What’s the 2017 Job Outllook for Nursing?

Healthcare in the U.S under the Trump administration is facing some major turmoil and upheaval. One thing remains constant however, nurses are, and will continue to be in demand.

In recent years there has been an increase in new nurses, and in some areas of the country new grads actually faced a hiring crisis due to education and experience requirements causing a stir that perhaps there isn’t a shortage of nurses.  Those with a BSN had an easier time finding jobs. If they didn’t have the degree, health care experience counted for a lot with employers. Those who had experience in the medical field such as paramedics, EMTs, nursing aides, and vocational or practical nurses more easily found jobs as new grad RNs. Those with both, had even greater success.

Shortage is Not a Myth

The shortage of nurses is not a myth. With many more Baby Boom generation nurses waiting to retire, the shortage of nurses could become a crisis at any time. It is expected that 555,100 nurses will retire before 2022. According to a fact sheet from the American Nurses Association, The mean age of nurses in 2014 was 50; with 53% of working nurses age 50 or above. The mean age has steadily increased since 1980 when 54% of nurses were under the age of 40.

Recently on social media sites such as Facebook there were a couple of nurses in the news for being in their 90’s and still active in bedside care. Videos depicted the joy and enthusiasm they brought to their units every day. Nursing is a lifelong learning experience and keeps nurses challenged as evidenced by the aging employment statistics.

nurse with patient

Nurses will always be in demand

Outlook is Excellent

New blood is vital to the profession and encouraged. The job outlook for nurses 2017 is excellent. Heath care experience and higher education (i.e. BSN, MSN) will continue to be an advantage. The ANA has long supported a BSN as an entry level requirement and now 43.7% of U.S. hospitals require it. Preference is noted by 78.6% of hospitals.

Having experience in the health care field has been a requirement for admission to nursing schools since the early 2000’s. When a severe shortage of nursing educators caused a major gridlock in nursing schools with millions of applicants turned away each year, a system was developed to help predict a success rate and rank applicants accordingly. Entrance exams are required and experience is ranked according to the relevancy and length of time. For paramedics looking to move into the nursing profession, experience will be  a huge factor in the process.

Nursing is an extremely emotionally and physically challenging profession. Those with health care experience such as paramedics bring to the job an understanding that helps prepare them for the profession and predicts their success.

Nursing Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook cites the median pay for RNs in 2017 is $67,490 and the entry level education is a BSN. In 2014, there were over 2.7 million nurses working in the U.S. The number of new and replacement nurses needed is expected to be 1.1 million in this time ram.  This represents a 16.7% increase which is much faster than the average occupation.

According to the ANA Fact Sheet, 14 states expect an annual growth of 20% during the decade 2012 to 2022. These are Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Arkansas, Montana, and Washington. California boasts the highest salaries and the highest salaries can be found in San Francisco. Sixteen states and Washington DC have salaries above the national median. They are CA, HI, AK, OR, NV, WA, AZ, CO, TX, MA, NJ, CT, NY, RI, MD DE and Washington DC.