As a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN), you will join two of the fastest growing occupations in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Driving much of the growth is technological advances that have prolonged life spans as well as the aging of our population as the baby boom generation approaches their later years. Also, as the current nursing population ages, many job opportunities will arise due to retirement.
With more than 2.6 million jobs, registered nursing is the largest healthcare occupation, and it is one of the 10 occupations projected to have the largest number of new jobs. In fact, by 2020, the field is expected to grow by 26 percent.
Licensed practical nursing is also expected to experience tremendous growth by 2020 with a 22 percent increase. Much of the employment growth is expected in nursing homes, physicians' offices, and emergency medical centers. Employment with home healthcare services should also show increasing job potential as more people opt for in-home care of seriously ill family members.
Locally, LMC nursing graduates are in high demand. Many are hired by Lakeland Regional Health Systems. Other places that have hired graduates of the LMC nursing program include Community Hospital in Watervliet, as well as hospitals in South Bend, Grand Rapids, Michigan City, LaPorte, and Holland.
All nursing professionals in Michigan are required to fulfill 25 hours of continuing education every two years for continuance of their licensing. This is necessary because advances in health care happen rapidly and it is important for nurses to stay current with the latest breakthroughs and treatments.
Nurses with advanced education - including bachelor's and master's degrees - will have the most options for varied employment. A bachelor's degree is often necessary for administrative positions and is a prerequisite for entry into a graduate program in research, consulting, teaching, or a clinical specialization. For teaching in the clinical setting, nurses must hold a bachelor's degree and for classroom instruction, one must typically must hold a master's degree.