Nursing has been one of the most valuable and rewarding careers for decades and data indicates that it will continue to be in high demand for decades to come. Nursing is a rewarding career that lets you help your fellow man while making a very good salary and is perfect if you love to help people and are compassionate and caring. There are many reasons why nursing is the perfect career today and they include demand, population, and salary.
Demand is at an all-time high for nurses right now because the population is growing older and the Baby Boomer generation is getting ready for retirement. There are over 2.5 million Registered Nurses (RNs) in the United States today but it’s still not enough to fill all of the positions needed around the country. Nurses are needed in long-term care centers, clinics, doctor’s offices, schools, the military, and surgery centers just to name a handful of opportunities.
The high demand applies to all types of nurse but licensed practicing nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) will be needed the most.
The population is living longer thanks to medical advances so there are many more senior citizens now than there were 20 years ago. These seniors need more medical care than those younger than them so more and more nurses will be needed to help provide the special care that they need. As the Baby Boomer’s begin to retire, a large portion of the nursing workforce will retire with them with the bulk retiring in the next 10 to 15 years. This is going to increase the demand for nurses even more.
As people have babies and raise families, every child will have to see a nurse dozens of times before they reach the age of 18. These children are going to need shots and check-ups and nurses take on a majority of this work. Children and teenagers are also more prone to injuries such as broken bones and scrapes and usually will need to be treated a few times for mild illnesses and infections.
While nursing is a personally fulfilling career, salary is still extremely important. In 2004, the average annual income for an RN was around $53,000 and the average annual income for an LPN was $39,000. Nurses will continually get raises over time and can be expected to work extra shifts and get overtime so the real figures are probably a bit higher than this. The average starting salary for an entry-level RN is about $45,000. Specialized nurses such as a Nurse practitioner can earn over $75,000 per year and higher.
The demand for nurses will continue to rise for a very long time. Each year more and more private practices, clinics, hospitals, and care facilities open and need to hire many nurses. This gives the prospective nurse an enormous amount of opportunities and even an entry level nurse can choose from a staggering amount of facilities across the country that need them and will pay very well.