One may note that the demand for nurses has followed a cyclic pattern for several years now. For some years, there was a surplus of nurses, while at other times, there were shortages. This cyclic pattern is following in the recent times, too. In the early 2000s, there was a nationwide nursing shortage, but during the year 2007, that is, during the economic recession, it was quite hard for several new nursing graduates to find a job. But, the situation is not the same now. The clock has already started to tick and the nursing shortage is on its way again. Now, it’s time to answer the question, “is now the time to become a nurse?”
There is a great demand for nurses
Again, the same point can be taken into discussion. There is a huge nursing shortage. When the numbers are looked upon, experts can understand there is a need for more than one million nurses in the coming years to balance this shortage. This number cannot be ignored at all. As such, this nursing shortage is not limited to only one area or community. There is a common nationwide nursing shortage in both small, as well as large communities. Each and every individual can observe that there are health care organizations in their community that require qualified and trained nurses to take care of the patients of that community. In several health care facilities, this nursing shortage has become more of a concern.
Another point here is that the facilities those are not meeting up the numbers in terms of nursing staff will not be able to provide a quality patient care. Therefore, the present-day facilities are in a full swing to bring highly competent nurses on board. As projected by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employment opportunities for nurses is projected to increase by 16% in the window of 2014-2024. Thus, there will be at least 439,300 new jobs for nurses.
But, the people who are aspiring to enter the field need not wait until 2024. The activities for taking up new nurses on board have already started in the facilities through the recruitment strategies like sign-on bonuses. It’s to be mentioned that these are highly attractive to all the job seekers and will transform the field much more competitive than it is at present. Therefore, it’s a good time to become a nurse now. It would be wrong if another point is not stressed here. The enormous number of job openings available at present and that will open in the future will offer the nurses the freedom to move to any place at any point during the career.
There is a great stability for nurses
It’s a widely known fact that nurses are enjoying a greater stability in terms of both finances, as well as job security. As per the reports from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual pay for RNs was $68,450 (during May 2016). While the annual average of all the occupations was just $37,040 at that time, the nurses were making nearly the double income. But, it’s to be noted here that this number is just the average. The highest ten percent was making more than $102,990 per year, which is not a less income at all.
While it’s true that the nursing field should not be endorsed merely for the financial gains, it’s to be understood that a career in nursing would offer a sense of security in terms of finance. Many professions in today’s world fail to offer this security. So, it’s nothing wrong in considering this point.
On the other hand, the nursing job is also offering stability in terms of job security. While it’s true that the demand for nurses was following a cyclic pattern until now, it is expected that the demand for nurses will never decrease in the future. The main reason for this is the growing number of aging population. Given the increased number of aging people, the number of medical problems they encounter, and hence, the demand for health care services will subsequently increase. It’s important to understand here that the medical problems that are encountered by older people are always higher than the younger people.
Furthermore, the number of citizens accessing the health insurance will also increase constantly owing to the reforms in Federal health insurance. Therefore, individuals who were keeping themselves away from treatment will come forward to access primary and/or preventive health care services. This will again increase the demand for nurses to care for these people in the health care centers.
There is a vast diversity
As some people might be already aware, the nursing profession is one of the largest, as well as most diverse career options in the health care job market. There are several entry-level positions to be considered within the nursing field. At the same time, the nurses can choose to fulfill the essential prerequisites to follow a more advanced career path at any time in their career.
While some nurses can enter general practice job positions like RN or NP, others may choose to enter into a specialty like oncology nurse or family nurse practitioner. In addition, there are several certifications available that would open the doors for the nurses to become eligible for the job positions requiring a special skill and/or experience. Some examples are:
- Certified Bariatric Nurse
- Certified Dialysis Nurse
- Certified Radiologic Nurse
While the nurses can enjoy working in a diverse range of job positions, they can also enjoy a wide range of work settings. Some of the most popular work settings for nurses include the following:
- Elementary schools
- Government agencies
- Home care facilities
- Specialty care centers
- Physician’s offices
- Insurance companies
- Military bases
- Nonprofit organizations
- Amusement parks
- State and national parks
There is the highest possibility to gain an education
Gaining a nursing degree would give a person a stronger education that extends the horizons, as well as future. It’s not the nurses are gaining a bachelor degree in nursing just to enter into the entry-level position in the nursing field. The nurses could go back to the school at any time to gain an advanced degree.
The most common education options for nurses include ADN, BSN, and MSN. Of these, AND represents the associate’s degree program that could open up the door for several entry-level job positions. This would typically take two years to complete. Then, it’s the most common bachelor’s degree (BSN), which would take four years to complete. There are also accelerated programs available for the students who already possess a baccalaureate degree in any non-nursing field. Thus, the transition from any other field to nursing field is also easy.
Finally, it’s the MSN degree program for the registered nurses who have the interest to become an advanced practice nurse, educator, anesthetist, or manager. It’s to be noted here that attending the education programs isn’t the only way in which the nurses are becoming educated. These programs are just the beginning. So, the only answer to the question, “is now the time to become a nurse?” is a firm “YES”. The estimated job openings and several other factors are keeping the pendulum at the “YES”.
- The number of employment opportunities for nurses is projected to increase by 16% in the window of 2014-2024.
- Nurses are enjoying a greater stability in terms of both finances, as well as job security.
- The nursing profession is one of the largest, as well as most diverse career options in the health care job market.