The health care industry is in a constant state of change, and the nursing field is at risk of flatlining. The demand for medical care is rising, hospitals around the country are desperate for nurses, and Wisconsin is no exception.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job outlook for Registered Nurses from 2014-24 will grow 16 percent, a much faster rate than average. Here in Wisconsin, we’re without a doubt facing an unprecedented shortage of registered nurses. Baby boomers are quickly approaching retirement and aging nurses are leaving the field in droves.
There’s a silver lining to this news, however, if you’re considering pursuing a nursing degree. Simply put, there’s no better time than now to enter this exciting field. Read on to see just how positive the outlook is for nurses with bachelor’s degrees in the next 10 years!
- Skilled nurses are in shockingly high demand.
As of May 2016, there are 55,410 registered nurses in Wisconsin, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 2016 WHA Wisconsin Health Care Workforce Report revealed that the current nursing workforce is aging, with the number of nurses over age 55 making up nearly a third of the current nursing workforce. Wisconsin hospitals are preparing for a huge nursing crisis, with many of the aging workforce on the verge of retirement in the next 5-10 years. In fact, nearly 40 percent of registered nurses admitted that they are planning to leave direct patient care in Wisconsin within 10 years!
Hospitals make up more than half of the primary place of work for registered nurses in the current Wisconsin labor market. And the vacancy rate of for nurses working in hospitals has increased at a rapid rate. The WHA reports that the RN vacancy rate in hospitals was once relatively low at 3.4 percent. Now it is has nearly doubled to 6.2 percent.
- Nurses can find work at private practices and other alternative employers.
While hospitals are the biggest employers for nurses, there are options for registered nurses who are looking for an alternative work environment. The WHA reports that the next biggest place for work is ambulatory care, with 18.8 percent of nurses working in private practices, outpatient centers and more. Other opportunities are: nursing homes/extended care (9 percent), home health (5 percent), public and community health (4 percent) and academic education (2 percent). The rest are designated as other at 7 percent.
- Salaries (and other bonuses) are looking good for Wisconsin nurses.
Salaries for Wisconsin nurses are very close to the national average at $67,930, according to May 2016 statistics from The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job market for registered nurses is heating up in Wisconsin, however, as the state faces an unprecedented shortage of nurses in the next 10 years. The Wall Street Journal reports that wages are expected to rise and sign-on bonuses are a possibility for those pursuing the nation’s fifth-largest occupation.
Silver Lake College meets the need for highly qualified nurses.
Silver Lake College recognizes the exceptionally high demand for nurses in Wisconsin. That’s why we launched a new four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program in the fall of 2016. At SLC, we believe in small class sizes that equip students with the latest nursing technology so they graduate with an edge over their competition. Similarly, Silver Lake College's BSN Completion Program develops professional nursing leaders in all areas of practice to meet the health needs of a changing society. This program is designed for the RN with an associate's degree in nursing who wishes to obtain their bachelor's degree.
We invite you to learn more about Silver Lake College’s nursing programs by requesting more information below!