Demand for Nurses Increases in 2019


Demand for Nurses Increases in 2019

By Alana Luna, Contributor

It’s no secret that the nursing profession is experiencing exponential growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ collection of nursing statistics predicts the job outlook for registered nurses to rise by 15 percent between 2016 and 2026. That’s more than double the 7 percent estimated growth rate expected across all occupations. The same nursing statistic for LPNs sits at a still-impressive 12 percent.

Across the board, nurses are in for a promising 365 days. 

The nurse demand in 2019 extends to nurse instructors

The nationwide nursing shortage continues to cause problems. As nursing schools struggle to staff classrooms, applicants are forced onto waiting lists and graduation numbers continue to drop. With fewer new graduates entering the workforce and experienced nurses declining to put off well-earned retirement, healthcare facilities are anxiously trying to plug gaps in staffing.

While the situation is no doubt frustrating for students eager to launch their career, it also creates an opening for aspiring nurse educators. For nurses tired of 12-hour shifts and irregular schedules, 2019 is an excellent time to make the switch from direct care to teaching.

Nurse shortages means taking on more 

In regions where doctors are increasingly scarce, nurse practitioners are stepping in to pick up the slack. In 2010, there are about 226,000 doctors and 59,000 nurse practitioners providing primary care services in the United States. By 2016, the number of PCPs had dropped by nearly 20,000 while the number of nurse practitioners grew to a whopping 123,000. There simply aren’t enough doctors specializing in primary care, and underserved communities are relying on nurse practitioners for everything from diagnosing the flu to managing chronic diseases.

Those considering a career as an NP stand to make an average annual salary of just under $121,000. Given that the demand for nurses shows no signs of slowing this year or indeed anytime soon, entering the nursing workforce as a primary care NP could be a phenomenal way to ensure long-term job security.

Competition is a positive for the nursing workforce

If you’ve ever wanted to explore travel or per diem nursing, consider choosing 2019 as your year to pick up and go. To combat the ongoing nurse shortage, hospitals are turning to contingency workers to help maintain standard of care. As part of their strategy to attract talent, these facilities are offering up everything from flexible scheduling to housing stipends to assignment-completion bonuses.

According to the Pew Research Center, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and the worldwide prevalence of chronic disease is set to rise 57 percent by 2020. Expert healthcare professionals are needed now more than ever, making it very likely that 2019 will indeed be the year of the nurse. 

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