Where are Registered Nursing Jobs Available?

Registered Nurses (RN) make up the single largest career field within the healthcare industry. As of 2008 the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an estimated 2.6 million individuals were employed as RNs in a variety of healthcare settings across the country. With the increasing strain being placed on the healthcare field as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, the U.S. BLS estimates that an additional 500,000 registered nursing jobs will open up between now and 2018 to meet the ever expanding needs of the country’s medical system. So what types of registered nursing jobs are available? And perhaps more importantly, which ones will be in the greatest demand going forward?

Registered nursing jobs make up the core of the healthcare system in America. Nurses are often the first medically trained individual that patients come in contact with, and are most likely to be the one patient see the most moving forward through their time in the healthcare system. Nurses work closely with patients and doctors to perform a number of duties. Registered nursing jobs have varying duties assigned to them, but typical duties include:

  • Treat patients
  • Educate patients and the public medical conditions
  • Record patients’ medical histories and symptoms
  • Assist with and sometimes take the lead in performing diagnostic tests and analyzing results
  • Operate medical machinery
  • Administer treatment and medications
  • Assist with patient follow-up and rehabilitation

Registered nursing jobs are more complicated at times than simply being just a “registered nurse.” In fact there are a great number of specializations that registered nurses can work their way into that will lead to new and greater responsibilities. As registered nurses increase their education through additional qualifications and board certifications, as well as through the completion of a Master’s degree, they can find employment in more specialized roles that include:

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Nurse educator
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse administrator

Registered nursing jobs are found in a variety of medical settings, but the majority of nurses are employed exactly where it is expected they would be. Of the 2.6 million registered nurse jobs available in 2008, over 1.3 million or 60% of those jobs were found in hospitals across the country. The other settings registered nursing jobs were found in include:

  • Offices of physicians (8%)
  • Home healthcare services (5%)
  • Nursing care facilities (5%)
  • Employment services (3%)
  • Government agencies, social assistance agencies, and educational services (less than 1%)

Although the number of registered nurse jobs available will increase drastically between now and 2018, the settings in which these jobs will be created is going to differ from current trends. Each of the popular settings for registered nurses will see the following growth rates:

  • Offices of physicians (48%)
  • Home health care services (33%)
  • Nursing care facilities (25%)
  • Employment services (24%)
  • Hospitals, public and private (17%)

This major shift in employment growth away from hospitals is due in large part to new technologies and procedures that are changing the face of healthcare. Individuals are now discharged more quickly from hospitals and procedures are performed on a same-day basis. Additionally, many services once offered only in hospitals are now being offered in outpatient facilities.

Regardless of the industry within healthcare that an individual finds a registered nurse job in, they will find a financially rewarding career awaiting them. The following numbers represent the average pay for registered nurse jobs in each healthcare industry:

  • Offices of physicians ($59,210)
  • Home health care services ($58,740)
  • Nursing care facilities ($57,060)
  • Employment services ($68,160)
  • General medical and surgical hospitals ($63,880)

As of 2008 the average registered nurse earned $62,450. The top 10% of registered nursing jobs paid employees more than $92,240 a year; while the bottom 10% earned just under $43,410 each year.