With the pandemic, unemployment checks sent out at will, the re-opening of the economy, and all of the mess that has come along with that, there are still a drastic amount of jobs that are open and ready to be filled in the state of Iowa in 2022.

Iowa Works keeps track of the online job postings around the state that list positions that need to be filled, and there are five that sit atop the list. They rank in the following order:

  1. Registered Nurses (4,372 openings)
  2. Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers (2,363 openings)
  3. Nursing Assistants (1,252 openings)
  4. Retail Salespersons (1,201 openings)
  5. Customer Service Representatives (1,013 openings)

Clearly, registered nurses are far and away the biggest need in the state of Iowa. Pair the near 4,400 openings with 1,250 from the nursing assistants and that number inches closer to nearly 6,000 positions needed across the Hawkeye State in the medical field.

I spoke to a registered nurse in Iowa regarding why there are so many open positions in the field, and this is what she told me:

A huge problem is that Iowa ranks 48th nationally in pay for nurses. ... Because of that, everyone is going to travel jobs and that area of nursing becomes a bidding war. They make five to ten times what other nurses are making. ... There's always somewhere else for nurses to go (other than Iowa). Plus, companies would rather spend money on recruitment rather than retention. So, nurses rarely stay in one spot for long. ... Many nurses burn out and quit altogether.


Another Iowa nurse echoed that sentiment and addressed the stress that comes with the job:

We have to work under critical staffing shortages, which means mandatory overtime, longer days with no monetary compensation, larger patient loads, and less time to actually spend face time face with patients. All of that can result in medication errors, charting mishaps, and acute illness going unnoticed.

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