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Here’s Why Nursing Is the Most In-Demand Job for 2016

The world needs more and more new nurses, which is one reason why nursing is the most in-demand job in 2016.Nurses have always been in high demand. For hundreds of years nursing has played a key role in healthcare in the U.S. and abroad, supporting physicians, providing life-saving care, and advocating for patients in hospitals and legislatures. As the state of healthcare changes, the demand for nurses is only increasing.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine predicted that nursing would expand its scope, and nurses would emerge as more than essential support staff. They would become primary physicians in many areas and regions, meeting the growing needs of a growing population. A new report released this month confirmed that prediction, citing nursing as the most in-demand job in 2016. Although the demand for nurses will differ depending our region, overall we’re not surprised by this news. Here are a few factors influencing the demand for new nurses.

Nursing has become more critical in healthcare

More and more, when people think of nurses, they envision women and men directly serving (and saving) patients. The image of someone in scrubs, standing behind doctors and awaiting instructions, has mostly dispelled — for good reason. It was never accurate. Since their beginning, nurses have served patients directly, and that’s becoming truer as the U.S. faces a new shortage of primary care physicians.

The population of America has increased and aged significantly in the last decade. Healthcare is racing to keep up with the higher demand for physicians. Older Americans face many chronic illnesses, most of which require regular medical attention; many will need surgeries. The Association of American Medical Colleges expect a shortage of 90,000 doctors by 2025. Even if that need is met, other medical professionals, like nurses, will have to fill in the gaps.

Many states with large, rural areas have legally granted more autonomy to nurse practitioners. Legislators understand that few doctors can operate practices in certain counties — but nurse practitioners can serve as those populations’ primary care physicians. Even in hospitals and urban areas, nurses have gained more responsibilities in certain states. Many can prescribe medication, diagnose illnesses, and sign death certificates. Through higher autonomy nurses can serve more people and relieve more doctors.

Related Resource: These Are the Best States to Work As a Nurse Practitioner

The U.S. faces a nursing shortage

The classic economic model of supply and demand affects nursing too. Many nurses are among the 78 million Baby Boomers nearing retirement, with more than half of all registered nurses over the age of 50. When older nurses retire, they will need younger nurses to fill their ranks and, eventually,  to care for them.

Nursing has for decades attracted a certain kind of person. Nurses have to be intelligent, diligent, no-nonsense, and compassionate. These are incredible traits, and also rare. A lower supply of these attributes means qualified nursing candidates are in high demand too. The best nurses are people who want to make more than a paycheck in life: They want to make a difference. Nursing makes a huge impact on lives and healthcare as a whole. It just needs more women and men ready to learn and serve.

Related Resource: 8 Signs You’re Already Thinking Like a Nurse

There’s a high demand for nursing schools, too

Despite the growing number of retiring nurses, nursing schools can’t replace them fast enough. In 2014, U.S. nursing schools had to turn away 69,000 qualified applicants. Some of these men and women were put on wait lists. Others received a simple rejection letter, despite the fact that they would likely make wonderful nurses. Unfortunately, schools and clinical sites lack the space for many qualified candidates.

The reasons why are simple. Nursing students require more room and materials than people studying history or accounting. They need labs, clinical rotations, and hands-on teachers. In addition to more nurses, America needs more nursing instructors to help meet this growing demand.

Related Resource: The Best Advice for Applying to Nursing School Again

At Ameritech, we created and expanded our nursing curricula to meet these growing needs in healthcare. We’re nurses teaching nurses, so we know the importance of this profession. We never put qualified candidates on wait lists, and we work alongside our students to ensure they’re prepared for their future careers. Our RN-BSN degree completion program and partnerships with other schools were made to help meet the future needs of nurses — and the population as a whole.

To learn more about our pre-licensure nursing program in Utah and online RN-BSN program, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to talk with you more about the benefits of becoming a nurse or advancing your skills as a working nurse.

Here’s Why Nursing Is the Most In-Demand Job for 2016