Become a nurse. The need for nurses is more urgent than ever before. Discover why 2022 is the ideal year to become a nurse in America.
The job outlook for nurses continues to grow across all settings, with increasing demand expected to occur every year through at least 2022. Here are some reasons why this year is ideal for pursuing a nursing career.
A consistent upward trend in the demand for nurses
Nursing is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations due to increased demand and an aging population. By 2022, the projected shortage of nurses could be anywhere from 700,000 to more than 1 million hospital jobs. This accounts for about 20 percent of the total nursing positions needed by 2022.
There were over 2.7 million registered nurses working in the United States in 2012. The BLS estimates that there will be nearly 3 million RNs by 2020, which is still not enough to meet the coming demands of America’s health system. Of this number, approximately 1 in 5 RNs are currently working part-time.
More nursing skill upgrade opportunities
The shortage of nurses in the US is opening many opportunities for aspiring nurses, nursing graduates, and practicing nurses. Nurses who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field can also benefit from this shortage of nurses and find various online accelerated nursing programs and an accelerated entry into a nursing faculty to pursue their master’s degree (MSN) or doctorate (DNP). Many nurses seek graduate degrees to increase their skills and knowledge so they can advance their careers or open up more opportunities for specialization. This is an excellent time for nurses who already have their bachelor’s degree in nursing to enroll in Nursing Programs that are experiencing an increased demand for advanced nursing degrees.
As an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you will have the opportunity to help people manage their own health care needs at home or across settings. You could be involved in patient education, developing treatment plans, consulting with physicians and other healthcare providers, prescribing medications, drawing blood for tests, analyzing test results, and recommending treatments based on test results.
A growing number of aging baby boomers entering retirement age
By 2020-2023, people age 65 and older will outnumber children for the first time in US history. In 2030 there will be about 72.1 million people age 65 or older compared with 71.6 million younger than 18 years old. In 2010, the median age of RNs was 42.5 years while a study done by AONE showed that nurses’ average age is 47 years old. The number of elderly patients who need nursing care is increasing which means an increase in demand for experienced nurses.
Many people who retire every year aren’t able to stop working because they can’t afford their treatments so they continue working well into their 70s and 80s but nurses have the power to provide treatment for several health concerns that could keep seniors from having to work longer or live without any savings at all. Nursing offers a set schedule, good pay, and job security.
The United States is going to have a huge problem on its hands when it comes to filling patient-care nursing jobs (and this goes beyond hospitals). This is because, as Baby Boomers age and begin to show signs of wear-and-tear from living their typically long, hectic lives, they will require greater care. This issue is further compounded by the reality that most nurses are nearing retirement themselves.
An increase in chronic conditions that will require more medical treatment
About 1 in 5 people in the United States have one or more chronic conditions and these numbers are going to increase exponentially despite the advances being made in medical technologies and due to a longer life expectancy rate. Every year, almost 1 million people are diagnosed with cancer and the number of new patients is expected to double by 2030 because more old people are diagnosed with cancer than ever before. Cancer commonly occurs in older adults, but young ones can get it too, and nurses will be needed more than ever to provide diagnosis services like blood work, x-rays, biopsies, chemotherapy treatments (administration of drugs), radiation treatments.
These are just a few of the reasons why this is the ideal time to become a nurse. The demand for nurses is not expected to decline any time soon and if anything it’s expected to grow rapidly over the next decade and beyond. With so many factors lining up in favor of today’s nurses, we can’t think of a better time to make the switch.