For years, hospitals all over United States have experienced a shortage in nurses, nurse administrators, nurse managers and nurse practitioners. Unfortunately, shortage doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
According to a report by Health Resources and Services Administration, 30 states currently have shortages of registered nurses (RNs). The shortage is expected to intensify over next two decades, with 44 states expected to have RN shortages by year 2020. Furthermore, demand for nurses in 2012 is expected to be 2.9 million, up from 2.3 million that were needed in 2003.
There has never been a more appropriate time to pursue a career in nursing in United States. The total job openings, including new jobs and replacing nurses who no longer are practicing, will be more than 1.1 million from 2002 to 2012.
The main reasons for high demand of nurses in this country include an 18 percent growth in population, an aging, health-obsessed baby boomer population, and extended lifespans. According to a report released in May of 2001 by Nursing Institute at University of Illinois College of Nursing, ratio of potential caregivers to people most likely to need care—the elderly population—will decrease by 40 percent between 2010 and 2030.
The problem is one of simple supply and demand. Demand for nurses will grow by 40 percent by year 2020, while supply of nurses will increase by only 6 percent over same period. The aging population of nurses in this country is another factor. The median age of nurses continues to increase, and a large wave of retirements is unavoidable.
In August of 2002, Nursing Reinvestment Act of 2002 was signed by President Bush to address problem of our nation’s nursing shortage. It was intended to promote people to enter and remain in nursing careers, thus helping to lighten growing nursing shortage. The law establishes scholarships, loan repayments, public service announcements, retention grants, career ladders, geriatric training grants and loan cancellation for nursing faculty. Funding for these programs is provided through 2007 by law.
To address growing needs of today’s population, at least one college in particular is offering both undergraduate and graduate degrees to motivated individuals interested in nursing/healthcare arena. Founded in 1976, University of Phoenix is one of original accredited universities to offer online college education with complete degree programs by use of Internet. It is nation’s largest accredited university, with over 17,000 highly qualified instructors, 170 campuses and Internet delivery worldwide.
University of Phoenix offers two Nursing/Health Care undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN license required) and Bachelor of Science in Health Care Services (BCHCS). The graduate degrees in same field are: Master of Science in Nursing (RN license required), Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner (RN license required) and Master of Science in Nursing/MBA/Health Care Management (RN license required).
“The nursing shortage in this country is a major problem, but there are some pluses to dilemma,” said Barbara Sanner, Arizona Marketing Manager for University of Phoenix. “One of benefits to shortage is that you can virtually write your own ticket, meaning that you can work anywhere in country, in any environment and job pays well.” Typically, starting registered nurses earn salaries in $40,000+ range.