With the coming “silver tsunami,” the US healthcare system is going to need many more nurses than it currently has. The year 2030 is the year when retired people are projected to outnumber children in the US. Meanwhile, the average age of nurses is 52, so they will be entering retirement, too.
The field of nursing is estimated to grow about 9% between now and 2030. For people looking for a career in healthcare or possibly a second career, it’s a great time to consider nursing. The field is stable with opportunities for people with different levels of education.
While the field is heavily weighted towards female nurses (about 87%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics), men bring valued diversity to the career, both in terms of their gender and their heritage. Studies show that patients prefer healthcare providers who share their race or ethnicity, and the field needs many more men – and men from different ethnicities - to meet that need. Aside from preferring nurses that share their ethnicity, male patients often feel more comfortable with male nurses regardless, particularly when they’re discussing a personal issue or undergoing an intimate procedure like having a catheter placed.
Fortis graduate Levi Vetter has just started his career as a registered nurse, graduating from his Nashville campus’s program in March and moving into a full-time position in a hospital intensive care unit. It was through an early stint of military service that he gained a love of medicine and a passion for helping others. He’s also fascinated by how the body works and what medicine can do to repair it. That trio of interests led him to nursing.
Through his work as a nurse, he’s developed a deep compassion and ability to think critically in a fast-paced environment. He credits his externship at a Nashville hospital for give him the experience and training for his first job.
His number #1 piece of advice to new nursing students: Take all your classes seriously. “I kind of pushed through my prerequisites—anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and biology—to get to the nursing courses. I thought those classes were just a hurdle I had to jump over to get to the good stuff. But they are important building blocks,” Vetter says. As a result, he had to spend time relearning the material from those earlier courses.
Vetter also took extra time to attend study groups, review nursing questions to analyze both the correct and incorrect answers, and learn from other sources such as subject videos from nursing.com. “Getting the information in all different kinds of ways and from different people helped it really sink in,” he says.
Are you interested in learning more about what a nursing career could mean for you? Fortis is among the largest nursing education providers in America. Click here for more information on our nursing programs or call us today at (855) 436-7847 and speak to one of our career counselors.