U.S. Nursing Job Forecast
By: Noel D. De Ocampo, MSN/ED, RN
Despite the economic downturn causing many U.S. businesses and government sectors to reduce their workforce, the health care sector remains on a positive trend and continues to hire more employees. According to the US Employment Situation Report (better known as “Jobs Report”) released on March 12, 2010, the health care sector created 280,000 jobs since February 2009, led by growth in ambulatory care services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in its “Career Guide to Industries, 2010-2011 Edition”, forecasts that the sector will generate 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2018. This is more job growth than any industry, mainly due to rapid increase in the elderly population. If a third of these new jobs are for registered nurses, that is a staggering 1 million jobs in less than ten years.
The US economy is experiencing many challenges at this time. It remains to be seen how fast or slow the economic recovery will be. Even some hospitals and health care organizations are experiencing the brunt of this problem due to decrease in revenue as government reimbursement was affected, as well as the number of people with health insurance is becoming lower due to loss of employment and employer’s inability to continue providing this benefit. But even in this challenging times, nurses remain to be vigilant and hoping that conditions will improve much more in the future.
The Philippines still produce many nurses every year. Although enrollment is trending down, many young Filipinos still consider nursing as a better profession to choose due to the known need for nurses not only in the US, but also in many other industrialized countries. It may not be such a bad idea to encourage younger generation of Filipinos to become nurses, but it is imperative that a thorough review of nursing curriculums and programs, particularly of those that are underperforming in the national nursing licensure examinations be acted upon in order to ensure that future students receive the highest quality nursing education. This will also ensure that Filipino nurses remain competitive in the increasing globalization of the nursing job market.
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