by Tim O’Neill~

It’s funny how my new job has given me a new perspective on my old job.  Prior to becoming a regional labor market analyst with DEED, I was employed as a surgical support specialist at a Twin Cities hospital.  While I love what I’m doing now, our data show that pursuing a career pathway to nursing would have been an excellent decision!

According to the Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Occupations in Demand (OID) tool, registered nursing is the number one in-demand job in the state of Minnesota.  These data sets reveal high marks for nursing:

  • Registered nursing is the third largest-employing occupation in Minnesota, with approximately 57,920 registered nurses.
  • In 2014, employers reported the highest number of registered nursing vacancies since 2008.
  • New layoffs for health care practitioners and technical occupations have been in steady decline since 2009, as the demand for healthcare services continues to rise.

Fun Medical MGD©Educational Outcomes
Because of the demand, nursing programs are often one of the most popular with students who are looking to find a stable, well-paying job. With the release of DEED’s Graduate Employment Outcomes tool, it is now possible to discover how registered nursing completers are doing.  Of the more than 4,000 registered nursing graduates from the 2012 class, over 85% had found work in Minnesota two years after graduating.

Not only did they find jobs, they found good jobs! Two years after graduating, those 2012 nursing completers were earning an annual median wage of $51,611.  This is significantly higher than the annual median wage for all programs in that graduating class, which was just under $30,000.

The Demand will Continue
While the current demand for registered nursing is high, what about the future?  According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, more than one in five state residents will be 65 years of age or older by the year 2030.  With an aging population, there will be more demand for health care services.

This increase will push the demand for registered nursing forward.  State projections indicate registered nursing may grow by 17% between 2012 and 2022, much higher than overall employment growth, at 7%.  In fact, the state projects an additional need for 20,000 registered nurses over that period of time (see Table 1).

NursingProjections2012-2022Source: DEED’s Employment Outlook tool

Nursing as an Occupation
Beyond the current and projected demand for registered nurses, there is also underlying value to what a nurse does that cannot be measured by numbers and figures.  It is a challenging, yet highly rewarding occupation.

An occupation that just happens to be the most in-demand in Minnesota!

For additional information on registered nursing, check out the following websites:

Tim O’Neill is DEED’s regional analyst for the seven-county Twin Cities region of Minnesota.

Featured image courtesy of the Waag Society under Creative Commons. 

2 thoughts on “A Shot in the Arm for a Career in Nursing

  1. It is interesting to read about the increasing demand for nurses as the healthcare field continues to grow. It will be be fascinating to explore university and college responses to this increased demand to see whether more institutions offer nursing programs, as well as differences in demand of four year versus two year nursing degrees. All nursing majors I knew in college had no difficulty in obtaining jobs in the nursing field, and have been able to explore several areas within the field as they are well prepared for mobility within specialized nursing spheres.


  2. It’s good to hear about and see the facts supporting this continual growth. I went did my undergrad at one of the top nursing schools in the country and many of my fellow classmates were nursing majors. I thought they were well prepared for the workforce, as the curriculum was rigorous. They also found jobs quickly after graduation. Thanks for the great article!


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