Nurse Job Outlook

Written by NS StaffJuly 11, 2011

The nursing industry is exploding, and every nursing school and career website will tell you that. But, what does it really mean?

The basic facts are:

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  • People are living longer than ever before.
  • The median age of registered nurses is on the rise.
  • There are more nursing positions open than nurses to fill those positions.
  • Procedures that once required intensive care can now be done on an outpatient basis, enabling more procedures to be done every day.

As you can see, the future of nursing is tied up in those facts.

Schools to consider: 

Only a short while ago, it was unusual for people to live beyond their 70s. That age is rising with the latest medical technology, and people who are living longer tend to have a greater need for nursing care. These patients need help in hospitals, in assisted-living or retirement facilities, and in their homes. Home health nurses are expected to be in significant demand as aging patients choose to stay home instead of moving to retirement homes.

Nursing schools across the country are working to increase enrollment to meet the needs of hospitals and other medical facilities. It has become more difficult for the schools to catch up with the number of nurses who are retiring and the number of patients living longer lives.

The people who are living longer owe their increased life expectancy to new technology and procedures. These procedures can be done in clinics and outpatient care facilities, as well as hospitals. Each facility needs a full staff, including nurses.

In the end, no one can firmly guarantee that any career is safe from layoffs and cutbacks. However, you can feel pretty secure as a nurse. You will have opportunities in operating rooms, pediatrics, oncology, physical therapy, and a number of other nursing specialties. As long as you're willing to be flexible, even the Bureau of Labor Statistics says, "Opportunities should be excellent, particularly for nurses with advanced education and training."

Learn More About Your Future Career as a Nurse:

Nursing Career Summary
Salary & Compensation
Day in the Life of…
Job Outlook
Typical Career Path
Medical Assisting as a Pathway to Nursing 
Profile of a Nurse
Nursing as Compared to Doctoring
Blood and Needles