The Demand for Nurses in the United States

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Nursing is a profession that has always been a consistent career choice. It is also an intensely competitive position in the world of medicine. In nursing schools all across America, there is a constant waiting list for who may and may not enter the nursing program. It can be seen that "nursing continues to be one of the most in-demand professions today" (Nurse.org Staff Writer). Because this is such a competitive job choice, several nursing schools have set a high standard of educational readiness. In the past, nursing was an important and necessary job that did not get the same amount of respect as other medical professions. Today, nursing has evolved into one of the most lucrative middle-class professions. The demand for nurses is so high that there is a large shortage of nurses positions across the united states. Studies show that "while fewer states project a shortage in supply, qualified nurses will always be an absolute necessity in our healthcare system" (Nurse.org Staff Writer). The need for nurses will always be present unless medical technology surpasses their expertise. Nursing is a well-respected job selection, but it can be more pleasant. Depending on the state, being a nurse in America can go from beneficial to incredible. The choices of where to become a nurse range "from the cost of living to lifestyle amenities to the number of nursing jobs available. There are a number of factors to consider when determining the best states for nurses to work and live" (Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom). If a future nurse is searching for a quality state to work in, these are the three best states to choose from.

Based on the statistics provided by California, it can be seen that the nurses working in this state live very positive lifestyles. California is also growing in popularity as a decent location to practice nursing. California also has one of the highest-growing populations among the fifty states. Studies have shown that "California is home to 300,000 actively licensed RNs, making nursing the single largest health profession in the state" (Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom). Nursing as a profession is in higher demand than other medical professions, such as doctors and physicians. Nursing requires a lower education level than a doctor, and they get paid much less than a standard licensed physician. Nursing also draws in an extremely diverse workforce. In fact, "the nursing workforce has grown more diverse. Non-white RNs accounted for almost half (48%) of employed nurses in 2015. However, compared to the state's population, Latinos were significantly underrepresented in the RN workforce, while Filipinos and whites were significantly overrepresented" (Tim Bates). There is no racial stigma behind this job position, based on the data presented above. California's large population is a contributing factor to its large group of ethnic diversity. Furthermore, "California's RN workforce relies on foreign-educated nurses. In 2015, about one in five employed RNs were trained outside the US" (Tim Bates). California has some high qualifications set in place for its nurses because of the high population of the state. These qualifications are so high that California finds it necessary to outsource its workforce. If a nurse is searching for the most competitive nursing programs, California is the state that caters to that nurse's need.

Texas is the second largest state in the united states of America. As a result of this dense population, it is no surprise that Texas has such a large nursing community. Still, Texas has much more to offer than a large number of nurses. For instance, "Texas travel nursing jobs are easy to come by as the state boasts world-class medical facilities, such as Houston Methodist Hospital, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, and Baylor University Medical Center" (Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom). These medical degree programs are some of the largest programs in the nation. In addition to that, these medical programs produce some of the best doctors, surgeons, and nurses from across the country. The housing industry in Texas is large enough to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of nurses that migrate into the state. It is projected that "there is an estimated three million-plus licensed Registered Nurses living in the US, with, roughly, 2.6 million- plus of those nurses currently employed. This translates to less than 1% of the population of the United States" (Payne, C). When a medical profession isolated in one state consumes 1% of the country's increasingly high population, that profession must be popular in that area. The nursing population in Texas is debatably more competitive than in California. Because of this great demand for a quality nursing career, studies have shown that "Texas nursing schools, in turn, were forced to turn away over 8,000 students in 2008 and another 11,217 qualified applicants in 2010, primarily due to lack of faculty" (Texas Nursing Workforce Coalition, 2009) (Texas Hospital Association, Apr. 2011). The phrase "lack of faculty" indicates that there is an issue with finding a nursing job in Texas. This is because a nursing job position is filled almost as soon as it is opened up.

New Jersey has long been overshadowed by states such as California and Texas. However, the state of New Jersey also has an incredible nursing program. Along with its great educational programs, New Jersey also has some of the highest-paid nurses in the country. Although strange, "according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2014, many of the New Jersey counties' wages are well above the national average wage. For example, nurses in 10 counties of New Jersey earned $1,035 above the national average (weekly) wage, and Somerset and Morris Counties earned $1,500 more. Atlantic County earned the largest wage increase at +7.0 percent, followed by Union County at + 4.5 percent" (Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom). With this high of a projected annual salary, many would believe that the nursing population in New Jersey should be large. However, studies show that "there are not enough faculty to educate all the nurses New Jersey needs to provide quality health care for the state's residents. As a result, qualified nursing students are being turned away" (Susan Reinhard). The pay for these nurses is so high because their jobs are so scarce. To be a nurse in New Jersey, a nursing student needs to have an impressive educational history. Statistics state that "in order to meet the projected future health care needs of the state, New Jersey needs to triple the annual number of nursing school graduates from 2000 per year to 6,000 per year" (Susan Reinhard). This number would call for an incredible measure of action from the New Jersey medical board. Apparently, New Jersey can only "afford" to hire the most qualified nurses for their nursing positions.

Depending on the state, nursing programs vary in how intensely they manage their nursing staff. The choice of where to work is ultimately up to the nursing students themselves. These students need to look at both the beneficial and negative aspects of each nursing-related state. Students need to remember that "with nursing jobs in high demand, you can benefit from the changing landscapes across the country, specifically in healthcare. The United States alone plans to add more than 382,000 nursing jobs in the next ten years" (Wendi Dusseault). With the current demand for nurses, 382,000 is not a large number. This figure shallows in comparison to the millions of nursing students across the united states. Essentially, the best nurses receive the best positions at the quality schools and medical facilities that they "qualify" for. No matter what part of the country a nurse is from, these nurses are still part of an incredibly competitive profession.

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The Demand for Nurses in the United States. (2023, Mar 08). Retrieved May 20, 2024 , from
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