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Opportunities Abound in Healthcare

Job openings in healthcare abound. And, the forecast for opportunities in the health sector remain strong and keep growing. The news also is good for nurses, because they continue to be in high demand. And the demand is especially high for registered nurses (RNs) who have completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

What Is the Latest Information About Employment in the United States?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in December 2018. The number of unemployed people was 6.3 million. This is a decrease from the previous year which had a jobless rate of 4.1 percent with 6.6 million people unemployed.

Employment in healthcare, however, rose by 50,000, and the industry created 346,000 new jobs. Most job openings are in ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals.

What About Job Growth in the U.S.?

Employment in healthcare is expected to grow 18 percent during the years 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, according to "Healthcare Job Growth Outpaced Nearly Every Other Sector in 2018" from HealthLeaders citing the BLS. Additionally, the healthcare sector is projected to add about 2.4 million jobs. In 2018, the job growth in healthcare surpassed every other major industry.

What Are the Reasons for the Acceleration of Job Growth in Healthcare?

As of 2015, the United States Census Bureau recorded that the number of Americans age 65 and older was 47.8 million. The projected population of older Americans is estimated to reach 98.2 million in 2060, and out of that number, 19.7 million will be age 85 or older. That translates to one in four U.S. citizens representing the over 65 age group.

With a large segment of the population reaching retirement age and beyond, more nurses and healthcare professionals are needed to provide care and services. Older patients are at risk for developing one or more chronic health conditions such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis, Alzheimer's, dementia, cancer and heart disease.

The nursing workforce is experiencing turnover since many nurses are nearing or at retirement age. Vacancies need to be filled in order to have enough nurses to care for the rising number of patients. A study published by the Job Network shows that job availability may be linked to geographic locations so the job growth rate is not the same everywhere. The best states for nurses to find employment include:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Pennsylvania

What Are the Fastest Growing Nursing Jobs?

The BLS reports that employment for RNs is predicted to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026. So, jobs for RNs will be plentiful, depending on where they live. Some nursing specialties offer more job opportunities than others. These are the top 10 booming specialties.

  • Neonatal nurse
  • Nurse midwife
  • Clinical nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Dialysis nurse
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Health policy nurse
  • Informatics nurse
  • Nurse anesthetist
  • Nurse educator

The job market for nurses is expanding. It is fueled by an increasing number of elderly patients, nurse retirements and the prevalence of complicated medical conditions.

Nurses with a BSN can advance in their careers and qualify for higher-paying jobs. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with a BSN because they are prepared to deliver care in the complex healthcare system. RNs with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) can earn a baccalaureate degree in an online RN to BSN program.

Learn more about the EIU online RN to BSN program.


HealthLeaders: Healthcare Job Growth Outpaced Nearly Every Other Sector in 2018

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Economic News Release

Indeed Blog: Focus on Nursing: A High Demand, High Growth Job of the Future

Chron: What Is the Growth Potential for RN?

The Job Network: Report: Here Are the Latest Projections for Nursing Demand by State

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses

Nurse Journal: The 20 Best Nursing Career Specialties

The Atlantic: Health Care Just Became the U.S.'s Largest Employer

United States Census Bureau: Facts for Features: Older Americans - Month: May 2017

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