(Content sponsored by Drexel University Online)
New market trends show that nurses across the country will need flexible, high-level degrees to stay competitive
With studies projecting that 44 states and Washington, D.C., will have nurse shortages by the year 2020, employers expect an increase in demand for nurses holding high-level nursing degrees. Flexible online nursing programs like those offered by Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions are anticipating this seismic transformation by offering top-ranked online degrees to leading nurses across the country.
These new developments not only require students with education from top nursing programs, but also indicate a shift in where the best nursing opportunities are.
Top-paying nurse markets and cost of living
The rise in nursing salaries across the country can be contributed to a variety of factors, but an individual nurse’s specialization and level of education also can play a major role.
Unsurprisingly, many of the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and others — employ the most nurses, but it’s actually San Francisco, with an average nurse wage of more than $127,000, that pays the most. In fact, nearly all of the top-paying nurse markets are in California. However, with the state’s high cost of living, California nurses may not experience the same economic benefits as nurses in other parts of the country.
By factoring in cost of living, Drexel University’s online nursing program has discovered that nurses in Michigan and Idaho — places where the cost of living is low and the average nurse salary comparatively high — fare best. Thankfully, no matter where nurses live, they can obtain a nationally-renowned BSN, MSN or DNP online from Drexel University.
Specialization and employment
While 63.2% of all nurses still work in general healthcare institutions, the demand for specialized nurses in other healthcare environments is on the rise. More than 178,000 nurses now work in physician offices, while an almost identical nearly 167,000 work in home healthcare. A similar number of nurses now work in nursing homes and outpatient centers.
The more startling statistics may be how few nurses in these facilities are RNs. Just 29.2% of healthcare employees in general medical or surgical hospitals are RNs, 7.4% in physician offices, 13.8% in home health services, 8.6% in nursing care centers and 15.2% in outpatient centers.
These statistics suggest that more nurses are obtaining specialized bachelor’s and graduate degrees. Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions subsequently offers an array of specialized online graduate programs for ambitious nurses seeking leadership roles. Drexel currently offers 13 specialized MSN degrees alone, including a master’s degree program in Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Innovation, Health Systems Management and more.
Projected occupational growth and the need for more nurses
Over the next four years, studies project a 17% decline in the number of licensed nurses. At the same time, the U.S. population is expected to grow by 18%, meaning more people requiring healthcare. Most notably, Maryland, the fifth-highest paying state for BSN-educated nurses, expects a major decline in nurse population.
It’s no secret that hospitals and other major providers need nurses with strong educational backgrounds to care for patients and manage healthcare environments. Nearly half of all healthcare settings — more than 43% — require a BSN or higher for nurses. Research shows that 78.6% of all healthcare employers also prefer nurses with a BSN or higher.
The result is a nursing outlook full of growth and high demand, but also rising educational requirements to stay on the forefront of nursing care. To learn more about how a top-ranked nursing degree can cement your place in the future of nursing, visit Online.Drexel.Edu/nursing.
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