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There was a time in history where our society thought of nurses as not much more than a secretary to doctors. With the recent surge of jobs in the nursing industry and nurses playing a sizable role in our country’s health care system, nursing has proven to be an integral, important and honorable career path.
Due to the rise in demand for care, attributed to the Affordable Care Act, nursing is now America’s largest health care profession. However, while the demand for nursing jobs rises steadily, there is an ever-growing gap between the available positions and the number of nursing professionals. Four of the leading nursing positions include Certified Nursing Assistants, Registered Nurses, Certified Nursing Midwives, and Nurse Anesthetics and Practitioners.
At a projected growth of 17% by 2024, Certified Nursing Assistants start out at an average yearly salary of just above $25,000. These positions typically consist of providing care to hospital patients or long term care facilities and require completion of a state-mandated nursing program.
The job duties of Registered Nurses include educating on health and safety and providing support and advise to patients. With a requirement of a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, this field is estimated to increase by 16% and brings an average salary of $66,000 per year.
Certified Nursing Midwives are also expected to have a powerful influx of job opportunities in the near future. This position requires a Bachelor’s degree and provides an average yearly salary of over $90,000 per year. Job duties unique to this position consist of prenatal and postpartum care, family planning, and pregnancy care.
An outstanding projected increase of 31% in the line of Nurse Anesthetics and Practitioners has current professionals struggling to meet the already high demand. Earning over $100,000 annually, this is the highest paid position in the nursing industry and requires a Master’s degree. This position centers on administering anesthesia and following up with patients after recovery.
According to Norwich University’s Online Master of Science in Nursing program, available nursing jobs will continue to increase by 3% each year for a total of 5.6 million openings by the year 2020. This surge is credited to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act from 2010. This program has provided 16.4 million Americans with health coverage, naturally increasing demand for nursing professionals. Currently, almost 2.9 million Registered Nurses are leading the industry, 63% of whom are employed at hospitals around the country.
Even more intriguing than this industry boom is the fact that nurses are saving more lives by invoking health screenings and routine preventative care practices. Preventative care not only saves on health care costs, but can also help patients to live longer by increasing the chance of identifying and treating illnesses in early stages. These methods are provided by nursing professionals and are of no cost to customers, which increases the probability of patients to seek these services and saving an estimated $61.9 billion yearly.
To learn more about the Affordable Care Act: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-law/read-the-law/
Bureau of Labor Statistics on Registered Nurses: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm