According to new figures by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the health care industry is continuing to experience significant employment growth, with 36,800 jobs added in January alone. However, after factoring in a downward revision in December, health care employment remains at 15.34 million people.
Still, 2015 was a busy year for health care hiring, with organizations adding around 438,600 jobs, a big jump from the 259,200 added in 2014. BLS found hospitals and outpatient clinics account for a large portion of this growth. In fact, hospitals alone were responsible for hiring 23,700 people in January.
To further break down these figures, the bureau is also analyzing the employment patterns of smaller subcategories, such as residential mental health facilities and home health agencies. BLS reported that some of these providers actually cut down on jobs, including dentists, labs and nursing homes.
All of this job growth comes in the midst of a nursing shortage, a problem U.S. health care has been dealing with for decades that is anticipated to worsen. Because the baby boomer generation is reaching old age, health care is seeing its nursing workforce reach retirement at the same time as experiencing an influx of new patients.
The 3 million nurses in the U.S. currently comprise the largest portion of health care workers, and nursing is still the fastest-growing occupation in the country, but supply often falls short of the demand. BLS estimates that by 2022, about one-third of all nurses will reach retirement age, meaning there will be more than a million nursing job openings.
"Many nurses held off retiring during the downturn in the economy, but now the retirements are starting" Pam Cipriano, the president of the American Nurses Association, told the Atlantic.
BLS also predicts that by 2030, one in five Americans will be a senior citizen, 80 percent of which will have at least one chronic condition, and 68 percent that will have at least two. This means the need for nurses will only continue to increase.
This poses a unique challenge for health care providers who have either begun hiring new employees or have been left with open positions from a nursing shortage. Having a properly trained staff is essential to protecting your bottom line. So, in the midst of this tumultuous job growth, efficient training resources are invaluable.
For more information about how you can better train your staff to improve your quality of care, accounts receivable management and your overall financial efficiency, contact Professional Medical Services today.