Nurse help wantedThe number of nursing jobs is expected to outpace the growth of almost every other job type in the next decade.  In 2012 there were 2.75 million registered nurses in the United States, according to BLS data, and that number is expected to grow to 3.23 million by 2022.  That is an increase of almost 17 .5%; the BLS projects an 11 % increase in all occupations in the U.S. economy during this same time.

The reasons are many:

1) an increased emphasis on preventative care due to improved access afforded by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

2) the looming retirement of a generation of nurses

3) technological advances in patient care that allow for the treatment of health problems that could not be treated in the past

4) the overall aging of the population

5) limited enrollment opportunities in top nursing schools.

However, the growth is not consistent.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimate that the growth rates for RNs will be:

  • 39 % growth in physician offices
  • 39 % growth in home healthcare services
  • 34 % growth in outpatient centers (excluding mental health and substance abuse)
  • 22 % growth in general medical and surgical hospitals (public and private)
  • 20 % growth in nursing care facilities

Aging population

Demand for health care services will increase because of the aging population. Nurses will be needed to educate and to care for patients with various chronic conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes and obesity.

Outpatient and home health care

The financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible will result in more people admitted to long-term care facilities and outpatient care centers as well as discharged to directly to their home, according to the BLS. Therefore, the demand for nurses is expected to grow for both home-based care and in facilities that provide long-term rehabilitation for stroke, head injury patients, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Due to an increased number of procedures, previously done only in hospitals, being performed in ambulatory care settings and physicians’ offices, growth is also expected to be high in those settings.

Nursing school issues

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recently reported that enrollment in entry-level nursing programs has doubled since 2002, with a 3.5% increase during 2011-2012 alone. However, many people who would like to enroll cannot be accommodated despite meeting all requirements. In 2012, 52,212 qualified applications were turned away from 566 entry-level nursing programs.

In a recent survey by Johnson & Johnson, low mobility of new RNs and a general unwillingness of nurses to move is also a key issue, meaning that demand can vary greatly in different parts of the country. Therefore, one of the best ways to ensure that you have access to the best and the brightest in the nursing job pool is to work with a local medical staffing firm, like Snelling.  With Snelling, you get a local office – with local know-how – with centralized recruiting support.  With Snelling, you find the best-fit for your facilitythe first time!