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The Nursing Career Outlook for 2018

If you’re soon to graduate from nursing school or looking to change positions within the field, you may be asking yourself: Is nursing a good career for the long term?

The good news is: The general nursing job outlook in 2018 is definitely positive. 

Find out more about the nursing job outlook in 2018 and why now is a good time to start your nursing career.

Is Nursing A Good Career?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of registered nursing jobs available is expected to grow exponentially by about 15 percent by 2026. 

This is considered to be much faster than average when compared directly with other industries and jobs.

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The American Nursing Association agrees, stating that by 2022 “there will be far more registered nurse jobs available than any other profession."

What Are The Reasons For Such Rapid Growth?

Nursing jobs are available now more than ever before for several reasons.

  • An aging population
  • Financial pressure for hospitals to discharge patients as fast as possible, leading to more opportunities for specialized at-home care
  • Growing rates of chronic conditions among Americans, such as diabetes and obesity

ANA Health Economist Peter McMenamin believes job prospects are also good because many nurses are retiring in the coming years.

“There’s a big chunk of nurses who got their initial degree in the 70s," says McMenamin. "They represent 40 percent or more of employed nurses, and they can’t defer retirement forever."

That's going to put hospitals in an even bigger nursing shortage, making it a job hunter's market for new RNs. 

According to the ANA, with about half a million nurses expected to retire by 2022, more than a million positions may be open across the country.

Top Benefits Of Becoming A Nurse

Aside from a positive job outlook, a career in nursing offers many benefits, including:

  • High job flexibility: you can choose where you want to work and how often (full-time, part-time, evenings, nights, or PRN).
  • Strong personal satisfaction: It’s one of the most respected fields globally and allows individuals to make a career out of helping others.
  • The ability to travel: RNs with the right skills may have the opportunity to explore many cities across the United States or even the world via travel nursing jobs.
  • High salaries: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated the median pay for RNs at about $70k as of 2017.

When you consider these benefits and the positive projected nursing job outlook, it’s clear that now is a great time to explore a nursing career.

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