Nurse Salary Report


Shortages create diverse opportunities for nurses across the nation

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for registered nurses will grow 19 percent in upcoming years - a good deal more than the national average of 11 percent. This growth will create more than half a million jobs across the country. Despite more people going to college than ever, healthcare needs are outpacing graduates and creating a deficit. Or, if you look at it another way, an opportunity. Places like California, Texas and Florida already have large populations and also have a large immigrant population. See the graphic below for other states with the fastest growing nursing markets.

There are a lot of factors contributing to the upcoming RN shortage. Aging baby boomers require more frequent care, especially for chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes and dementia. Chronic illnesses also affect the general population, especially diabetes and obesity. New healthcare laws and emphasis on preventative care mean that more people have access to health insurance and are visiting doctors. More patients equals a higher demand for nurses. Many hospitals are being forced to rely on temporary staff supplied by agencies to fill increasing vacancies. Studies have shown, though, that temporary staffing isn't cost effective and can be unreliable. Hospitals are looking for more permanent hirees to create a reliable internal workforce.

Hospitals aren't the only employers suffering from the nursing shortage. In an effort to discharge patients quickly, more people are being referred to long-term clinics or outpatient facilities. Also a lot of older people prefer the independence and comfort of at-home care or residential care facilities. While the patients aren't necessarily in the same place, they still need RNs to care for them. Nurses on the job hunt have more options than ever in deciding their location, workplace environment and patient type.

Become a registered nurse requires at least an associates degree, but many hospitals are beginning to require and even sponsor their nurses to pursue a BSN. In the long run, though, a bachelors degree will open up even more job opportunities. Deciding which of these is a good fit is up to you!


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