Nursing is one of the strongest sectors in healthcare sector for hiring, which has helped buoy overall employment nationwide. The healthcare industry’s unemployment rate is 3.9%, half the national average. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that registered nurses account for nearly three million of the new jobs in the growing healthcare field, and licensed vocational nurses account for another 800,000.
Baby Boomers entering retirement will only increase the demand for nurses in the coming years – the BLS says opportunities will grow by 26% for registered nurses and 22% for vocational nurses -- as a result of this population aging.
However, one report by The Sacramento Bee says acquiring nursing employment isn’t as simple as meeting the minimum certification requirements then starting a job. A bachelor's degree program is of growing importance for those pursuing registered nursing opportunities.
Looking in the right locations is also important. Much of the emphasis on healthcare employment rests on working where the Baby Boomers will be, not necessarily where they are now. As retirees go, so will the career options in nursing.
Florida has long been associated with high retiree populations, and indeed, one report has a sunny outlook for nursing prospects in the Sunshine State. However, both Florida and Arizona, another state equated with retirement, are struggling economically in metropolitan areas.
A Forbes report published earlier this year outlines attractive retirement options in ironic destinations, including Fargo, N.D., where unemployment is under 4%.