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Registered Nurse Job Outlook

related items: Licensed Practical Nurse Job Outlook, Nursing Aide Job Outlook

Registered nurse employment is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for most occupations. This growth will result primarily from technological advancements that permit a greater number of health problems to be treated; more emphasis on preventive care; and growing demand for healthcare services from the large, aging baby boomer population as they live longer and lead more active lives than previous generations. Traditional hospital settings, as well as in non-hospital settings, such as physicianís offices and home healthcare services, are expected to see faster than average growth in registered nurse employment.

Registered nurse job growth is expected to be much faster than average in outpatient care centers such as those that provide same-day chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and surgery. Also, the registered nursing job outlook in physician office settings is expected to be very favorable as the trend toward an increased number of procedures, as well as more sophisticated procedures, being done in physicians' offices rather than hospitals continues.

The financial pressure on hospitals to release patients as soon as possible should mean more people admitted to extended and long-term care facilities and greater need for home healthcare. With the baby boom generation growing older, there will be greater demand for extended care and home healthcare services which, in turn, will spur registered nurse job growth in these settings.

Further boosting the registered nurse job outlook is expected growth for services offered by facilities that provide long-term rehabilitation for head injury and stroke patients, as well as facilities that treat people with Alzheimer's disease and similar conditions (memory loss, dementia, etc).

Overall, registered nurse job opportunities are expected to be excellent. Employers in some parts of the country and in some employment settings already report difficulty in attracting and keeping enough registered nurses and this situation is expected to persist.

Even in hospitals, because of the relatively high turnover of hospital nurses, registered nurse job opportunities should be excellent. To attract and keep qualified nurses, hospitals may offer signing bonuses and special employment benefits and incentives.

In outpatient care centers and physicians' offices, registered nurses could see greater competition for positions since these jobs generally offer more predictable working hours and provide more comfortable working conditions than hospitals.

Generally, registered nurses with at least a bachelorís degree in nursing (BSN) will have better job prospects than those without one.

All four advanced practice registered nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse anesthetists) will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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