Averaging nearly $56,000 in compensation annually for those in the field, nursing is quickly becoming a booming industry as individuals begin to flock to a sector that is expected to stay afloat during the country’s increasingly difficult financial times. This includes not only professionals who are just starting out in their careers but also professionals who are transitioning from other industries that were negatively affected by the financial crisis, especially those in finance. The financial sector alone lost nearly 22,000 jobs in January and February of this year, according to the United States Department of Labor.
Healthcare, on the other hand, has historically been an industry that has been recession-proof. The reasons for this are numerous, but the resilience essentially rests on these facts: people will always be sick and, thus, always need to be taken care of, and those people requiring care will — regardless of the economy — be willing to pay for it.
Interestingly, the healthcare field is not only stable, it’s growing: it is one of the few sectors looking to hire a significant number of employees in the coming years. According to a United Press International article, by 2025, 500,000 nurses will need to be hired in order to properly staff U.S. hospitals.
This nursing need is directly related to the number of nurses who are expected to retire in the coming years, a number that does not appear to be offset by those entering the field. ''We know that the demand for nursing is going to grow,'' Cheryl Peterson, senior policy fellow at the American Nurses Association, said in a CNNMoney article. ''We've got an aging baby boomer population which is only going to drive the demand.''
To offset this, many hospitals are actively recruiting professionals in the hopes that they will join the nursing field. In fact, many are offering perks such as money for tuition, the possibility for flexible work schedules, and free uniforms.
''The shortage is something we’ll be living with for a long time, but we can’t stop offering care,'' said Claire Young, chief nursing officer at the Cleveland Clinic in the aforementioned CNN article. ''Unfortunately, one of the strategies is capitalizing on this recession.''
So while the recession may not be a positive development for many professionals as the U.S. job market continues to decline, it is providing a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in nursing or is interested in joining a recession-proof industry.