All About Nursing Jobs in the U.S. – Comprehensive Guide

Nurses Standing Outside A Hospital

Overview on Nursing Jobs in the US

In the US, nursing is the largest healthcare profession totaling to more than 3.1 million registered nurses in the entire federation. Out of this number, 84.6% of this figure (2.6 million nurses) has jobs in the nursing sector. Registered nurses (RNs) form the largest chunk and they are among the highest paid vocation in the country. On the other hand, 58% of RNs work in surgical clinics and general medical hospitals while the rest are split among private hospitals and clinics, nursing agencies, and home care centers.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2012, nursing careers are expected to keep growing for the next decade. In this period, it estimated that the nursing industry will expand by 26%. Some of the nursing specialties will grow more but the overall average in all the major nursing occupations will see a 14% growth.

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The Best Nursing Jobs in the USA

Nursing is such a high profile career given the better pay and the prestige attached to its courses. However, there are vocations which are better than others. These differences are based on the amount of pay, working arrangements, the pressure of job and the overall working environment. So what are the 5 best nursing occupations in the country?

  • Travel Nursing
    This is one of the most favored choices by many nurses. Whether it is for the fun of giving services while traveling, the truth is that this is a career path worth trying. As opposed to the others, it is not under so much pressure since it is not every other time that travelers become sick. The other thing that makes it popular is that nurses do not have to be stationed in one place since they can move to where they are needed.
  • Neonatal Nursing
    This may not be a so popular nursing specialty but it ranks high in the chart of the best jobs. Indeed, less than 3% of the nursing fraternity has chosen this as their area of specialization. It pays relatively better than any other nursing field and this is a plus for those who want to make more. It is a high-pressure job but it requires passion and you will never find it a bad choice.
  • Nursing Informatics
    For those who enjoy working with data and communication, nursing informatics is a job worth considering. It uses new technology to store and retrieve information. It is a highly competitive career and those in it get favorable compensation and flexible working schedules. It is relatively new and its demand will keep growing for the foreseeable future.
  • Pediatric Nursing
    Working with infants is for those who enjoy the interaction with young children and the company of their parents. It is a rewarding career that is mostly attractive to female nurses. A survey by BLS in 2014 showed that the demand for pediatrics will grow by at least 14% in 2o15 through to 2016.
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
    A high demand occupation, medical-surgical nursing is one of the most sought specialties by nurses who want to get jobs soon. They work in conjunction with surgeons and other physicians during complicated operations. It is a high-pressure job but at the end of the day, your compensation will be adequate to overlook what you have to go through every day.

The Best and Worst States for Nursing Jobs

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Nursing jobs in Hawaii, Kansas, California, North Dakota, and Rhode Island are the best in the country in terms of remuneration, social welfare, and general working environment. On the other hand, nursing jobs in Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Georgia are the worst in terms of payment, working environment and the social welfare of employees.

Best Industries to Work as a Nurse

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You may not just want to work in any environment for the love of your profession. There are industries where you will get fair treatment and this is where every nurse wants to work. Over 55% of the nursing workforce has found jobs in these industries and you would wish to know them:

  • General medical institutions: this is where most of the nursing professionals work. Over 58% of American nurses work in general medical institutions. They are paid well and there is the flexibility of duties. It is one of the best starting grounds for new trainees as it exposes them to early challenges that are important to growing their career in the right direction.
  • Homecare centers: children, the old and those with special needs are taken to home care centers. A good number of nurses find jobs here and it is not as stressful as in other high-pressure environments.
  • Private clinics and hospitals: the private sector employs close to 20% of the entire nursing workforce in the U.S. Their terms are competitive and rewarding and that is why professionals find it easy to dodge the public sector and opt for the private practice.
  • Nursing agencies: these are umbrella organizations which bring together an array of nursing practitioners. Jobs are collectively sourced and it easy to work here since there is a network already established.
  • Family nursing practice: there are those who decide to go solo in their practice. They approach homes and source patients on their own. They encourage families and individuals to subscribe to their services. Less than 5% of nurses in the U.S. have embraced this practice.

Outlook of Nursing Jobs

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In the decade running from 2012 to 2022, BLS predicts that nursing jobs will grow by a margin of 26%. There are more openings for new nurses and that is why there is a lot of focus to encourage students to choose nursing courses. According to the U.S. department of labor, there was a shortage of 116,000 nurses in the USA in 2008. By 2025, the shortage is expected to rise to 500,000. In 2016, the labor department estimates that close to 1 million nurses should be trained if there are any chances to cover on the shortage. This is approximately 40% of the current nursing workforce in the entire federation. In summary, there is a bright future for those who want to become nurses in the country. Better chances are in the states of Hawaii, California, Kansas and Massachusetts.

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