As the United States has experienced high unemployment levels, many nurses living and working in New Jersey have questioned what is to come for the profession. Those who are considering nursing school are also seeking answers. The main question asked by these professionals is whether the job outlook for nurses will remain positive in 2014. While it can seem that the job outlook is grim at first glance, this is not universally true.
Issues of Impact
Aging baby boomers and the expansion of easily accessible healthcare services will mean that more nurses than ever are needed in the United States. However, fewer nurses are retiring early or at the age of 65. In an interview led by the New Jersey State Nurses Association, Dr. Peter Buerhaus contributed this to the economic slowdown in the United States. He suggested that aging nurses, who would normally be supported by spouses who were still working, were remaining at work more frequently. Because many spouses have also lost their own careers, nurses are finding themselves responsible for supporting the family. As experienced Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses are often preferred, this has resulted in fewer jobs for new graduates. Until the economy recovers fully, this is likely to have a continuous impact on nursing in the state of New Jersey.
New Jersey Nursing Career Statistics
The statistics projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrate that many new nurses will be added to the healthcare industry. According to the Bureau, the total number of nurses employed in the United States is expected to rise by approximately 26 percent by 2020. While most Registered Nurses have traditionally worked in hospitals, this is expected to change, too. The Bureau also suggests that Registered Nurses will begin to find positions in long-term care facilities, outpatient care centers, and day treatment clinics like chemotherapy centers and day surgery clinics.
How Education Has Impacted the Job Outlook for Nurses
The preference for highly-educated, experienced Nurses has had a secondary impact on nursing in New Jersey. More often than ever, nurses need to ensure they have a high level of education in order to be awarded jobs. The New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing has suggested a lack of space within highly qualified baccalaureate degree programs for nurses. This has led to more competition for those entering nursing schools.
How the Struggling Economy Impacts Nursing
The economy continues to struggle in New Jersey, with unemployment rates reaching nearly 8.5 percent in September of 2013. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development released a report within the same month; it illustrated that, while the unemployment rate is significantly high, healthcare jobs are still increasing. While 8.5 percent is the lowest unemployment rate experienced by New Jersey between 2009 and 2013, jobs continue to be created for nurses. Nearly 2,800 new health service jobs had been added in New Jersey as of August, 2013.
Nursing Remains a Stable Career Choice in New Jersey
While there are significant challenges presented to those seeking nursing jobs in New Jersey in 2014, they are not insurmountable. With the projected addition of nearly 500,000 new nurses in the United States factored in, it is easy to see that nursing remains a safe, secure career choice. The aging population and the changing face of healthcare are all resulting in many new jobs for nurses. Nurses who are highly driven are likely to find they have better access to well-paying jobs.