Nursing may be one of the world’s oldest professions, but it’s also one that’s constantly evolving. The more you know about what’s going on, the better you’ll understand your own potential and place within the field.
Below you’ll find a collection of the facts and figures that we think you’ll find most interesting, most intriguing, and most exciting about the state of nursing in 2023!
- With nearly 5.2 million registered nurses in the United States, nursing represents the country’s single largest healthcare profession. More exciting, out of all of those nurses almost 90% are actually working in the field.
- The need for nursing continues to grow: The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projecting that between now and 2031, more than 203,000 new registered nurse positions will be created, representing 5% growth.
- As a profession, nurses rank among the nation’s highest-paid professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that professionals in this large segment of the workforce earn an average salary of $77,600 per year.
- Nurses entering the field are being met with open arms and higher expectations. An increasing number of healthcare employers have indicated that they strongly prefer that new registered nurses have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree, with almost 28% requiring a BSN and 72% saying that they strongly prefer that nurses have a BSN.
- Demand for nurses with more advanced degrees — either MSN or DPN — continues to grow and exceed the supply, as only 17.4% of America’s registered nurses have earned their master’s degree and less than 3% have earned a doctoral degree.
- According to LinkedIn, registered nursing was the third most in-demand position in the United States in 2023.
- According to a survey reported on MyAmericanNurse.com, more than half of 4,380 nurse clinicians and managers surveyed report having received a raise in the past year, and another 25% received one in the past two years. Clinicians were more likely than managers to have received a raise less than one year ago. About half of nurse managers received a discretionary bonus in the past 12 months, with another 23% receiving a nondiscretionary bonus and 7% receiving both.
- The nursing profession is aging, with the median age of nurses 46 and more than 25% of registered nurses indicating that they plan to retire within the next five years.
- While nursing has traditionally been associated with females, men are increasingly joining the profession’s ranks, with the percentage of men growing from 9.4% in 2020 to 11.2% in 2022 and has tripled over the past fifty years.
- Though nursing attracts professionals from all backgrounds, the population continues to be predominately White, with 80% of surveyed nurses reporting as White/Caucasian, 7.4% Asian, 6.3% Black/African American, and 2.5% more than one race. Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders account for less than 1%, and 6.9% report their ethnicity as Hispanic.
Fast Facts About the Job
- There are currently four times as many registered nurses working in the United States as there are medical doctors, and their role is comprehensive. Not only do nurses provide primary and preventive care, but advanced practitioner nurses, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists are being relied upon to provide specialized care in pediatrics, women’s health, family health, gerontology, cardiology, oncology, neurology, and more.
- Today’s nurses are increasingly independent, working in direct patient care, case management, research, and quality assurance. They play active roles in establishing practice standards and in patient education.
- There are more than 355,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) licensed in the U.S., and more than 36,000 new NPs completed their academic programs in 2020-2021.
- For an astonishing 19 years, Gallup surveys have revealed that the American public trusts nurses more than any other medical profession, calling nurses the most honest and ethical professionals.
- In 2020, there were 78,740 cases of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses that resulted in at least one day away from work among registered nurses in private industry. This was a 290.8-percent increase, about four times as many cases, compared with 2019, when there were 20,150 such cases. This represents significantly more on-the-job injuries than was true of construction workers. The most common injury suffered by registered nurses was overexertion, though 25% of injuries were attributed to falls, slips, and trips represented 25% and 40.8% were caused by patients.
- U.S. News & World Report ranks nursing as the #8 best job in healthcare and the #17 best job overall. Nurse practitioner is ranked as the #1 best job in healthcare and #2 best job overall.
- Of 7,540 U.S. nurses surveyed by Medscape, 72% said they are happy with their career choice and 27% said they would not choose nursing again. That same survey revealed that 36% of registered nurses are very burned out and 32% are somewhat burned out.
- As many as 60% of nurses report experiencing sleep disturbances or problems falling asleep.
- An American Nurse Association survey found that while more nurses are reporting incidents of workplace violence, they are also more satisfied with the responses to those reports than in the past, indicating that the Joint Commission’s workplace violence-related mandate that went into effect in January of 2022 may be working.