According to industry experts, nursing is one of the hottest occupations and the one poised with the most potential job growth over the next 7 years. It is projected that the job outlook for nurses will increase in demand to over one million nurses by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The RN workforce is projected to need nearly 530,000 jobs in the by 2022. When you couple that with the over 525,000 leaving the workforce — more than 1 million jobs will become available. The data, published in the Occupational Outlook Handbook, also listed LPNs and vocational nurses as other occupations poised for rapid growth.
Why is the Job Outlook for Nurses Growing?
The surge in nursing demands can be attributed to a variety of factors including a longer living, albeit, sicker population; growing rates of chronic illnesses and the emphasis now placed on preventative care. Additionally, millions more people now have access to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, which also translates to the need for more trained nurses.
Along with RNs, the need for more advanced, specialized nurses will also increase, according to the BLS. The need for midwives, nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners will be in high demand 2022. The average growth rate for all nurse-related professions are expected to increase by 11 percent.
“Nursing is a marketable degree,” according to Suzanne Prevost, dean of the Capstone College of Nursing at the University of Alabama. Prevost went on to say that even in years where there was an overabundance of nurses, the options for dedicated and competent nurses were always plentiful. Although there is a need for nurses, the job growth in some areas of the country is still stagnant; this could be a problem for new nursing graduates. However, long-term projections show that even in economically strained parts of the country, nurses are more likely to find employment than other occupations.