According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics* employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. An aging population, and an increase in chronic conditions, such as arthritis, dementia, diabetes, and obesity will lead to steady growth in this occupation.
Job opportunities in hospital settings will continue to increase, however the financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible may result in more people being admitted to long-term care facilities and outpatient care centers, and greater need for healthcare at home. Job growth is expected in facilities that provide long-term rehabilitation for stroke and head injury patients, and in facilities that treat people with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, because many older people prefer to be treated at home or in residential care facilities, registered nurses will be in demand in those settings.
Growth is also expected to be faster than average in outpatient care centers, where patients do not stay overnight, such as those which provide same-day chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and surgery. In addition, an increased number of procedures, as well as more sophisticated procedures previously done only in hospitals, are being performed in ambulatory care settings and physicians’ office.
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Regardless of U.S. labor market conditions one constant holds true: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.
According to the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU) the earnings gap between college graduates and those with less education continues to widen. In 2021, median income for recent graduates reached $52,000 a year for bachelor’s degree holders aged 22–27. For high school graduates the same age, median earnings were $30,000 a year.
Those with a bachelor’s degree earn, on average, 75% more over the course of their lifetime.* In addition to increased earning potential, a bachelor’s degree can provide opportunities for promotion or entry into a new career.
*Georgetown University Center on Education and Workforce
People with a bachelor’s degree earn on average
*National job opportunities data is based on national medians and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational outlook handbook.
*Local job opportunities data is based on estimated base pay and figures from Indeed.com.
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