WUVA MEDICAL CARE CENTER, Mich.
— The last two years have been the hardest of my life, said Karen Fournier, who spent six years as a certified nurse assistant in a hospital in rural western Michigan.
“I’ve been on disability, I’ve been unemployed for two years.
It’s hard to be a nurse and put yourself through that.”
Fournier said she found work in nursing as a technician at a hospital.
Her resume says she has experience in nursing homes, but the job doesn’t allow her to do the physical therapy she needs to do at home.
In Michigan, as in many states, nurses have a difficult time finding work in the health care field.
The median annual earnings for all adults working in the state is $40,919, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
That’s less than the national average of $53,846.
A study by the Institute for WorkLife Economics at the University of Michigan found that nursing school graduates were earning on average $15,000 less than those with less experience in their field.
That gap could widen as the state’s population ages and employers start looking for nurses who are willing to take the job.
In Michigan, unemployment is nearly 15 percent, and the average wage is $8.75 an hour, according a study by The New York Times.
Even in Michigan, some employers are reluctant to hire new nurses.
The state requires employers with 50 or more workers to have a qualified nurse-midwife as a full-time employee.
That means some employers have turned to an industry that doesn’t require a college degree, said Stephanie McFarland, an assistant professor of nursing and health policy at Wayne State University.
Fletcher, the nursing program director, said that when she started her career, the university was hiring full-timers, and she was the first in her family to go to nursing school.
Now she has to work two part-time jobs in order to make ends meet.
“It’s not as easy as it used to be,” Fletcher said.
“The way things have changed, the path of nursing is not the way it was when I started out.
It wasn’t really a path that I took.”
When the program opened in 2000, it was one of just four nursing schools in Michigan.
Today, there are more than 600.
But the program is a mixed bag.
The number of nursing programs nationwide has grown by almost 1,000, but many of those programs are closed because of budget cuts.
Some programs, like the Detroit Regional Health Care System, have closed and moved to new campuses.
Others, like Mercy Health Care, have been shuttered.
The system, in addition to struggling to attract enough nurses to keep up with demand, has been plagued by a string of staffing issues and other problems.
More than 3,000 people in Michigan have been certified as registered nurses since 2000, but more than 400,000 have not been, according in the Bureau for Labor Statistics, and about 3.7 million have been retired.
Most of those people work in facilities that do not have certified nurses on staff, which means they are not eligible for the state-mandated minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
The state has not made the minimum wage a top priority, Fourniers salary is about $12 an hour and her paychecks are less than $15 an hour because of overtime.
The average hourly wage for registered nurses is $15.99, but some employers don’t pay the minimum and the program requires workers to work overtime, which makes it hard to make a living.
One of the biggest challenges for new graduates in Michigan is finding a job.
The shortage of nurses means there is no one to train and train and training is not a priority, said Fourniest.
Most employers require that new nurses must pass a physical exam, including a physical that tests for cancer.
They must pass the exam twice and also take an exam about twice a month to monitor their progress.
Some people who don’t pass these physicals end up having their jobs terminated, Furdier said.
If you’re a new nurse and you don’t get certified, you may be in a nursing home or a nursing facility for the rest of your life, Fautier said, because there’s no job to be had.
It’s a sad reality for the people who have to do these physical tests and it’s not a healthy environment for anyone, she said.
“The only thing you can do is work, and if you don´t work, you can’t be in your home,” she said, adding that her life is more difficult than anyone could ever imagine.
For Fletcher, it has been a challenge.
Fournieri is married with two young children.
She has two jobs in her field and