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Job Market Looking Healthy for Nurses

As population demographics in the U.S. grows top-heavy with so many baby boomers closing in on 70 and older, the demands on the health care industry can only increase and will require more workers in the health care field.

Although most boomers boast great health, they will require more attention as the years creep up, and with longer life spans, care will be required for more years than ever before. Given these projections, many who follow the health care field predict nothing but growth in registered nursing jobs. And they'd be right if they saw some of the Tampa nursing school programs on offer.

Boomers cannot take all of the credit to the increasing need for nurses. The health care industry has made headstrong shifts to preventive care which will surge as several million projected individuals are expected to enter the health care system, care invited by the Affordable Health Care Act.

“We see the growth in registered nursing jobs to be robust over the next five years,” said Candace Moody, vice president, communications for CareerSource Northeast Florida. “The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees an increase of 19 percent in the employment for RNs between 2010 and 2020.”

According to Moody, approximately 4,100 new RN positions will be created this year within hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, hospices, public health departments, home-health agencies and skilled nursing facilities, just in Florida alone.

“Health care accounts for one of every five jobs created in the U.S.,” Moody said, again citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics. “And health care comprises 20 percent of the labor market here in Northeast Florida. Nurses will fill many of those jobs. The data also suggests that Registered Nurse is the top occupation in terms of job growth through the year 2020 and earns a median annual wage of almost $66,000.”

The new face of health care is also driving the demand for nurses as the industry sees far-reaching benefits to quality up-front care that educates on healthier lifestyles as an investment for the future, reducing the burden on the system later down the line.

Another factor that foretells of the oncoming need for more nurses is the imminent matriculation of several nurses. The median age of nurses today is 46. That means in about 10 years or so, many of them may retire, opening up several positions.

According to the American Nursing Association, more than 50 percent of working nurses will be considering retirement soon.

Nursing has now become a growth industry as more opportunities are being created with the changing landscape of health care needs.