Today, the situation in the labor market is characterized by the ongoing deterioration because of the economic recession which threatens to the large number of employees. In this regard, health care system is also vulnerable to the negative impact of the economic recession because health organizations need to save costs in order to maintain their normal functioning and provide patients with all essential services. In such a situation, many nurses face a risk of losing their job while salaries of nurses are not likely to increase substantially in the nearest future because the rate of unemployment among nurses is likely to increase that means the increase of the offer of the labor force in the market, while the demand decreases steadily.
In actuality, the level of wages of nurses depends on their qualification and certification. Traditionally, nurses strive for certification because it increases their competitive power in the labor market. Due to certification they meet national standards of health care services and, therefore, they can be employed practically in any health care organization. At the same time, it should be said that the level of wages of nurses varies depending on the state. In this respect, it is possible to single out Maryland where the nurse wage is one of the highest in the USA and constituted USD 74,370 annually in 2008 (Registered Nurses: Occupational Employment and Wages, 2008).
However, it is obvious that the level of nurse wages depends on the current situation in the national economy and the labor market. The current situation reveals the extent to which the economic situation can influence wages of nurses. In actuality, the nursing staff faces a threat of job cuts that leads to the growing rate of unemployment among nurses, while hospitals attempt to retain only well-qualified physicians. As a result, nurses start to compete in the labor market and the higher is the rate of unemployment among nurses the more opportunities employers will have to reduce wages of nurses or refuse increase their level.
In such a situation, the state could have maintained nurses and increase their wages through its health care policies. To put it more precisely, the state could focus on funding of health care programs and health care system at large. Due to the state funding hospitals could afford employment of sufficient number of nurses and increase their wages to encourage more nurses to work. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that the nursing staff is often incomplete in many health care organizations because of the lack of funding and financial resources.
On the other hand, the state alone cannot influence the level of wages of nurses. The stability of the health care system is very important.
Today, costs of health care services increase and many people are unable to afford health care insurance. Therefore, revenues of health care organizations decrease and they cannot increase wages of nurses. Instead, they have to cut jobs that leads to the unfavorable position of nurses in the labor market.
In such a situation, the development of new state programs aiming at the improvement of health care services and increase of the number of health care organizations, along with the higher availability of health care services to people will increase both the demand and supply of nurses in the labor market.