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A Look at the Future of Nursing and Healthcare

by South University
February 21, 2012 Welcome to the second installment in our blog series taking a look at the future of some the occupat

Welcome to the second installment in our blog series taking a look at the future of some the occupational fields you’ll find here at South University Online Programs. Today, we’re going to be looking at some trends and career outlooks in Nursing.

Healthcare related fields, including nursing, are undergoing a lot of changes as new laws and regulations take effect and the population ages. These changes are creating a need for nurses as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that nearly 600,000 new jobs for registered nurses will be created by 2018.

The BLS projects that:

“Overall job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting. Some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs. Employment of RNs is expected to grow much faster than the average and, because the occupation is very large, 581,500 new jobs will result, among the largest number of new jobs for any occupation. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of job openings will result from the need to replace experienced nurses who leave the occupation.”

As far as the healthcare industry in general, according to an article in, a popular job search site:

“Indeed, healthcare is still a rare bright spot in a job market that can't get out of first gear. Jobs in healthcare rose to 14.19 million in October 2011 from 13.88 million a year earlier, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Hospital jobs increased by 84,000 over the period, but ambulatory services -- physician offices, outpatient clinics and home health agencies -- stole the show, adding more than 173,000 positions.”

As we mentioned earlier, changes to the healthcare industry, such as health care reform will also have a major impact on career prospects for nurses. According to the publication

“Health care reform may also have the effect of opening up more jobs in nursing in the future. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act, voted into law in 2010, is expected to result in the need for many more nurses to care for the expected 30-plus million people who will be added to the insurance rolls.

Additionally, many are calling for advanced practice nurses to provide primary care and fill the gaps left by a shortage of primary care physicians.”

In short, nursing and the field of healthcare are continuing to grow. There are a lot of great resources out there for you to explore, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics nursing page, the American Nursing Association and, among others.

Stay tuned for part 3 of our series looking at the future of our areas of study with a look at the field of Criminal Justice.

Tags: career series nursing healthcare

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