Nursing Doctorate Degrees on the Rise
There were an estimated 28,369 RNs with a doctorate degree in nursing or a nursing-related field in 2008, which is an increase of 64.4 percent since 2000.
Growth Expected for RNs
The number of jobs for registered nurses is expected to grow substantially between 2010 and 2020, with 712,000 additional RNs needed during that period.
Growth Expected for Home Health Aides
The number of home health aide jobs is projected to grow by 706,000. Over the same time, 302,000 jobs will be created for nursing aides, orderlies and attendants, as will 607,000 jobs for personal care aides.
Nurses and Other Aides Needed
By 2020, more than 2.3 million new jobs are expected to be created for nurses, home health aides, nursing aides, orderlies and attendants. That accounts for more than 11.3 percent of all new jobs likely to be created in that period.
Common Degrees for Registered Nurses
The percentage of registered nurses whose highest degree is a nursing diploma has declined over the last 30 years from 54.7 percent in 1980 to 13.9 percent in 2008. Advanced degrees are increasingly common, as well: 13.2 percent of nurses held master's or doctorate degrees in 2008, up from 5.2 percent in 1980.
In all, 36.8 percent of nurses have bachelor's degrees (up from 22.3 percent in 1980), while 36.1 percent of nurses have associate degrees (up from 17.9 percent in 1980).
Average Age of Registered Nurses
The average age of registered nurses held relatively steady through the middle part of the 2000s, increasing from 46.8 years old in 2004 to 47.0 years old in 2008. This slight increase reflects the apparent end of a long-term trend toward an older nursing workforce. In 2000, the average age was 45.2 years, and in 1996, it was 44.3 years. Nevertheless, nearly 45 percent of registered nurses were 50 years of age or older in 2008, meaning that high retirement rates are in the near future.
Men in the Nursing Profession
Women continued to outnumber men in the nursing profession, by more than 15 to 1 in 2008. But the trend line is toward more diversity. Among those who became registered nurses after 1990, the ratio is just 10 to 1. Men accounted for 6.6 percent of the nursing population in 2008, up from less than 3 percent in 1980. Moreover, in 2011, 12 percent of students enrolled in bachelor’s degree nursing programs were men, indicating that even more diversity is on the way.