The Outlook for Nurse Employment in America in 2013

It’s the $64,000 question. What is happening with the job market for nursing in the United States?

Staff Nurses

According to Salary.com, staff nurses can make an average of about $66,500 per year. Per O*Net (which is run under the auspices of the United States Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration), there are over 2.7 million staff nurses in America, and projected growth for his decade is predicted to be faster than average (20% to 28%), while there are to be about 1.2 million projected job openings.

Thumbs up for nurse employment outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing job growth in the next decade will zoom past overall expected growth (about 14%), as outpatient centers in particular are expected to need RNs.

Let’s look at the nursing jobs outlook in Texas. According to the Houston Chronicle, the huge number of nursing schools that are going online bodes well for the future of the profession. Online classes are more convenient, so students can change careers more readily. Furthermore, the field is both stable – e. g. if nurses are happy where they are working, they often do not change permanent jobs – and personally fulfilling. Per O*Net, nursing trends in Texas are even more favorable than they are in many other parts of the country. The percentage of projected growth in the Lone Star State is 32%! Salary.com notes that salaries in Houston are keeping pace with the national average.

Licensed Practical Nurses

LPNs, according to Salary.com, can make an average of just under $42,000 per year. O*Net puts job growth at a faster than average clip, between about 20% and 28%. There are some 750,000 Licensed Practical Nurses in America; just fewer than 370,000 new openings are projected for the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects growth in openings in residential care facilities and assisted living centers as the population ages.

A review of projected nursing jobs in Florida shows trends for salaries that are comparable to the national average and openings that are comparable to the overall countrywide projections. O*Net indicates that Florida will likely be #9 overall when it comes to LPN job growth in the next decade. Salary.com notes that, currently, LPNs in Florida earn about the national average.

Certified Nursing Assistants

Certified Nurse Assistants, per Salary.com, earn, on average, about $29,000 annually. O*Net indicates that job growth for the next decade will be faster than the overall average, at a rate of 20% to 28%. There are about 1.5 million CNAs in the United States, and around 495,000 openings are expected over the course of the next decade. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cautions that growth in this area might be hampered by many nursing homes’ reliance on government funding, which tends to not keep up with the costs of patient care.

A look at trending CNA jobs in Utah shows that, per O*Net, the highest growth is expected in that state in the next decade. Salary.com provides an average of Salt Lake City Certified Nurse Assistant pay of just under $28,000, or a bit lower than the national average.

Overall Outlook

All quoted figures are apparently for permanent nursing jobs; Salary.com, O*Net and the Bureau of Labor Statistics do not seem to cover travel nursing or per diem nursing trends or salaries.

O*Net offers the following comparison of these professions:

United States Employment Percent Change Job Openings
2010 2012
Registered Nurses

2,737,400

3,449,300

+26%

120,740

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 752,300 920,800 +22% 36,920
Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants 1,505,300 1,807,200 +20% 49,610

As can be readily seen from a review of the table, Nursing Aides (e. g. Certified Nursing Assistants) will likely have the lowest percentage in job growth whereas LPNs will have the least number of openings. Staff nurses (Registered Nurses), however, are projected to lead the way in both growth percentage and number of job openings.
In the next decade, it pays to be a nurse and, in particular, it really pays to be a Registered Nurse.

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It’s nice to know that there’s a future for Nurses. I’m preparing for NCLEX and looking forward to pass this exam. Your post encourage me more to work hard in getting license.