The Rise of the Nursing Job Market

The Rise of the Nursing Job Market

Mar 18, 2015 | 11:00 am

Some say the decade-long nursing shortage has ended, but others predict a newer, larger nursing job market is on the rise. What factors contribute to this need for more nurses, how accurate are the predictions and does it affect every region the same? Let’s find out.

Why the Growing Need

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) says there are several contributing factors to the growing nursing job market. One of the most important is the large number of nurses scheduled to retire in the next 10 years. Couple that with the aging population, which includes baby boomers reaching the age of 60 and beyond, and you find a combination that equals less help and more patients in need. And that’s not all: Add to it the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, which provides healthcare access to more than 32 million Americans. With the combination of these three factors alone, it’s easy to see why more nurses are needed, soon.

Nursing Job Market Numbers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) seems to confirm predictions about the need for more nurses, projecting the following employment numbers between 2012 and 2022 for the nursing job market:

Licensed Vocational Nurses/Licensed Practical Nurses – 25 percent employment increase
Registered Nurses – 19 percent employment increase
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses – 31 percent employment increase
Whether you look to the AACN or BLS for confirmation, numbers look good for the nursing job market for at least the next 10 years.

Where Is the Nursing Job Market?

It would be great to think that this means each hospital, health care facility or other place of nursing employment will need to hire more nurses right away, but that’s not fully the case. According to a study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the need for nurses varies by region. For example, nurses in certain rural areas might be in high demand, while nurses in higher-paying cities may find no immediate openings.

The nursing job market looks good, both now and in the future, but the key is flexibility, education and persistence—all good qualities for a successful nursing career.

If this sounds interesting, read on to learn about different nursing careers and discover which one fits your personality best.