Just hearing the phrase “nursing shortage” can make people cringe. After all, everyone is reliant upon health care in some form or another throughout their lives, and when there aren’t enough qualified nurses on hand, then there can be a major problem with the system. These days there has been a lot of grumbling about a potential nursing shortage, both currently and looking toward the future. Take a look at these statistics to find out more for yourself.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the definitive place when you want to find information about job prospects, growth or declines, and more. Right now, they are reporting that by the year 2020, there will be in the neighborhood of 800,000 nursing jobs unfulfilled. That certainly sounds like a nursing shortage, and a substantial one! Additionally, there will be a need for about 580,000 new or replacement RNs by the year 2018.
This doesn’t just happen overnight of course, a nursing shortage like this happens piece by piece. One issue at hand is the growing role that nurses have in healthcare, as they accept a more diverse number of jobs in more places than ever before. Over 62% of nurses work with hospitals, but that means that over a third work in other healthcare environments, and nurses already outnumber doctors four to one.
Another important factor is the aging workforce, with the average RN currently being 47 years of age, and therefore nearing retirement within the next decade. The average age was just 40 years a few decade ago in 1980, and that means that it’s an aging workforce, and not enough qualified nurses are joining the field to replace the older ones. Combined with the above, as well as other economic and healthcare factors, a nursing shortage is right on the horizon. On top of everything, the entire population is also aging, which means there is more need for qualified nurses to take care of the growing crop of elderly citizens.
For the prospective nursing student, this potential nursing shortage offers you a great opportunity. It means that over the next few years there will literally be hundreds of thousands of job opportunities available. This means that this is one of the true growth fields that the country currently has, and this dynamic and rewarding career and field has limitless potential.
The best way to take advantage of this is to join the growing number of qualified nurses with a BSN or higher level of education on their side. This is what employers prefer today, as is reflected by the fact that over 50% of RNs today have a BSN or higher, up from less than 25% three decades ago. That figure is expected, and urged, to rise to two-thirds or more over the coming years.
There isn’t a dire nursing shortage today, but there is a huge one looming within the decade. With an accelerated nursing program, you can capitalize on this opportunity by entering the workforce within just 12 months, and finding any number of fantastic job opportunities. Join the ranks of qualified nurses and started with your accelerated BSN today.