a two-year associates degree. Whatever the path one takes, it seems that nursing provides an alternative to some careers that are being outsourced, downsized, or even eliminated and will help provide job security for current and future generations.

Vigeland, Tess. “More Men Trading Overalls for Nursing Scrubs.” The New York Times. 21 March 2012.

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Illinois nursing negligence cases for individuals and families for more than 40 years in and around Chicago, Cook County, and surrounding areas, including Maywood, Western Springs, LaGrange, Palos Heights, Rolling Meadows, Harvey, Clarendon Hills.

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