Our time spent fighting COVID-19 has been defined by contradictions. On the one hand, safety measures have kept us physically separated. On the other hand, we are connecting in new ways thanks to the power of technology. There’s a yearning to go back to the way things were while, at the same time, we embrace the potential of a new normal. We feel a deep sense of shared loss, but also the inspiration of hope. No where are these contradictions more apparent than in the U.S. healthcare system – especially when it comes to nursing careers.
The images of nurses over the last year have been both powerful and painful to witness. The crisis of this pandemic has brought a new spotlight to the need for nursing professionals across our communities. Even before the virus began to spread, the U.S. was faced with a widespread shortage of nurses. As patient volumes rose throughout 2020, these shortages only became more apparent as the demands on healthcare workers grew.
In short, nurses are needed now more than ever. If you’re considering becoming a nurse, keep these employment trends in mind as you weigh your career options.
The Employment Outlook for Nurses
As vaccination efforts expand, the healthcare industry is looking ahead to the future with cautious optimism. A massive anticipated boom in employment is contributing to this brighter outlook. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for registered nurses is projected to increase by 7 percent over the next decade, with overall healthcare industry employment growing by 15 percent. Looking closer at these numbers, “Healthcare occupations and those associated with healthcare (including mental health) account for 13 of the 30 fastest growing occupations.”
What’s the driving force behind all of this growth? Simply put, our country is getting older! As Baby Boomers, identified as people born between 1946 and 1964, reach retirement age, there is a growing need for those who can care for these individuals. Thanks to advances in medical care, human beings are living longer in general. This means the demand for healthcare professionals, such as nurses, to provide preventative and long-term care shows no sign of going away any time soon.
In fact, the aging population is affecting the nursing workforce, as well. The Journal of Nursing Regulation estimates that one million nurses working currently will retire by 2030. While this number may be shocking, it also highlights the abundance of opportunities for individuals looking to start new careers in the nursing field!
Benefits of a Career in Nursing
While the soaring demand for nurses promises job security for years to come, there are plenty of other benefits that those entering the workforce can expect. In particular, nursing professionals can look forward to flexibility, financial growth and the opportunity to positively impact lives.
- Flexibility: The nursing profession has built in flexibility when it comes to working environments. Nurses are needed for work in more locations than just hospitals! You can find nursing professionals at physician’s offices, home healthcare settings, nursing facilities, schools, health departments and even corporations.
- Financial Growth: While nursing salaries vary based on many factors, the national average salary for many nursing roles as identified by BLS represents an exciting starting point for many new careers. Including: Registered Nurse: $75,330, Nurse Practitioners: $117,670, LVN/LPN: $48,820 and CNA/Nursing Aides: $30,830.
- Positive Impact: Most importantly, a career in nursing gives individuals the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of patients and communities every day.
While COVID-19 may someday be a distant memory, the need for nurses is only set to expand in the coming years. This challenging and rewarding career path offers amazing job security, flexibility, opportunities for financial growth and the ability to make a positive impact in the lives of countless individuals.
Are you ready to make a positive impact as a nurse? Visit Careers.MedixTeam.com to learn more about our current job opportunities and apply today!
About the Author
Lauren Filarski is the National Director of Care Management at Medix. Lauren and her team partner with hospitals, health plans, behavioral health organizations and more to recruit and hire Nurse Case Managers, as well as Mental Behavioral Health Clinicians. Outside of work, Lauren spends her days wrangling her three-year-old twins for some family fun time and has recently taken up golfing with her husband, Tim.