A recent article on nurse.com dealt with a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) showing that nursing salaries have gone up 2.6% per year.
As baby boomers are aging and more people have access to health care, more and more nurses are needed. The BLS predicts that nursing employment will grow 16% from 2014 to 2024.
I believe that there is a shift more towards outpatient care rather than inpatient care as hospitals are discharging patients earlier than in the past. Therefore, home care, case management and hospice also will grow.
In 2015, according to Medscape, the average salary for a registered nurse was $79,000 compared to $95,000 for a clinical nurse specialist and $102,000 for a nurse practitioner. Faculty salaries have increased 8% between 2011 and 2015. Of course, the salaries vary according to geographic areas such as the coasts always pays more.
It used to seem like nurses would have a job for a lifetime and one could retire from the same hospital. But more and more nurses are taking different positions to obtain higher salaries whether the move is within the same facility or outside the facility.
The BLS reports that 700,000 nurses are expected to retire between 2014 and 2024. There are not enough highly experienced nurses in their 40s and 50s to step into those roles. There also are not enough nurses expected to graduate to fill these vacancies. Part of the problem is finding qualified faculty in schools to teach the nursing programs. Another problem is that there are not enough clinical sites for nursing clinical rotations.
Recently, I was speaking with an assistant dean from a university in Seattle who told me that some of the practicals are during night shifts in order to give everyone experience on the various clinical units.
As our country continues to evolve and grow, our nursing care does as well. It will be interesting to see what the future brings. I am hoping that we will take the direction of more preventative, educational and holistic endeavors versus the symptom management that has been the basis of health care. I also hope that nurses will unite and support each other so we can plan our future rather than let the future happen.
What are your thoughts on nursing salaries and the future of health care? I’d love to hear your comments below.
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