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Facts about Today’s Nursing Workforce

Every high school senior always has a tough job of choosing which college course to pursue. Most people would opt to study anything about technology and computers because of its obvious high demand.

However, medical courses like nursing and medicine are still popular. People who choose to pursue a career in nursing have varying reasons why they choose to go that route – some people have a compassionate and caring nature, others opine that the nursing profession is lucrative because of its pay, while there are still others who recognize the fact that nurses are in high demand.

Statistics show that in the United States and United Kingdom there is an alarming shortage of nurses that both these countries have to employ nurses from other countries.

One of the main reasons of this shortage in the nursing workforce is the fact that in the US alone, there is an aging population. As a result of this, there is a great need for skilled nurses to take care of the elderly.

Aside from hospitals, registered nurses also play key roles in retirement homes. The fact that only about 62% of the total nursing workforce is employed in hospitals shows that nurses can assume different roles. If we look at the statistics further, the remaining nearly 40% work in other medical institutions. About 14% work in community health centers, there 10.5% of the nursing workforce working in outpatient care centers, and still about 5.3% are employed in long term care facilities.

Add to the fact that today’s nursing workforce is aging and there are a huge number of nurses who are set to retire in 15 years. Studies also show that the average age for active nurses right now is 47 compared to just 40 years old back in 1980. Because of an almost guaranteed employment after college, more and more incoming college students take up a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.

In a data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS, in the year 2018, there will be a need of 580,000 new or replacement nurses to be able to fulfill the demand. The increased demand for nurses in just eight years is due to the increasing roles that are given to registered nurses, as well as the aging nurse workforce.

Aside from the fact that the nursing profession is a very in demand profession, the salary levels are also lucrative. Back in 2007, registered nurses have a take home pay of about $60,000. It is a different story all together when an RN has a master’s degree, plus several years of clinic experience; these RNs receive almost $100,000.

Nursing students far outnumber students studying to become doctors – 4:1. A lot of incoming college students are drawn to take up BSN due to the obvious fact that nurses are the largest health care providers in hospitals and other medical institutions.

The BLS also predicts that by the year 2018, the nursing field will be the fastest growing sectors that would definitely result in thousands of new nursing jobs that will be created.

So if you are still undecided on what to take up in college, look at the facts, you will definitely never go wrong.

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