Article Content

Hospitals were beginning to recover from the economic recession in November of 2009. Thomson Reuters (a New York based financial information company) reported that observations from 439 small, medium and large community hospitals along by means of teaching hospitals throughout the U.S. indicate a possible end to the economic recession. Hospitals in the second quarter of 2009 reported an average of 4% of total revenues left after regular business expenses. This amount of potential profit was zero in the third quarter of 2008. In the first quarter of 2009 hospitals could operate using financial resources readily available for an average of 90 days. In the second quarter of 2009, operation continued for 150 days. Additionally, the number of patients discharged had increased by the second quarter of 2009, representing an increase in hospital admissions.


Economists long believed hospitals and the healthcare industry were recession proof. However, the 10.2% unemployment and the loss of six million jobs since December of 2007 impacted even these industries. The Thomson Reuters report also notes that hospitals stand to make the most money when patients purchase optional services. Optional health care services are sacrificed for more immediate needs during an economic recession.


The hopefully continuing reports of positive economic indicators in the healthcare industry should be encouraging to nursing students and nursing faculty. Limitations on the hiring of nurses related to the economic recession stands to end if these indicators represent an improving trend.


Source: Roberson, J. November 11, 2009. Report says hospitals are rebounding from Available at on November 15, 2009.


Submitted by: Robin Pattillo, PhD, RN, News Editor