Mirroring national projections, demand for registered nurses is expected to grow in New York as the state shakes off the effects of the recession and the healthcare industry adjusts to new initiatives, according to the Healthcare Association of New York State.
The association’s June 2011 survey found that hospitals had higher vacancy rates for RNs and that those positions were among the most difficult to fill because of shortages or competition.
More than 50% of the state’s RNs are 50 years or older, the survey found, and that aging workforce will combine with an increase in the number of elderly patients with chronic conditions to drive demand for nurses.
From 2008 to 2018, the number of RN jobs statewide will jump by more than 21,000 to almost 185,000, the New York State Department of Labor projected. That represents a 13% increase, making nursing one of the fastest-growing occupations.
Nationwide, the employment rate for RNs is expected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition.
The national job growth is expected to be faster in traditional hospital settings, as well as in settings such as physicians’ offices, home healthcare services and outpatient care centers.
In 2011, the average annual salary for nurses in New York was just more than $75,000, according to the state’s Labor Department.
Nationally, the median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in 2010, according to the BLS.
The education level of nurses should remain an area of focus in coming years.
A 2011 report by the Institute of Medicine called for the percentage of nurses with bachelor’s degrees to rise to 80% nationally by 2020. Among the ways to meet that goal, the report noted: online learning and RN to BSN degree programs.
The Healthcare Association of New York State’s survey noted that just 33% of RNs statewide have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Family responsibilities and work schedule conflicts were cited as the most common obstacles to pursuing an advanced degree.
New York Nursing License Requirements
New York State requires that applicants for RN licensure must have at least a two-year degree or diploma from a state-approved nursing program, complete training or coursework in the identification and reporting of child abuse and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
In order to maintain their license, RNs must re-register every three years.
Every four years, all RNs must complete training or courses in infection control and barrier precautions, including engineering and work controls to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the hepatitis B virus (HBV).
RNs licensed in another state must submit verification of that license to the New York State Education Department in order to practice in the Empire State.
New York State Board of Nursing
It’s important to note that nursing licensure requirements and fees can change. For the most up-to-date information contact the New York State Board of Nursing at:
Mailing address:Education Building, 89 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor West Wing, Albany, NY 12234