Nursing Career Outlook

The demand for nurses grows each year. The recruitment of registered nurses is expected to increase 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the norm for all occupations. Expansion will occur primarily because of scientific advancements; an increased focus on preventative care; and the large, aging baby-boomer population who will demand more health-related services as they live longer and more productive lives.

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA):

Employment of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants is anticipated to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020. Because of the increasing elderly population, quite a few nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants will be essential in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and in private care. The training costs for certification of CNA's ranges from $700-1000. Many nursing facilities will cover these costs in exchange for a commitment for a certain amount of time for employment. Back to top

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Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN):

Employment of LPN's is expected to increase by 21 percent between 2008 and 2018, considerably faster than the average for other careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While options will remain solid in hospitals, LPN's and LVN's can expect to find the best number of new nursing jobs in home health care services and nursing care establishments.

In addition, advanced medical technology has made it feasible for patients to go to their doctor's office or an outpatient treatment facility for procedures that were generally performed only in hospitals in the past. Licensed practical nurses play an important role in caring for patients who go through such procedures and may offer support at the health care office in addition to the patient's home. Most community college and vocational schools have special financial aid programs in place for LPN degrees and offer financial aid to transition to a registered nursing degree as well. Back to top

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Registered Nurses (RN):

In general, job possibilities for registered nurses are expected to be outstanding. Employment of registered nurses is anticipated to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020. Employers in some areas of the country and in some work settings report trouble in attracting and retaining enough registered nurses. Financial aid abounds for this degree at the state university level and some facilities will help pay for their LPN's to advance to a registered nurse while working at their care facilities. Back to top

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Advanced Nursing Degrees:

More than 2.5 million nurses are practicing nationwide, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), making nursing the biggest workforce within the healthcare sector.

If payment and job security are at the top of your list of determining factors, an advanced degree may assist you in reaching that goal.

It is a great time to earn an advanced nursing degree. In 2010, a report was released urging all nurses to increase their education degrees to meet the challenges of an increasingly sophisticated health care environment. "Current healthcare reform initiatives call for a nursing workforce that integrates evidence-based clinical knowledge and research with effective communication and leadership skills," according to the report, "Without a more educated nursing workforce, the nation's health will be further at risk."

Many health care facilities across the nation are currently taking this call very seriously. For example, magnet hospitals now require a certain percentage of nurses on staff to hold master's degrees, and quite a few non-magnet hospitals are following their lead. As a result, nurses with an MSN may have an advantage over those without an advanced degree when it comes to applying for a job as well as positioning themselves for advancement.

All four categories of advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists) will be in especially high demand. Back to top

Nurse Practitioner (NP):

The demand for NP's is going to remain a growing concern. This is especially true in non-urban areas, where they are in specific cases all that the community has due to the fact that it's so challenging to find doctors for these locations. There is a fairly even divide between hospitals and privately owned practices with work opportunities to consider. No magician will inform you what your next career move ought to be, but the existing situation and developments in NP employing could help guide you as you make career choices in the coming years. In terms of a basic picture, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported in 2011 that 52% of NP's work in primary care. The BLS notes that all advanced training nursing roles "will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas. Relative to physicians, these RN's increasingly serve as lower-cost primary care providers." The NP career is developing rapidly, with 9,500 to 10,000 new NP's prepared in each of the last 2 years.

Public comprehension and approval of NP's as mainstream workers in a variety of healthcare settings is continuously broadening, and employers are continuing to recognize the value of NP's as providers of cost-effective, personalized, patient-centered care. The foreseeable outlook for NP jobs has never looked better. Back to top

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Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM):

According to reports from the US Department of Labor, nursing is the largest health care related profession in the nation. It is also an occupation that is going through a nation-wide shortage especially in the dedicated areas such as midwifery. Employment opportunities for certified nurse midwives are exceptional and are expected to grow 21%-35% through the end of the decade. High quality prenatal care will continue to be a large concern in the field of obstetrics, and will therefore encourage development in this sector. There will probably also be a need for nursing educators and facilitators who will be responsible for teaching the upcoming generation of certified nurse midwives. Back to top

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Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS):

Determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) current report, job prospects for registered nurses (RN) are predicted to expand by 22% between 2008 and 2018. Nurses with the greatest concentrations of training and education, such as clinical nurses, will be in the highest need. One can expect to find work in clinics, hospitals and research institutions. While registered nurses received an average yearly salary of $67,720, clinical nurse specialists earned a higher median annual salary of $87,648 as of June 2010. Back to top

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Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA):

Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA's) have many good reasons to be delighted about their job prospects, both currently and in the foreseeable future.

As outlined by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for registered nurses in just about all areas are expected to be "excellent" in the next few of years, with recruitment strategies growing much quicker than the average for all employment through 2014. They also foresee that advanced practice nurses, who include CRNA's, will be in higher demand, specifically in clinically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural locations.

The career opportunities will be different depending on the employment setting, though. For example, employment is anticipated to develop more slowly in hospitals, which comprise health care's largest market, but speedy growth is predicted in hospital outpatient facilities, such as those offering same-day surgery, rehabilitation, and chemotherapy.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), that represents more than 92 percent of the 36,000 CRNA's across the nation, reports that nurse anesthetists currently administer approximately 27 million anesthetics in the United States every year. Practicing in every setting where anesthesia is accessible, CRNA's are the singular anesthesia workers in nearly 10 percent of all health care facilities throughout the country, and in two-thirds of all non-urban medical centers.

"The employment outlook for CRNA's is excellent," according to Brent Sommer, CRNA, MPHA, a representative for the AANA and vice chair and wellness promoter for the Council for Public Interest in Anesthesia. "We also see a real broadening of opportunities in both traditional and nontraditional settings due to the law of supply and demand."

Sommer disclosed that the number of surgeries in the U.S., and thus the need for more nurse anesthetists, is increasing, due in part to the country's maturing human population.

"People are living longer with co-morbidities and require more interventions, monitored anesthesia care or pain management," Sommer said. "In addition to traditional surgery settings, many specialties have been able to maximize their services by moving out of the hospital, so many CRNA's are working in oral surgery, endoscopy, plastic surgery and other procedures in ambulatory or outpatient surgery centers."

While Sommer observed that the pattern in many larger hospitals is toward team treatments, where they are hiring greater numbers of CRNA's to work in partnership with anesthesiologists and some others in the surgical team, at present there are also a lot more opportunities for nurse anesthetists to handle an independent practice. Back to top

Read More About: CRNA / Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists