The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released it study for the job outlook of registered nurses (RNs) in America through the year 2016. In the face of a widespread recession, they predict that overall job opportunities for RNs should be excellent and significant growth rates are expected for nursing positions in offices of physicians and home healthcare services. They warn, however, that the trend won't be consistent, and may vary in different parts of the country.
The Bureau's research shows that RN employment rates will rise much more quickly than the national average employment rate through 2016. Projection models show that around 587,000 new jobs for RNs will open in the decade from 2006 to 2016. This would be one of the country's top occupations in terms of job opportunities. This number will be further increased by the number of job openings resulting from older RNs retiring.
One factor in this steep rise in nursing jobs is exciting technological advances in patient care allowing us to treat health problems that we have not been able to in the past; this will drive a greater demand for healthcare treatment and nurses. Other factors include a projected increase on preventative care, and the aging baby boomer demographic rapidly increasing the healthcare demand in the U.S.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported their projected growth rates for RNs in the top six largest industries:
39 percent growth Offices of physicians
39 percent growth Home healthcare services
34 percent growth Outpatient centers (excluding mental health and substance abuse)
27 percent growth Employment services
22 percent growth General medical and surgical hospitals (public and private)
20 percent growth Nursing care facilities
However in hospitals, healthcare's largest industry, employment is anticipated to grow more slowly compared to other healthcare industries. This, again, is expected based on the future of American healthcare. While the intensity of nursing care will probably increase, the number of inpatients is not likely to grow alongside. The trend has been towards earlier discharges, and more procedures becoming outpatient, rather than inpatient, procedures. Thus, it is expected that healthcare outpatient facilities will grow much more quickly than hospitals. Physician's offices, outpatient care centers, and emergency centers are amongst those predicted to grow rapidly.
The baby boomers continue to play a large role in the future of American healthcare. Nursing care facilities are also expected to experience increased growth as our country's number of elderly people, many of whom require serious or long-term healthcare, swells. Hand-in-hand with this rise will be an increase in the demand for at-home treatment and residential care facilities. The recategorization of many procedures as outpatient will further expand the demand for these healthcare industries. Additionally, with more of the population at risk for stroke and Alzheimer?s, specialized long-term rehabilitation facilities should also expand quickly.
Home healthcare is another rising industry opening many new jobs for nurses, as technological advances grow to meet the consumer preference for in-home care. This will be especially relevant to RNs who are experienced and able to perform complex procedures.
Temporary nursing is a healthcare industry expected to grow quickly in the short term, as facilities more frequently have short-term staffing needs as older RNs retire, before permanent replacements can be found.