Nursing Jobs Forecast: 2010-2018

By A.F. Hutchinson, Special to

In today’s economy, it is a great time to become a nurse. Over 40 percent of our country’s current nurses are in their fifties – which means that they will be retiring soon. Their nursing jobs will need to be filled by a new, younger crowd. At the same time, our population continues to get older and requires more medical care. An aging workforce plus an aging population means that there is a serious nursing shortage. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that by 2020, the health care field may need up to one million nurses.

What a perfect opportunity for you to earn your nursing degree! Now more than ever, there are a wide variety of places where nurses can work. Also, nursing salaries are increasing – but your earning potential as a nurse will depend on how much training you have and where you work.

Registered Nurses (RN)

To become a Registered Nurse, you need a nursing degree or a diploma from a hospital-based nursing program.

  • An Associate of Science degree takes 2-3 years to complete
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) takes 4 years of study
  • A hospital-based diploma program takes about 3 years, where available

Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree have better earning power than those with just a diploma or Associate’s Degree. The more experience you have in the nursing field, the better your chances for promotions and higher pay.

Registered Nurses typically earn $50,000 – $70,000 a year. In 2005, the average salary for an RN was $57,785.

Where Nurses Are Working

Healthcare settings are classified as either clinical, like working in a hospital, or non-clinical, like working in the administrative department within a hospital. Here are where nurses are working:

  • 12% Hospitals
  • 16% Employment Services
  • 17% Nursing Care Facilities
  • 22% Home & Health Care Services
  • 33% Doctors Offices

Find out more about nursing and health care in StudentAdvisor’s Guide: Health Care Trends 2010.

Are you a nurse? Comment & share what the best part of your job is!

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