With National Nurses Week celebrated in May, this is a good time to take stock of the profession. Who are nurses in contrast to the way they are portrayed in textbooks and in popular culture?
Some of the facts regarding nurses will seem obvious, but others are quite surprising.
There are currently 3.1 million registered nurses in the United States, according to the American Nurses Association; that’s about one nurse for every 100 Americans.
According to the same source, the average nurse is 45 years old and 62.2 percent of employed nurses work in hospitals.
The average nurse salary, according to the ANA, is $66,973.
About 5 to 6% of nurses are male, according to a Journal of Nursing Education study cited in an article on MinorityNurse.com. The article states the percentage of male nurses has remained relatively constant for decades, probably as a result of gender stereotypes. The author explains that nurses were overwhelmingly male for 2,000 years, until Florence Nightingale’s modernization of the profession, at which point the idea became prevalent that women had an inherent ability for care-giving.
4.2 percent of nurses identify as black or African-American, 3.1 percent identify as Asian, Native American, or Pacific Islander, 1.7 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino, 0.3 percent identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native, and 1.4% identify as two or more races and non-Hispanic, according to statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services that are also cited by MinorityNurse.com.
How highly educated is the average nurse? Of RNs, 50 percent hold a bachelor’s degree or higher and 13.2 percent hold a master’s or doctoral degree, according to the American Nurses Association. About 250,000 RNs are prepared as advanced practice registered nurses.
What’s the expected job growth for nursing? From 2008 to 2018, the profession is expected to add 581,500 jobs.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator, Erica Moss, on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2tor — an education technology partner that partners with institutions of higher education such as Georgetown University to deliver their online Masters Degree in Nursing.
Registered nurses numbers image from Shutterstock