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Registered Nursing – a Growing Field in 2013 and Beyond

The future looks bright for Registered Nurses.  While other economic job sectors have suffered tremendous losses in the past few years, the healthcare sector, and nursing particularly, has continued to grow and will continue to do so in 2013 and beyond.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2020, there will be more than 711,900 new Registered Nursing jobs created.  Furthermore, between 2010 -2020 the number of Registered Nursing jobs will increase by 26 percent, making it the fastest growing occupation in the U.S.*

This continued growth in the Registered Nursing profession stems from a few different sources including: changes in health care reform, technological advances in all areas of healthcare services and the aging of the baby boomer population.

Health Care Reform: The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 will have a profound impact on the growth of the nursing profession.*  This legislation requires all Americans to be insured, which will increase the number of patients who can access health care services.  The legislation also focuses on the need for more healthcare prevention services, which will require more trained nurses be available to provide patient education and preventative services.

Technological Changes: While much of the technological changes which have occurred so far in the health care industry primarily affected patient care, technology is beginning to change all aspects of health care services, including how patient medical information is collected and maintained.  The 2009 American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act provides $1.2 billion a year to aid in the implementation of electronic health records.*  Nurses are needed to help companies develop and implement the use of these systems as well as maintain and support the electronic health care records.

Aging Baby Boomers:  The aging of the baby boomer population has affected the nursing field in a couple of ways.  First, due to the large number of people reaching retirement age, the number of nurses needed is growing in order to help keep senior citizens healthy and active.  Second, there are a large number of nurses who are baby boomers and are now retiring as part of that generation.  The growth in the healthcare sector combined with large numbers of retiring nurses has helped increase the demand for trained nurses, especially those trained in Geriatrics, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Not only is Registered Nursing a growing field in terms of numbers but it’s also a growing field in terms of the variety of employment opportunities available.  Nurses can work for numerous  health-care related settings including assisted living facilities, hospitals, doctor’s offices, home and public health agencies, clinics, in addition they can also work in schools.*

Registered Nurses will continue to have a wide variety of career options and opportunities available to them. The future certainly looks bright for RN’s and now is a great time to advance your career.

Unitek College’s LVN to RN Transition program offers LVN’s the opportunity to build upon their training to advance their career and become eligible for the Registered Nurse Licensure Examination.


Sources:

* The U.S. Department of Labor’s  Bureau of Labor Statistics reports by 2020 there will be more than 711,900 Registered Nursing jobs created and between 2010-2020 jobs will increase by 26 percent.   (Source: www.bls.gov, 10/2012).

*The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to be insured, and calls for more trained nurses to provide patient education and preventative services.  (Source: www.healthcare.gov, 10/2012).

* The 2009 American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act provides $1.2 billion a year to help hospitals implement and use electronic health records. (Source: www.whitehouse.gov, 10/2012).

*According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics Registered Nurses can work in a variety of settings. (Source: www.bls.gov, 10/2012).


About the Author:

Phyllis Edson is a freelance writer focusing on noteworthy areas of the nursing industry for Unitek College.