Travel nurses or those considering a career in nursing have a lot to be excited about, especially when it comes to job growth.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurse employment is expected to grow by 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is considered "faster than the average for all occupations." The BLS figures indicated that there were just over 2.7 million registered nurses working in the U.S. in 2012, but that number is expected to rise to more than 3.2 million by 2022.
What's driving nurse job growth?
There are several reasons why the nursing field, which includes travel nursing, is expected to soar in the next several years. For one, recent health care reforms mean that nurses are projected to see patients now more than ever, as many Americans have been granted health insurance for the first time.
Additionally, many baby boomers are expected to enter retirement age during this time period, which means that there will be a greater demand to care for an aging population. Some of the most pressing medical conditions in the U.S. affect this exact demographic, including dementia, diabetes, obesity and arthritis.
Due to health systems' budget constraints, many hospitals are also feeling pressure to discharge patients from hospitals as soon as possible, which could influence the travel nursing job outlook.
"The financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible may result in more people admitted to long-term care facilities, outpatient care centers, and greater need for home health care," the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook article explained.
The article also indicated that senior citizens tend to enjoy receiving care within the comfort of their own homes or residential care facilities, which indicated that travel nurses in particular could expect to see an increase in their assignments during the next few years. The physical therapy job field is also expected to see a noted boost, even more so than registered nurses.
What's driving physical therapy job growth?
According to the BLS, the employment rate of physical therapists is projected to grow at a rate of 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is considered "much faster than the average for all occupations."
Like registered nurses, the aging baby boomers are contributing a lot to this expected uptick in physical therapy jobs. However, because the aging population is staying more active compared to other generations, they are more likely to encounter mobility-related injuries or cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and strokes.
In the same vein, obesity and diabetes are on the rise, which could also increase the demand for physical therapists, as these conditions deal specifically with mobility.
The BLS article also noted that modern medicine breakthroughs could also create an impact in physical therapy job growth.
"Advances in medical technology have increased the use of outpatient surgery to treat a variety of injuries and illnesses," the BLS article states. ""Physical therapists will continue to play an important role in helping these patients recover more quickly from surgery."
These impressive statistics could be why physical therapists were listed as No. 8 on CNN Money's "Best Jobs in America" post. The source gave an "A" for the physical therapist position in areas like personal satisfaction one gets from the job, as well as the benefits the career brings to society.
Treating people with these aforementioned illnesses can become challenging at times, but there are ways for new travel nurses and physical therapists to better manage their careers, such as a medical staffing service. With the additional help of these services, home health professionals can worry less about administrative tasks and focus on what really matters most: their patients.