The nursing field has gone through a significant amount of change over the last several decades. From technological advances in the medical field to health care reform, the role of the nurse looks much different from what it was 50 years ago. However, nursing remains a thriving career choice that presents great opportunities for personal and professional growth.
While significant health care reform over the last decade has resulted in a major shift from illness treatment to preventive and maintenance medicine, nursing professionals remain in high demand. In fact, some sources suggest that the job market is actually on the rise.
"Nearly 25% of hospitals reported job vacancies of more than 10%."
An increase in demand
Though a job search can be a long process for even the most experienced of candidates, a recent survey by nursing recruitment and retention consultant business NSI Nursing Solutions, Inc. suggested that the job market is heating up for nurses. Based on information gathered from 141 facilities across the nation, the study found that nearly a quarter of hospitals reported job vacancies of more than 10 percent. This is a significant increase from 2012 when the number was only 5 percent.
"Demand is better than it has been in a long time," Dale Beatty, chief nursing officer at the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, told Nurse.com. "This is a great time to be a nurse, even the best time, with the interdisciplinary collaboration and more new roles being developed than ever before."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics echoes the study's results, projecting that between 2012 and 2022 the employment market for nurses will grow by 19 percent. The rate is faster than average when compared to the estimates for other fields during the same period. The organization expects that employment will increase by a total of 526,800 jobs over these 10 years.
Expectations for the future
While projections are bright for the future of employment in the nursing field, these positions may not be the traditional hospital role that many newly registered nurses expect to land when they complete their training. In a blog post for American Nurse Today, Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, who is the author of several books on nursing, reported that nursing job market has permanently shifted. As health care moves from illness treatment into a model that is primarily focused on disease prevention and maintenance, the traditional position in the hospital setting will become less common.
"What many experienced and new nurses don't realize is that traditional bedside hospital jobs are decreasing as hospitals across the country close inpatient units and convert that space into primary and ambulatory care," Cardillo wrote.
She reported that the bottom line is that nurses need to look for opportunities outside of the traditional hospital setting. From rehab centers to home care placements, nurses will still be able to provide their patients with quality care. It may just look different than what has been expected of a nurse in the past.