Nurses provide front line care in a variety of settings and often supervise and coordinate assistance for patients. In America, registered nurses held about 3.1 million jobs in 2018.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that an additional 203,700 nurses will be required every year to meet the demand by filling in newly generated positions as well as replacing retiring nurses.

For the next decade, the projected growth rate in nurse’s employment is around 12% which is much higher than the average growth rate of 5% for all the other occupations.

The factors contributing to the growth in this sector are:

1. An aging population:

Elderly people tend to have more medical conditions than the younger ones. Nurses would be required to educate and care for patients with various chronic conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes, and obesity.

2. More patients in long-term care facilities/homes:

Patients that need acute care are first dealt with the hospitals and once they are considered stable, are transferred to a higher dependency place for a long-term care increasing the admissions in these units.

3. More patients in outpatient care centers:

Growth is also expected to be faster than average in outpatient care centers, where patients do not stay overnight, such as those which provide same-day chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and surgery.

In addition, an increased number of procedures, as well as more sophisticated procedures previously only done in hospitals are being performed in ambulatory care settings and at a physician’s office.

Overall, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to keep rising because of the growth in their employment areas as well as a need to replace the existing ones who would retire over the coming decade.

This is a good sign for those looking forward to becoming a RN!

Reference : United States Department of Labor, Employment Projections program, 2019