All over the U.S., the health care industry has reported a shortage in qualified nurses. Several online colleges and universities, such as The University of Phoenix, are trying to help by offering several health care and nursing degrees.
The American Association of College of Nursing said that the in the U.S. alone, there could be a shortage of 340,000 quailified nurses before the year 2020. That is roughly 3 times the current rate.
There are multiple reasons for the trend.
Many veteran nurses are retiring as the baby boomer generation reach retirement. Compounding the issue is the fact that people live longer now than ever before, all of which creates a greated need for health care.
There is also a problem in finding teachers to train new nursing and health care canidates. 150,000 applicants were turned down for nursing programs because of shortages in qualified nursing educators. Part of this was due to keeping qualified faculty. A recent survey of nursing faculty members reported many work close to 60 hour work weeks, due to the shortage.
Both four-year bachelors degrees and two year associates degrees in the nursing and health care fields provide a future for strong job outlook.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that nurses will create the second largest number of new jobs among all occupations in the future. In addition to the new jobs, many existing positions are expected to open as existing health care providers retire.