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Nursing: Can It Remain a Source of Upward Mobility Amidst Healthcare Turmoil

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The ongoing policy debate about the best way forward with healthcare reform has left out a major group of professionals central to making the system work—nurses. Nursing: Can It Remain a Source of Upward Mobility Amidst Healthcare Turmoil? finds that a college education is key to upward mobility in the profession. The report also reveals a lack of diversity among nurses remains a challenge.

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Nursing: Can It Remain a Source of Upward Mobility Amidst Healthcare Turmoil

  1. 1. Nursing: Can It Remain a Source of Upward Mobility Amidst Healthcare Turmoil? By: Anthony P. Carnevale, Nicole Smith, and Artem Gulish August 30, 2017
  2. 2. Overview •Healthcare overhaul could threaten nursing jobs •156,000 nursing jobs could be at risk as US healthcare debate continues •Many nurses are working learners •Nursing involves more than direct patient care •RNs with more education have higher wages •Lack of racial/ethnic diversity remains a challenge •Male RNs make more than female RNs at every educational attainment level
  3. 3. Healthcare overhaul could put more than 156,000 nursing jobs at risk •Nursing is the largest healthcare profession, with 3.2 million RNs and 720,000 LPNs/LVNs •Repeal of Obamacare could cause a decline in demand for healthcare services as health insurance coverage would decrease
  4. 4. Over the last 35 years, RNs’ college degree attainment doubled
  5. 5. •Among RNs, 66 percent have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or higher •Sixteen percent of RNs have graduate degrees—a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Doctor of Nursing Science (DNS) •Advanced degrees and specific certifications, such as cardiac life support and medical coding, are becoming common additional credentials for RNs Educational attainment (cont.)
  6. 6. Many nurses are working learners •10 percent of nurses who are working full-time or part-time are also enrolled in postsecondary institutions •Shift to the BSN as the dominant nursing credential risks leaving Black and Latino nurses behind: 70 percent of RNs with a BSN are White, 10 percent are Black, and 6 percent are Latino
  7. 7. Nursing involves more than direct patient care
  8. 8. RNs with more education have higher earnings
  9. 9. •Annual earnings for RNs average $67,000 a year, which is $7,000 higher than the average for all workers ages 25-54 •Nurses with a BSN have average annual earnings of $68,000, which is $8,000 higher than the average for women with a bachelor’s degree •RNs with a master’s or a doctoral degree have the highest annual earnings ($81,000), while those with a hospital based diploma have the lowest ($56,000) Earnings (cont.)
  10. 10. Lack of racial/ethnic diversity remains a challenge
  11. 11. •Whites represent 64 percent of the US population and 70 percent of RNs with a BSN •Unlike the RN workforce, the LPN/LVN workforce reflects relatively greater diversity—the share of minority LPNs/LVNs increased from 16 percent in 1983 to 43 percent in 2016 Diversity (cont.)
  12. 12. Male RNs make more than female RNs at every education level • The share of male RNs has more than tripled since 1980, but is still just 10 percent of RNs • Male RNs with a BSN earn 19 percent more than female RNs with a BSN • For RNs with an ADN the gender wage gap is 5 percent
  13. 13. Conclusion •Lack of racial and ethnic diversity remains a challenge—only 7 percent of RNs are Latino, compared to 16 percent of the US population who are Latino •Changes in healthcare policy affect access to quality of care, as well as availability of good jobs in nursing •Loss of jobs in healthcare professions pose many implications to family structure and mobility for women
  14. 14. For more information: Email Us | cewgeorgetown@georgetown.edu Follow Us on Twitter | @GeorgetownCEW Find Us on Facebook | Facebook.com/GeorgetownCEW Follow Us on LinkedIn | linkedin.com/company/georgetowncew See the full report at: cew.georgetown.edu/nursingcareers

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