Nursing, a Growing Occupation

Nursing is a growing occupation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it is not slowing down any time soon. For registered nurses, excellent is the best way to describe job growth, which is expected to experience a 22 percent increase from 2008 to 2018. The Bureau reports that 581,500 new jobs will result from the "much faster than the average" growth percentage, which one of the largest number of new jobs for any occupation.

The growth is a result of several factors, such as technology, elderly population, and turnover, according to the Bureau. Advances in technology will allow for more and more health problems to be treated and therefore increase emphasis on preventative care. Also, with the baby boomer generation entering retirement, there will be a larger population of elderly people who tend to require more health services than the younger population. Finally, experienced nurses are leaving the profession at increasing rates and they need to be replaced, resulting in hundreds of thousands of jobs openings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, although the job opportunities in nursing are expected to grow, not every industry will see the same rate increase. Registered nurses will see the largest area of employment growth, 48 percent, in physician’s offices. This is largely because medical procedures, which once were only conducted in hospitals, are now being performed in physician’s offices, therefore requiring the assistance of more nurses. Surprisingly, public and private hospitals are projected to have the lowest area of RN employment growth, 17 percent. While the intensity of nursing care is expected to increase, requiring a higher nurse to patient ratio, the number of inpatients is not. Hospitals are beginning to not only discharge patients earlier, but allow for more procedures to be done on an outpatient basis.

The employment of RNs in home health care services is expected to grow by 33 percent. An increase that is due to the growing elderly population, who are beginning to prefer that they receive care in their homes. Advances in technology are also making it easier for complex treatments to be performed in patient’s homes, and more RN’s will be necessary to carry out these treatments. This growth in the older population also contributes to a 25 percent increase in the employment of RNs in nursing care facilities. These patients will require long-term care and may prefer to be treated either in their homes or residential care facilities.

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