Health Careers Journal

Thousands of Nursing Jobs Open Up in Chicagoland

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A recent article by CBS Chicago reports indicates that the Chicagoland area is experiencing an increasing need for nurses. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reports that in Illinois, job demand for registered nurses is expected to grow 16.3 percent for 2020 from employment in 2010. Vocational and licensed practical nurses are expected to see a 9.1 percent growth during the same period.

Basic Supply and Demand

The high demand for nurses is reflected in the availability of jobs. In December 2012, the Economic Information and Analysis Division of IDES found over 5,200 online job postings for registered nurses in Illinois. Several factors contribute to the increase in demand for healthcare workers. The baby boomer generation is now requiring more long term care. The retirement rate among nurses who are from the baby boomer generation is also creating more job openings, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The influx of younger nurses coming into the profession is currently not keeping up with the rate of nurses who are retiring. Currently, nursing is one of the top 25 occupations with the most vacancies in Illinois.

Another factor that is contributing to the increased demand for nurses is the financial pressure hospitals are now feeling. Hospitals are more inclined to release patients as early as possible, which means the patients may require home care or a subsequent stay in a long term care facility. This pattern is creating more job openings for nurses in settings outside of traditional hospitals.

Hospitals Respond

Healthcare providers are also expanding their services in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, Rush University Medical Center is expected to hire 40 to 50 nurse practitioners in 2013 while NorthShore University HealthSystem is expected to expand and augment their service offerings. The expansion of health services by local hospitals should drive the demand for nurses. A concern expressed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing is that a nursing shortage could lead to increased stress, which could cause nurses to leave the profession. It is believed that a nursing shortage could eventually negatively impact the quality of care patients receive at a given hospital or other facility.

While nursing is a profession that already requires specialized education, licensing, and training, educational requirements for nurses may increase in the near future. Currently, many nursing jobs require an associate or bachelor degree. However, the Institute of Medicine is working to increase the number of nurses who hold a bachelor degree to 80 percent by the year 2020. As of now, approximately 50 percent of nurses have a bachelor degree. In addition to having a degree, nurses are also required to have a nursing license and to regularly complete continuing education courses to renew their license and keep their skills current. By doing so, nurses are sure to be able to rest secure in job stability if nursing jobs are as readily available as they currently are in the greater Chicago area.


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