If you enjoy learning about the human body and caring for others, then a career in nursing may be an excellent choice for you. In addition to the emotional rewards, nursing is a recession-proof career that can provide you with both employment stability and peace of mind. As the need for nurses continues to rise, graduates with nursing degrees or certifications will find themselves to be in high demand.
The Recession-Proof Perks of Nursing
Individuals who are considering a career in nursing should be thrilled to learn of the tremendous healthcare industry demand for nurses. As the average lifespan of Americans continues to rise, areas across the country are predicting a steady increase in the demand for nurses to meet their local population's needs.
For example, as the Washington Post reveals, healthcare industry leaders are seeking to increase the enrollment rates in the fields of nursing, as many individuals are "Concerned that the average age of nurses is rising at the same time aging baby boomers are expected to increase the demand for medical care." Essentially, as nurses continue to age and retire, along with the general population, the field of nursing will continually demand more and more employees!
Elaborating on these concerns, the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health, John M. Colmers, reminds individuals that the current health care employee is constantly and inevitably moving closer to retirement. For example, an estimated 43 percent of nurses currently employed at various Maryland facilities are planning to retire in the next few years. As a result, the current moderate shortage of nurses is expected to lead to a dire shortage in the future.
Reviewing the data behind these concerns, analysts have found that nearly 33 percent of Maryland's population will be above the age of 50 by 2010. Unbelievably, this percentage is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent by 2020. As people are living longer, healthier, and more active lives, health care services will require a greater number of employees to meet the demands of a steadily aging population with a generally long life expectancy range. In fact, based on these calculations, experts predict that the state of Maryland alone will require more than 10,000 nurses to meet the growing demands of the state's aging population.
A Testament to Need: Investing in the Future of Nurses
Based upon the shortage projections, many states are taking an active role to encourage the development of nursing programs. Specifically, as the Washington Post further reveals, the Maryland Hospital Association (MHA) is planning to provide nearly $15.5 million towards 17 nursing schools across the state. As there is currently a shortage of nursing students enrolled in many of Maryland's colleges, the MHA is hoping to increase interest in the field, using the money to boost program enrollment to prevent future shortages.
With the support of these remarkable financial grants, MHA leaders are optimistic that colleges will be more able to hire additional nursing faculty, enabling a greater number of students to enroll in nursing programs. Furthermore, since the study of nursing is costly, the grants will also assist in covering the costs of nursing equipment, medical technology, and laboratory expenses. Furthermore, some grants may even be used as nursing scholarships and/or tuition grants.
Pursuing a Pathway of Nursing at Your Local Community College
Through community college programs, many nursing students complete their degrees in just one to two years! For example, as shown by Queensborough Community College (QCC), located in Bayside, New York, nursing students enrolled in the QCC program can earn their degree and certification in nursing upon completing 66 credits.
With both day and evening program options, QCC aims to support its nursing students with a variety of course options. Generally, most QCC students finish their nursing programs within 4 semesters, as each semester is devoted to a specific focus of study:
- Clinical Semester 1 - Introduction to nursing / universal needs / deficits
- Clinical Semester 2 - Care of persons with developmental needs/deficits
- Clinical Semester 3 - Nursing and care of adults with family needs
- Clinical Semester 4 - Advanced nursing and care of persons with complex needs and deficits
Upon successfully completing all course and semester requirements, QCC graduates will each be rewarded with an A.A.S. (Associate of Applied Science) degree - and be ready to enter into the professional world of nursing.
While there are many routes to take, starting your nursing career at your local community college is one of the most time and cost-effective educational strategies. Within one or two years, employers will be vying for your nursing expertise!
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