Tennessee nursing job market more competitive

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- Health care experts say Tennessee's nursing job market has grown more competitive in recent years.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that the state has added more than 10,000 registered nurses in the last half-decade.

According to the Tennessee Board of Nursing, there were more than 83,000 registered nurses in the state in 2011, and 21 new schools were added between 2000 and 2011.

In the Chattanooga area alone, there are four nursing schools, and local hospitals say they have little trouble filling empty nursing spots.

Experts say one factor contributing to the more competitive market is the tough economy, which has prompted many nurses to decide against retirement.

Others have come back into the workforce or are working more hours.

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