Nursing is doubtlessly among the most crucial lines of work in the nation’s economy. That being said, what does the future hold for the fate of the ever-important industry?
More trust, less funding
Over 81 percent of Americans say that nurses have a “high” or “very high” standard of ethics—making nursing one of the most trusted professions in the nation. They’re so trusted, in fact, that they’ve been ranked the US’s most trusted profession 11 years in a row.
Nurses may be trusted and beloved, but they’re also critically underfunded. Collegiate and graduate nursing programs have to reject up to 75 percent of all capable applicants per year due to lack of funding. If an applicant does get accepted into a nursing program, their education is still relatively costly. Community colleges charge thousands of dollars per semester to attend classes. If a nurse-in-training is thinking about attending a private college, their projected cost is much higher – around $35,000 per year.
Growing fast, but not meeting demand
Expect a surge of nurses to enter the workforce in the next few years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, nursing is one of the fastest growing professions in the country. It’s estimated that for every one physician in the workforce, there will be four nurses.
Although that number seems staggering, data suggests that there will continue to be a dramatic nursing shortage that will continue for at least a decade. By 2020, the National Center for Workforce Analysis suggests the nursing industry will be in need of at least 800,000 registered nurses.
One of the main causes of the nursing shortage is nursing’s aging workforce. Certain studies suggest that the majority of the nurses in the United States are over the age of 50. Around one million of said nurses are expected to retire within the next 10 to 15 years.
Higher education, higher pay
There’s a significant push in the nursing industry to earn a college degree. Most registered nurses have to earn a bachelor’s degree before being able to work in a hospital setting. There are still some positions in the healthcare industry that do not require their workers to have a degree or certification of any type, but those are becoming few and far between.
While going to nursing school may be costly, a nurse’s salary makes up for the investment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average registered nurse salary is approximately $68,450. Certain areas pay their nurses even better. California boasts the highest wages for RNs, with the average yearly wage clocking in at $98,400. That translates into roughly $47.31 an hour.
It turns out that the most trusted industry is also quickly becoming an understaffed, under-resourced one. If your nurse staffing company needs more capital to make payroll, purchase new equipment or any other business-related expense, contact us. We can help get your company the funding it needs.