The healthcare industry is reaching the threshold of its limits. Staff shortages are causing a number of problems for patients, ranging from longer wait times all the way to a higher rate of in-hospital mortality. Yes friends, the demand for high quality care is always increasing, which means more facilities, more clinics, more doctors, and of course, more nurses will be needed. Today we’re going to take a look at the nursing industry, and why it’s in such high demand these days. Let’s begin.
An Aging Population
People who were born during the post-World War II baby boom from 1946 to 1964 will be 70 or older by 2030, which means that nearly 20% of the U.S. population will be at retirement age at that time. This large group of individuals will no doubt be seeking preventative care and treatment for a number of existing conditions, which may put a strain on our healthcare industry.
As of the present, the healthcare industry is preparing for the aging baby boomer population by building additional facilities and clinics, which will need to be staffed. If you’re currently studying to be a nurse or you’re new to the industry, you’ll be able to take advantage of the job “boom” (see what I did there?) that will occur in the coming years.
Nurses Leaving the Workforce
Another phenomenon that is taking place is the mass exodus of nurses from the workforce. Along with the aging baby boomer population, this will have a major impact on the healthcare industry, and will further increase the demand for nurses by 2030. So, why are all these nurses abruptly leaving the workforce? There are actually two reasons.
Firstly, the nursing shortage is causing unprecedented burnout among nurses. Nurses who are experiencing decreased job satisfaction, along with increased stress due to staff shortages are leaving the industry at an alarming rate. But wait—that’s not the only problem! Many experienced nurses are also approaching retirement age, which means a large number will be leaving the workforce by 2035. This means there will be a whole lot of job openings in the near future.
Way back in 2010, the Affordable Care Act was put into action. The purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to provide uninsured American citizens with access to high quality, affordable health insurance. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement announcing that a record 31 million Americans had acquired healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
Of course, all those people who are finally gaining access to healthcare will now require…ehem…healthcare. Ultimately, with more Americans having access to health insurance, the demand for nurses in medical facilities and clinics will continue to increase over time. If you’re looking at a future career in nursing, that’s good news for you!
A Changing Industry
New requirements and technological advancements are contributing to the evolution of nursing. For starters, only about half of current registered nurses possess a bachelor’s or master’s degree. In order to meet current and future demands, the number of nurses with either of those degrees, or even doctorate degrees, must increase. This bodes especially well for those currently enrolled in school, as they will quickly distinguish themselves from about half of the talent pool upon graduation.
We’re no strangers to the wonders of technological advancements. Well, maybe I am, but that’s my journey. These new and constantly emerging technologies demand that nurses are well trained, and remain updated on how to operate modern medical devices and electronic systems. Recent graduates will be on the cutting-edge of such technologies, which will provide them with a wide variety of career options.
It’s also worth mentioning that specialized nurses are always in high demand. This includes specific job types such as Certified Case Managers, Certified Dialysis Nurses, and Certified Nursing Anesthetists. For a list of the highest paying jobs in nursing, you can check out our previous blog here.
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