2012 Nursing Career Outlook

While the economy still sputters, the career outlook for registered nurses continues to be bright. As the baby boomer generation continues to progress and retire, the demand on our healthcare system remains potent.

You are in control of your nursing career for 2012 and beyond.

For several years now, nursing has seen some of the largest percentages of growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But why? Here are just a few of the reasons careers for nurses continue to look bright:

1. Many nurses are retiring. The median age for employed nurses continues to rise, and this means more nurse career opportunities. As the older part of the nursing corps starts to retire, healthcare facilities will be scrambling to replace them with talented, qualified nurses.

2. An imbalance in supply and demand. The demand for nurses is growing so rapidly, many healthcare facilities simply cannot find enough qualified nurses to meet their needs.

3. Increased preventive care. Technical advances in patient care allow for a larger percentage of medical issues to be treated by doctors and nurses. Thus, there is a huge focus on preventive care for these now treatable conditions. Once again, the aging baby boomer population is expected to spur this growth quite rapidly.

What types of nurses are in highest demand?

While nursing demand in hospitals is expected to remain at its steady rate, there is expected to be an increased demand for the following types of nurses in 2012 and beyond:

– Outpatient facilities – As fewer procedures require inpatient hospitalization due to technology advancements, more outpatient facilities are cropping up – and needing nurses.

– Nursing care facilities – Again due largely to the aging boomer population, as well as medical advancements causing the elderly to live longer lives, employment in nursing care facilities is expected to rise dramatically.

– Home healthcare – As an increasing number of older adults function with functional disabilities, the number of home healthcare nurses is expected to rise.

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