Nursing Graduates Finding Work in Recovering Job Market

It appears to be a good time for those looking for a career in health care to find a job.

A number of studies have found that full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will create thousands of health care jobs across the country within the next 2 years.

In Missouri alone, a report by the state Hospital Association found that more than 24,000 additional healthcare positions will be generated in if the state if its Medicaid plan is extended}. In Maryland, the ACA is expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs for doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and lab technicians. A study by the University of Maryland found once health care insurance is expanded to more residents, helping reduce unemployment in the state by 0.6 percent. To keep up with the demand for more health care workers, a number of colleges and universities have launched new degree programs, which have been helping graduates enter the workforce.

Bradley University in Illinois, for example, recently reported that 100 percent of its students who added a nursing degree to their resume were able to find work as the market appears to be booming for medical graduates.

Programs haven’t grown to meet the demands of an aging population, Danielle Mascagni, a physical therapist from Mercy Medical Center, told the Journal Star.

Mascagani said that the need for nurses and other health care workers such as physical therapists will continue not just because of an aging population or the increased number of patients who will be insured under the ACA, but also because there will be a need to replace more nurses who want to retire in the future.

The University of Alabama of at Huntsville (UAH) graduated 265 certified nurses last year who all found jobs. However, it said it still needed to expand its nursing program in order to meet future demand. AL.com reports that the school will spend $17 million to boost enrollment by 2019. UAH officials said they had to turn away between 100 and 150 qualified applicants to its school of nursing last year. 

There has been a shortage of nurses for a couple of decades now, but with the access expansions of the Affordable Care Act, there’s going to be an even greater demand than before, Paige Powell, assistant professor of health services administration at the UA at Birmingham.

UAH Dean C. Fay Raines said the expansion is a reflection of the changing face of health care, which features new technologies that will be utilized by today’s medical community.

A study by the University System of Georgia found that the state will face an estimated shortage of 40,000 registered nurses by 2020. To combat the problem, many of the region’s postsecondary institutions have also announced plans to broaden their health care programs, including both Mercer University and Wesleyan College in Macon.

In the Sunshine State, Florida Career College will begin offering two new associate degree nursing programs beginning in January 2013. The school said the new courses will help those interested in a career in nursing transition to an advanced degree program.

The multitude of job opportunities makes nursing a very popular career path, Patricia Bisciotti, executive director of the campus, told the Sun Sentinel.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing will become one of the top occupations in terms of overall job growth in the U.S. through the end of the decade – with total employment expected to jump from 2.74 million to 3.45 by 2020.

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