Workforce Data: February 2016
Healthcare Job Growth: Strong Start to New Year
The healthcare industry surge in new jobs continued in January, gaining 37,000 new jobs, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s a slight increase over the previous month, when healthcare gained 35,000 new jobs. But overall, the month’s total represents a continuous rise in healthcare employment that has been underway for years.
It’s a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projects for 2014-2024, released in December, showed that healthcare will add more than 5 million jobs and become the largest employment sector in the nation.
Most of the January increase occurred in hospitals, which gained 24,000 new jobs. In the 12 months since January 2015, healthcare has added 470,000 jobs, with about two-fifths of the growth occurring in hospitals.
Patient Disparity for Anesthesia Providers
If you’re a certified registered nurse anesthetist, you’re more likely to serve lower-income patients compared to an anesthesiologist. That’s according to a recent study in the nursing journal Nursing Economic$, entitled “Geographical Imbalance of Anesthesia Providers and its Impact on the Uninsured and Vulnerable Populations.”
The study found that 64% of anesthesiologists and 42% of CRNAs worked in counties with median household incomes in the top 75th percentile. However, in the lowest income counties, where the median income was less than the 25th percentile, you were much more likely to find a CRNA than an anesthesiologist. These areas also have higher percentages of people on Medicaid or without health insurance.
Experts note that CRNAs tend to work more in states with less-restrictive practice regulations—a factor that may become increasingly important in the future as more states explore opening up their regulations governing advanced practice nurses.
Nursing Career Paths: Where are they now?
One way to keep an eye on trends in the nursing workforce is to look at longitudinal data. That’s what the Oregon Center for Nursing did recently in a report that examined the “churn” in the state’s registered nurse workforce between 2011 and 2014.
The analysis, entitled “Where Are They Now? Retrospective Analyses of Oregon’s Nursing Workforce,” found some significant movement among the state’s nurses over the three-year period.
According to the report, 87% of the state’s 44,481 RNs licensed to practice in the state were practicing in the state in 2011, but only 76% were still practicing in 2014. As one might expect, higher percentages of older nurses exited the workforce, presumably with retirement in mind.
But some younger nurses left the workforce, too. The study noted that one out of every five licensed new grads had left the RN workforce by the end of the study. Newly licensed nurses who were granted their license to practice by examination were more likely to still be working in the state than newly licensed nurses who received their license by endorsement.