What Influences Nursing Job Growth in Each State?

nurse wearing mask with positive outlook for job growth
Written by
Jenna Elizabeth
August 18, 2023

The demand for nurses is growing across the nation due to several factors, including population growth and an increased need for healthcare services. In fact, as the baby boomer generation continues to age, the number of people with chronic diseases is projected to grow from 8.7 million to almost 37 million in 2030. When this happens, nursing job growth is likely to explode in multiple areas of patient care. 

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Simultaneously, nursing jobs will begin to grow in each US state, with the highest demand for nurses in states like California, Texas, and Florida. Additionally, states such as Alaska, Pennsylvania, and Nevada will offer some of the best wages for nurses. Overall, however, the job outlook is promising for both nurses in the field and new nurse graduates looking for jobs. 

What Factors Contribute to Nursing Job Growth?

The demand for professional and highly trained nurses will continue to grow in the coming years. Right now, some of the fastest-growing nursing jobs are registered nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives. With that in mind, here are some of the main factors that influence a steady rise in nursing opportunities in the United States:

Population Growth 

States with increasing populations tend to have a higher demand for healthcare services, including nursing. As more people reside in a particular state, there is a greater need for nurses to provide medical care and support. States like Texas are seeing particular growth. In fact, in the coming years, the role of a nurse practitioner (NP) is expected to grow by 32 percent in the state of Texas, which will add thousands of new jobs for NPs. 

Nurse Supply and Demand

A combination of nursing shortages and a lack of trained physicians have contributed to the high demand for new nurses, which inevitably results in more job openings. Likewise, per diem nurses—who have the ability to fill shifts for facilities quickly—will continue to be in high demand. 

The Aging Population 

One of the biggest contributors to nurse job growth will be an aging population. Taking into account that by 2029 every baby boomer will be 65 or older, there will be a sharp demand for healthcare services, particularly in long-term care facilities as well as home health settings. According to Statista, California is the state with the highest aging population, with about 5.96 million people aged 65 years or older, followed by Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

Why Is Nursing Job Growth Different in Each State?

While wages and salary can vary depending on what state a nurse chooses to work in, nursing job growth will continue to soar. At the same time, changes in healthcare infrastructure, such as the availability and quality of healthcare facilities in each state, can impact the growth of nursing jobs. That’s because states with well-developed healthcare infrastructures tend to attract more healthcare providers, like nurses, to meet the demand for medical services. 

Furthermore, state-specific healthcare policies and legislation can also contribute to the growth of nursing jobs. For example, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 expanded access to healthcare services for millions of Americans. This expanded access resulted in an increased demand for nursing professionals to provide care for an increased number of patients seeking medical attention. In 2021, Florida, California, and Texas accounted for 42 percent of all ACA enrollees—and California happens to be one of the best-paying states for registered nurses. Additionally, Georgia and North Carolina have high ACA enrollment. 

What Is the Outlook for Nursing Jobs?

Nursing shortages, population growth, and state-specific policies all influence nursing job growth. Simultaneously, there has also been a shift towards travel and per diem nursing, allowing nurses to have more flexibility with their schedules. Per diem jobs benefit both nurses and healthcare facilities since per diem nurses fill in for last-minute shifts that need coverage and receive high compensation in return.

In addition, the shift towards online recruiting using real-time staffing apps has created a demand for skilled nurses who are willing to adapt to new environments. So, is the demand for nursing jobs growing? All the evidence indicates so, and it doesn’t look like nursing job growth will slow down any time soon. 

Are you a nurse looking for high-paying shifts or a healthcare facility looking for high-quality clinicians? Nursa’s open healthcare marketplace improves patient care by connecting professional nurses with facilities that need coverage fast!

Blog published on:
August 18, 2023

Meet Jenna, a contributing copywriter at Nursa who writes about healthcare news and updates, empathy and compassion for nurses, how to show staff appreciation and increase retention, and guides that help nurses navigate career pathways.

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