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Nurses saving more than lives in this economy




Nearly 2.9 million of them are in the United States – and many are finding that their career choice was a wise one.

Registered nurses are consistently at the top of job growth projections released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, yet there still aren’t enough individuals entering this important profession.

The country’s work force of RNs is aging significantly, and the number of registered nurses coming in to fill those spots still isn’t adequate to meet the needs of our growing population.

Despite our country’s financial situation, this fact has not changed.

May 6-12 marks National Nurses Week, a celebration of what is the highest profession for honesty and integrity, as ranked consistently by Gallup Poll since 1999.

In this questionable economy, many registered nurses have increased their working hours to accommodate a decrease in their household income.

Some may be forgoing retirement until their finances improve. And some may even be working toward an advanced degree or certificate, knowing that the higher-educated nurses are being recruited and retained for the best jobs.

Because they are nurses, these scenarios are possible, and these individuals can potentially save their families from financial ruin because of the promise of their chosen career.

Yes, we’ve all read how health care institutions are cutting back, and many in nursing may have faced pay cuts or other downsizing.

But nurses are still needed every day. The demand is not as high as in years past, but there’s still a need.

Consider the nurses all around us – in our schools, churches, doctors’ offices and even in combat. An education in nursing can be the cure for an ailing professional outlook and offer enough adventure for a lifetime.

This economy will bounce back, health care institutions will again face challenges of meeting the high demand for services, and nurses will be a hot commodity.

Until then, they remain under the radar, doing their job, increasing their work, taking care of their families and relishing their smart career choice.

If you know a nurse, be sure to tell him/her thank you. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.

Fran Roberts, R.N., is vice president of strategic business alliances for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Grand Canyon University. E-mail: froberts@gcu.edu

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