When it comes to job growth, healthcare comes out ahead. Job opportunities in healthcare are skyrocketing, and registered nurses (RNs) have some of the best job prospects of all.
The demand for RNs is strong, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can help RNs land the job they want. In fact, more employers, including hospitals, are now requiring a BSN.
Time and money have been common barriers to earning a BSN. But programs such as the RN to BSN online degree at the University of New Mexico (UNM) make it possible for RNs to earn their BSN while they continue working. RNs who choose to work in underserved areas or agencies may even be eligible for New Mexico's Loan-for-Service Program.
How Strong Is Healthcare Hiring in Nursing?
Healthcare occupations are adding more new jobs than any other occupational group. In all, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that healthcare occupations are expected to add about 2.4 million new jobs between 2016 and 2026.
This exploding job growth is due in large part to an aging population, which is creating a greater demand for healthcare services. A look at BLS projections for job growth overall and in healthcare demonstrates just how strong the healthcare job market is:
- The average job growth rate is 7 percent (all occupations).
- Healthcare has a job growth rate of 18 percent.
In 2018, according to HealthLeaders Media, healthcare accounted for 11 percent of all jobs. This translates to nearly 29,000 new jobs each month.
RNs share in the opportunities healthcare is creating. The BLS projects job growth of 15 percent for RNs, more than double the average job growth rate. This translates to almost three and a half million jobs for RNs by 2026.
What Are the Benefits of a BSN?
Registered Nurses (RNs) have one of the top-rated healthcare jobs. In a national ranking of the best healthcare jobs, RNs are #15. The strong job market for RNs is one of the top reasons for this. Earning a BSN helps prepare RNs to take advantage of the best job opportunities.
Three major benefits of earning a BSN include:
- Better Job Options
All RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) and have a nursing license. For a long time, an associate nursing degree was enough. But as demand for highly skilled nurses grows, a BSN is becoming the expectation. In fact, the BLS now lists a BSN as the typical entry-level education for RNs.
- Higher Salaries
The annual median wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations in general is $64,440. That wage jumps to $71,730 for RNs, over 80 percent higher than the annual wage for all occupations of $38,640. RNs at the high end earn more than $106,530. RegisteredNursing.org reports that RNs with a BSN will have higher earning potential.
- Career Advancement
Some of the highest-paying nursing careers require a graduate degree. For example, advanced practice nursing requires at least a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Earning a BSN now means RNs will be prepared to take that step when they are ready.
A career in nursing offers a wealth of opportunities and benefits. An RN to BSN, such as UNM's, can help RNs advance their education while they continue to gain valuable work experience. Together, a BSN and experience can pave the way to higher salaries, greater job options and career advancement.
Learn more about the UNM online RN to BSN program.
Sources:RegisteredNursing.org: About Us
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