The largest group of health care professionals…and growing
RN Nurses belong to the largest group of health care professionals in the US today. In 2008 there existed 2.6 million nursing jobs in the US. 60 % of this number was employed in hospitals while various smaller health care and health education facilities accounted for the rest. The nursing profession is divided into many specializations, each classified according to the branch of medicine to which they belong and the type of service that is required of the nurse.
Types of Nursing Care
You may for instance have RN nurses trained especially to care for the elderly. Within this capacity, a nurse may give primary health care, nursing care, drug administration care and specialty care.
Primary health care refers to the advice and services given for initial check-ups and health problems. While this form of health care is usually associated with doctors, RN nurses may also dispose of these functions within their scope of competence.
Nursing care refers to overseeing the implementation of the physician’s directives. In this capacity, RN nurses may provide psychiatric care for mentally disturbed people. This category also includes caring for women in their pre-natal stage and after they give birth.
RN nurses may also take care of administering drugs to patients in accordance with the prescription of the attending physician.
Specialty care denotes the services rendered by nurses within their field of specialization. As such we have nurses who provide geriatric care for old people, cardiac care for people affected with heart ailments, and so on.
What are the prospects for RN nurses?
Because of the many areas of medical concern that nurses serve and the above-mentioned types of nursing services, the number of possible jobs for a nurse will be the number of fields of Medical Science multiplied by the number of service types. Obviously, the opportunities are ideally inexhaustible, considering that world population is growing in numbers, if not in terms of birth rate.
Facts about US population
Today, the batch of people in the US between age of 46 to 65 belong to that special group called “boom babies” who were born between 1947 and 1964, immediately after World War II. This period is characterized by a high birth rate percentage, peaking at 2 % in 1950 and fluctuating down to 1.4 in 1964. Since then the birth rate has dropped to below 1 %.
The “boom babies” represent a dramatic rise in the population. It is anticipated that as the people belonging to this batch age, the need for geriatric nursing care will constantly rise. If we were to consider the youngest individuals in the group (aged 45), we would expect the need for geriatric nursing care to up for the next 35 or 40 years. And considering that elderly patients may have other problems besides their old age to contend with, we should anticipate the over-all need for nurses to rise within that period.
What about the Recession?
The nursing profession has not remained unaffected by the economic crisis in the sense that a great number of lay-offs have been witnessed since 2007. But as a result, the number of RN nurses who are employed in hospitals is far below the population of patients that have to be attended to. Because of this current shortage, hospitals are hiring once more.
Besides openings in health care institutions, RN nurses should not have difficulty finding jobs with the private sector. There are millions of people needing health care of one kind or another who would prefer to stay at home. An RN with initiative should never find himself/herself without practice.