Opportunities for nurses have increased steadily throughout recent years, and projections for the nursing industry continue to remain strong. Factors such as an aging population of Baby Boomers and an increase in chronic illnesses will result in an ongoing need for nurses in long-term care facilities. These facilities will also see an uptick in residents as hospitals aim to discharge patients quickly to admit more people in need of acute care.
Moreover, staffing challenges are prevalent across virtually all nursing homes. These facilities simply can’t grow their workforce quickly enough to keep pace with increasing demands, and many are going to great lengths to attract nurses. From sign-on bonuses to opportunities for continuing education, their recruiting efforts are a strong indication of just how vast the job opportunities for nurses are.
While the outlook for nursing careers in general looks good, there is some variation among specific nursing titles. Here’s a look at the anticipated growth across individual roles for the coming years.
CNA Job Outlook
Employment for certified nursing assistants (CNAs) is expected to grow 8% through 2029, twice as fast as the national average for all jobs. Roughly 174,000 new positions for CNAs are projected to open up every year through the decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
CNAs can rest assured that they won’t have to look far for career opportunities. Because of the nursing shortage in the U.S., careers in nursing are quite stable. This means that if you work as a CNA and decide later to advance in your nursing career, your job prospects will likely be promising.
LPN Job Outlook
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) show the most promising growth of all the specialties listed here, with careers expected to increase 9% through 2029. The best job prospects for these professionals is in Nursing Care Facilities, with more than one-third of all job openings expected to open up in these settings.
An aging workforce will be a particularly strong driver for increased opportunities for LPNs. In 2017, the average age of LPNs was 52—a year older than the average age in 2015. The percentage of nurses aged 65 or older grew from 9.9% in 2015 to 13.2% in 2017, which is double the increase of RNs of the same age and a clear indication of the need for a younger workforce.
RN Job Outlook
Registered nurses (RNs) have the slowest projected growth of all the titles listed here, but job growth is still expected to accelerate at a faster rate than the national average, at 7%. A growing number of RNs will likely exit the workforce to retire over the next decade.
There will be a call for more RNs to fill these positions, with more than 175,000 jobs opening up each year. As with the other nursing careers, jobs for RNs are likely to be strong in long-term care facilities and other outpatient settings, especially those that provide specialty care for populations such as Alzheimer’s patients.
No matter which of these titles you hold (or even if you’re a physician assistant), being a nurse will allow you a considerable degree of job security, as well as the ability to be somewhat selective about your career prospects. In such a hot job market, it’s worthwhile to find the best possible career fit from the start.
Mutual Nursing can help you secure a career that fits your life—not the other way around. By putting the nurse’s needs first, we allow you to find the right match so you can settle into a rewarding and fulfilling career.