If you’re looking for a career that’s filled with promise for long-term financial security, healthcare is where it’s at. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that wage and salary employment in the healthcare industry will grow by as much as 22% from 2006 to 2016 – or by about three million jobs nationwide. Of these job openings, which represent nearly 20% of the total number of jobs that will be added to the economy over this period, the lion’s share will go to nurses.The evidence of this job surge is already in place. A 2010 Talent Shortage Survey conducted by Manpower, has found that nursing positions are #3 in demand among all careers. Rest assured: as Baby Boomers continue to move out of the workforce (vacating jobs) and into hospice care, this trend will continue to rise sharply.
New Opportunities For Nursing Careers
As the shortage continues to develop, nurses (particularly experienced, well-trained nurses) will enjoy some of the safest, most recession-proof positions in the industry. When hospitals are short-staffed, they lose money as they unstaffed units close, experience a higher nurse turnover, and, according to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, an increase of as much as 31% in patient death. Due to these and other factors, hospitals are working harder than ever to attract qualified nurses to their facilities – and retain the ones they already have. For those studying in the nursing field who ambitiously seek to launch their career, the fruit has never been so ripe for picking. If you’re a candidate with strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, and the drive to overcome challenges, we recommend the following two-step path to launching your nursing career:
Step 1: Establish A Strong Base Of Experience In A Traditional Nursing Job
First thing’s first – get at least 12-18 months of experience in a traditional nursing position. Work as closely as you can with experienced nurses in your field, and build your knowledge and base of hands-on experience.Once you’re comfortable enough, it’s a good idea to try to “float” to different units within your facility, diversifying as much as possible. Exposing yourself to high-census units will help you get used to managing multiple assignments, staying organized, and prioritizing your efforts. Seeking a specialty certification is also key, and will bring you that hiring edge that makes you stand out among nursing applicants.
Step 2: Enrich Your Knowledge And Experience Through Travel Nursing
Once you’ve built up a marketable base of experience, one of the best ways to develop yourself as a professional is to move into a travel nursing job. This is a challenging opportunity that provides superior pay and benefits to individuals who are willing to work 13-week positions for hospitals across the nation. Along with providing a unique opportunity to visit locations throughout the United States, travel nursing careers expose professionals to a variety of practices, philosophies, and experiences that would not be possible in any other circumstances. An experienced travel nurse is valued by hospitals for being up-to-date in advancements within the practice, equipped with innovative solutions used by other facilities, and ready to adapt and cope with the unexpected.Travel nurses report a high level of job satisfaction, with a survey by Onward Healthcare showing that 97.7% would recommend the position to a colleague. Seasoned travel nurses appreciate the free housing or stipend that is often included with the position, as well as the health/medical insurance and travel reimbursement that goes hand-in-hand with the career. And while some younger travel nurses eventually settle down in a permanent position, travel nurses of all ages are common in the industry.