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Nurses are in demand and will continue to be in demand for a long time to come. If you are a student planning on pursuing a nursing career, the trends show that you will have plenty of opportunity. In fact, in many places in the US, there are not enough nurses to go around. In some cases, this nursing deficit threatens the quality of care a patient will receive. This article examines this shortage and the reasons why nurses are in high demand now and will continue to be so in the future.

Baby Boomers

The baby boomer generation is hitting nurses on both sides. The baby boomers represent a large increase in birth rate that happened just after World War II. As more and more members of this generation reach retirement age, they are requiring more healthcare. In addition, a large portion of nurses today are baby boomers who will be retiring in the next several years, leaving a huge vacancy of nurses that need to be filled. A student working toward a degree in nursing now will be able to help fill that gap.

Growing Population

In addition to the baby boomers moving out, our population is growing. This is particularly true in certain parts of the country where new hospitals and doctor's offices have sprung up that are searching for nurses to staff these new hospitals. As population moves around, demand for healthcare continues to increase.

Hospitals Recruiting Practices

In many areas, there is a nursing shortage, which means that hospitals are actively recruiting new nurses to join their staff. Currently the demand for nurses is higher in most places than the demand for doctors or other healthcare professionals. Due to this demand, many hiring managers offer incentives such as hiring bonuses to entice nurses to join their team.

Education Needed

There are some programs where a person receives nursing training from a particular hospital. However, this has become less popular because more nursing jobs require a higher level of education. There are also associate degree programs for nursing that can help you start a career. Most of the higher paying nursing jobs, however, require a bachelor degree in nursing or BSN. A BSN is highly recommended because it qualifies you for higher level positions now, and is quickly becoming the desired education for even entry level positions.

A graduate degree in nursing will take you even farther, giving you the skills and education you need to enter management and administration in nursing, or to specialize in a field such as critical care.

Being a Nurse

Likely it will not be difficult to find a position once you graduate with a BSN, so what is to be expected in your new career. Many nurses work a variety of shifts. This is especially true in hospitals, where you may find yourself on a shift rotation that includes overnight shifts. Often, as you gain seniority in your position at the hospital, you'll have more flexibility with your schedule.

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