The Nursing Job Outlook

There is always a need for quality healthcare. Even amidst job recessions, healthcare professionals such as Registered Nurses (RNs) can look forward to consistent job security both now and in the future. If you are considering becoming a Registered Nurse, rest assured you are getting into an increasingly in-demand career.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing job outlook is very promising, with hundreds of thousands of jobs becoming available across the country. Nationwide, employment of Registered Nurses is expected to grow 15 percent by the year 2026 – more than double the average rate for all occupations. And, to add, this percentage does not account for the Registered Nurses who are self-employed or business owners.

If you are looking to become a nurse in Connecticut specifically, you can also look forward to a stable career (and income) with room for growth over the years. The Connecticut Department of Labor ranks Registered Nurses sixth (6th) on their list of top occupations with the most job openings today. By 2024, they predict that nearly 1,000 jobs will open up to aspiring RNs.

Why is the nursing job outlook so great? There are several factors contributing to this growth.

The first is fairly simple: older nurses are leaving the field. Currently, more than half of the RN workforce is over age 50. These nurses will soon be retiring, and therefore requiring newly trained RNs to come take their place. In fact, the Health Resources and Services Administration predicts that more than one million RNs will reach retirement age in the next 10 to 15 years.

Another contributor to the rising nursing job outlook is a growing number of patients needing quality care. Not only are many seasoned nurses reaching retirement age, so is the entire baby boomer population. Older people typically have more medical needs – being prone to injury, illness, as well as conditions like arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, many older people will prefer to be treated at home or in a long-term residential care facility (e.g. nursing home), which will increase the need for nurses in home health care, long-term care, and geriatric settings.

The nursing job outlook is also expected to grow faster than average in outpatient care centers where patients do not stay overnight, as well as ambulatory care settings, hospitals, and physicians’ offices. They will be needed to help provide same-day procedures such as chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and some surgery. Nurses will also be needed in rehabilitation and longer-term care settings, to educate and care for patients with chronic conditions.

It’s important to keep in mind that healthcare, on the whole, is evolving. New technologies, new research, and new breakthroughs are being identified every day. As the industry progresses, it will require more educated nursing professionals to step in. Skilled Registered Nurses – along with Nurse Practitioners, Research Nurses, Public Health Nurses, and other types of nurses – will be needed to operate advanced medical equipment, study new conditions and treatments, evaluate complex symptoms in patients, oversee advancements in patient care, and more.

Registered Nurses, generally speaking, are nurses who provide and coordinate patient care. Most nursing positions today require an RN license. Within the bucket of registered nursing, you will find Addiction Nurses, Critical Care Nurses, Public Health Nurses, Neonatology Nurses, and more – all of which can expect growth. In addition to the RN title, though, other buckets within the nursing field can expect growth in the coming years. Below, we breakdown the national nursing job outlook for some other nursing occupations, too:

  • Registered Nurses: 15% growth by 2026
  • Licensed Practical Nurses: 12% growth by 2026
  • Nurse Practitioners: 36% growth by 2026
  • Nurse Midwives: 21% growth by 2026
  • Community Health Workers/Nurses: 18% by 2026

Healthcare is quickly becoming the fastest growing industry and highest employment sector of the United States economy. And, in your favor, nursing careers are growing alongside the greater healthcare industry. With such a bright nursing job outlook expected in the coming years, why wait to start on the path towards a nursing career?

To become a Registered Nurse today, you must earn your nursing degree from an accredited nursing school, as well as pursue national certification to become licensed to practice. Most aspiring RNs will choose to pursue an associate degree in nursing as a starting point. Many employers today (approximately 80%), however, are now looking to hire nurses with a Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) degree.

As the Bureau of Labor Statistics explains, “The supply of new nurses entering the labor market has increased in recent years. This increase has resulted in competition for jobs in some areas of the country. Generally, registered nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.”

Whether you’re interested in pursuing an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, Goodwin College has a flexible program to help you launch a nursing career. Learn more about the various nursing programs at Goodwin College by visiting us online at https://www.goodwin.edu/majors/nursing/ or calling 800-889-3282.