May 11, 2017
Whether we realize it or not, nurses are critical to our daily lives - working in our schools, physician's offices, hospitals, nursing homes and hospices, and even in our homes. Nurses help us at our best and worst times, when we are most vulnerable and they take our stories to heart.
As we celebrate these often-unsung heroes during National Nurses Week, here are some important things you should know every day of the year - especially if you're considering the field:
An annual Gallup poll released in December 2016 marked the 15th consecutive year that nurses were ranked as the nation's most trusted profession. According to the poll, 84 percent of Americans rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as "very high" or "high."
Feeling inspired by the nurses in your life? It's a strong line of work to aspire to. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),* jobs for registered nurses are projected to grow 16 percent between 2014 and 2024 - from 2.75 million to approximately 3.2 million - as the nation's aging population and growing access to health care boosts demand for long-term and acute care.
Gone are the days when becoming a male nurse was an anomaly. While today's nursing workforce is still predominately made up of women, there is a growing number of men entering the field each year.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 1970, just 2.7 percent of registered nurses were men. By 2016, men made up approximately 8 percent of working registered nurses, according to a report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
According to the AACN, nurses comprise the largest single component of hospital staff, are the primary providers of patient care in the nation's hospitals and also deliver a majority of the long-term care in the United States.
Registered nurses also have the highest employment of all healthcare practitioners in the United States, according to BLS data, making up 3.1 million of the nearly 9 million workers employed as healthcare practitioners in 2016.
The next largest healthcare practitioner occupation, physicians and surgeons, represented 1.06 million workers.
A 2016 Medscape survey of more than 10,000 registered nurses in the United States found that 95 percent of respondents were glad they become a nurse.
Relationships with and gratitude from patients was identified as the most rewarding aspect of a nursing career by survey respondents.
Heather Marr is a marketing and student recruitment specialist in higher education. Follow her on Twitter @Haf0577Marr or connect on LinkedIn.
*Job market data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. SNHU cannot guarantee employment.
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