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Top 10 Cities in the U.S. with the Highest Nursing Shortages

Career News August 16, 2013

Like all fields, the nursing field ebbs and flows in terms of job availability as nursing statistics fluctuate. At times, there is a surplus of jobs, at other times there are fewer jobs and surplus of nurses. Prospective nursing candidates should keep these factors in mind when considering their schooling choices and job prospects going forward. Job availability can also vary widely from state to state, so if there is a nursing shortage in their own area, they might consider relocating to another state where job prospects might be better. These days, one can also apply online with openness to taking a position in another state.

Nursing Shortages Expected

Recent nursing statistics have shown that by 2020, the United States will experience a shortage of up to one million nurses in the nation. In California alone, the shortage could be as high as 120,000. The U.S. Dept. of Health predicts that in 2015, 400,000 nurses will be required to fill vacancies left by retiring nurses.

As the American population grows and ages, the need for good nurses will only continue to grow. Sadly, health issues such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease have been increasing in America and weighing more and more heavily on the healthcare system here. Lucrative incentives are already being offered in some states for students to choose a nursing career path. Existing nurses are being offered incentives to seek additional schooling in order to become nursing instructors.

With the growing deficit of trained nurses, existing nurses must work more hours to manage patients that seek help. With a shortage of teachers to handle larger class sizes, the number of teaching positions available continues to grow as well. When it comes to choosing a career in nursing, prospects are excellent for anyone who wants to pursue either of these avenues of nursing employment.

Highest Shortages in Nursing by State

As mentioned before, California has the overall largest shortage of nurses in terms of the numbers, with the trend expected to continue going forward. In terms of percentages, it is Alaska with the highest shortfall, with only 58% of existing nursing positions filled at this time. That number could fall as low as 40% by 2015. Connecticut is another state with a nursing shortfall in terms of percentages. Some might find this next fact surprising, but the beautiful state of Hawaii is also facing a dire nursing shortage. Following these states in severity of shortages are Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Texas.

Incentives for Nurses Expected to Increase

While the data isn’t written in stone and might be subject to some inaccuracies, it’s clear that a nursing shortage is a reality. The upside of this data, however, is that it is an excellent time to be a nurse or go into nursing. Government studies looking for solutions to this dilemma have proposed, ask existing nurses to delay retirement for up to four years, drastically increasing nursing college teaching staff recruitment, and even inviting in nurses from other countries to help fill job vacancies. Another option considered includes raising the nursing salary by 1% to 3% across the boards.

Recruitment programs, retention programs and a number of educational incentives will lead to increased interest in studying and working in this field. A nursing education is affordable, and nursing salaries are expected to be more lucrative than ever before. While calling any industry “recession-proof” is risky, nursing and health care seem to be as close to it as a profession can be. Undecided students with a genuine desire to help people and make a difference would be wise to consider a career in nursing, with prospects high and continually growing at this time.

Highest Shortages in Nursing by City

Specific cities and metropolitan areas are experiencing shortages as well. According to the employment site Monster.com, these are the top 10 cities with nursing statistics showing the highest shortfalls (and best job prospects) at this time:

•Austin, Texas
•San Antonio, Texas
•Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
•Raleigh, North Carolina
•Seattle, Washington
•Rochester, New York
•Portland, Oregon
•Denver, Colorado
•Honolulu, Hawaii
•Nashville, Tennessee

Are you considering a career in nursing? Current trends and nursing statistics make it clear that now is a great time to go into the field.

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