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Home > Article Categories > Nursing Jobs > U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Offers Insight on RN Job Prospects

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Offers Insight on RN Job Prospects

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For potential nurses, now may be an excellent time to join the field, as job opportunities are on the rise, making it easier to secure a job and then gain the work experience that makes older registered nurses (RNs) an indispensable part of America's healthcare system. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an ultimate 23 percent growth in employment of registered nurses in the decade from 2006 to 2016. This growth rate is much faster than the average which is between 7 and 13 percent.

Our country is currently experiencing a nursing shortage and overall many more nurses will be needed to support our healthcare system by 2016. The Bureau reports 587,000 new jobs will open for RNs during the decade in question. Still, job availability will not be universally even. Some regions and healthcare industries reported particular trouble in attracting and retaining nurses.

The trend has been widely spotted. All types of nursing programs have increased enrollments in recent years as demand increases from both the healthcare system, and prospective students. The report on RN job outlook recently released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights the largest healthcare industries available to current and upcoming nurses.

Employment growth in hospitals, our healthcare system's largest industry, is anticipated to be lower than others such as outpatient treatment facilities or industries primarily for the elderly. Increasing preventative medicine and the shift of many procedures from inpatient to outpatient means hospitals won't experience such a huge boom in nursing jobs, but they will still provide excellent work opportunities as they tend to have a high job turnover rate. The more stressful hospital departments with more frequent job availabilities are critical care units, emergency departments, and operating rooms. To attract and retain a good nursing staff, hospitals are testing a variety of incentives. These have included signing bonuses, interview raffles, catered work schedules for people with families, subsidized training, and online bidding to fill open shifts at premium wages (which decreases the amount of mandatory overtime required of nurses).

The Bureau projects a much higher growth for physician's offices and outpatient care centers (estimated to grow at least 34 percent between 2006 and 2016. However, future nurses be aware, there may be harder competition for nursing jobs in these industries because the standard is for regular working hours and less stressful working environments, before the introduction of incentives.

Employment services healthcare industry is also predicted to grow quickly, experiencing a 27 percent growth rate of jobs for RNs between 2006 and 2016. Competition in this industry could be intense as well, as it offers relatively high wages and flexibility of work.

For those looking to develop strong nursing careers, all four advanced practice specialties offer a good opportunity to set yourself up to become a type of primary care provider. Clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and nurse anesthetists are projected to be in high demand, especially in medically underserved inner cities and rural areas.

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