10 Fascinating Facts About Nursing and Healthcare

There are numerous interesting facts about nursing that you may not know!

Nurses are an invaluable component in providing effective and efficient patient care.

Nurses comprise the largest profession in the U.S. for healthcare workers.

As a result, it’s safe to say without highly skilled nurses. As a result, patients wouldn’t receive adequate medical attention and care promptly.

Here are ten fascinating facts about nursing and the healthcare profession to celebrate all nurses do.

1. The Majority of Healthcare Workers in Hospitals are Nurses

According to BLS.gov, registered nurses make up the largest occupation within hospital settings by a large majority.

Registered nurses made up 30% of hospital employees in a May 2019 study.

Most people administered to a hospital are patients in need of medical care.

Therefore, many registered nurses are necessary to ensure proper and adequate treatment.

Also, there are more nurses employed at hospitals than doctors.

Although doctors perform higher-level medical care, registered nurses spend the most time with patients performing various medical tasks.

BLS estimates approximately 752,400 jobs for physicians and surgeons compared to over 3 million jobs for registered nurses.

In short, registered nurses outweigh physicians and surgeons by more than a 3 to 1-ratio.

2. Registered Nurses Earn Around $80,000 a Year

On average registered nurses earn around $80,000 per year! 

Some registered nurses earn six figures specializing in a particular domain (i.e., travel nursing) and working overtime.

That said, a nurse’s salary largely depends on their work location and experience.

Those who work in low-demand states earn less than those in locations with a significant need for registered nurses.

In some cases, nurses nearly double their salary by changing states.

To illustrate, according to nurse.org, registered nurses in South Dakota earn approximately $59,540 per year.

Comparatively, registered nurses in California earn around $120,560 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

3. Nurse Anesthetists Are Among The Highest Paid Professions

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse anesthetists earn one of the highest median annual incomes in the united states.

BLS states 20 of the highest-paying professions on this list, with nurse anesthetists at number 12.

Their annual salary is estimated to be around $183,530 per year.

Keep in mind that salary varies based on location and experience.

However, this is an average salary among all nurse anesthetists.

Most professions in the U.S. earning the highest incomes are in the healthcare field.

4. Nurses Walk 3 – 5 Miles Per Day

That’s right; the average distance nurses walk during a 12-hour shift is approximately 3 – 5 miles.

However, the distance they walk varies depending on their schedule.

For instance, nurses working daytime shifts walk up to 5 miles daily.

Conversely, nurses working night shifts walk more restricted, with estimates of 3 miles on average.

Finally, nurses working shorter shifts generally walk shorter distances.

Daytime nurses who work 8-hour shifts walk approximately 3 – 3.5 miles, while 8-hour night shifts walk about 2 miles.

That said, Hermanmiller.com estimates nurses travel around 4 miles during a typical 12-hour shift.

Here are some exciting citations/discussions regarding how far nurses walk.

5. APRNs Can Be Primary Care Providers

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) possess advanced qualifications and hold an MSN or DNP degree.

These healthcare professionals specialize in a particular domain and have the broadest scope of practice among all nursing professions.

Some APRNs prescribe medications, diagnose and manage complex health problems, act as primary care providers, and open clinics.

Nevertheless, state laws and regulations may limit an APRN’s capacities in specific locations. 

It depends on whether the state allows APRNs to have a full practice, reduced practice, or restricted practice license.

This state practice map provides an easy-to-understand view of a nurse’s scope of practice based on state.

6. There Are Over 100 Specialties In The Nursing Profession

The nursing profession is vast and diverse, offering many specialties for those interested in healthcare.

There are over 100 career specializations for registered nurses.

Careers range from hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, residential facilities, and government to research, education, law, and entrepreneurship.

As a result, there are excellent career opportunities for every personality type.

Registered nurses unfulfilled in one specialty can transition into another career that better suits their needs and desires.

Furthermore, career advancement and cross-education opportunities offer registered nurses numerous ways to earn significant incomes.

7. Nurses Week Runs From May 6th – May 12th

A commonly asked question among students and family is, “when is nurses’ week? Nurses week runs from May 6th – May 12th every year.

An interesting fact about those dates is that May 12th ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

May 12th is called international nursesday.

For those unfamiliar with Florence Nightingale, she is considered the founder of modern nursing.

Florence Nightingale introduced nursing theories, assisted during the Crimean War, and played a significant role in nursing.

Even more, she laid the foundation of nursing in the 1860s by forming her nursing school.

As a result, nurses celebrate Florence Nightingale’s accomplishments and their coworker’s yearly.

8. Over 3 Million Registered Nurses are Employed in The U.S.

As previously mentioned, registered nurses comprise a large percentage of all healthcare workers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 3.3 million registered nurses in the U.S.

Furthermore, there is a 7% projected job growth from 2019 – 2029.

It’s a higher job growth rate than all other professions.

As a result, nurses have increasing opportunities for career advancement and specialization.

Job growth is the result of numerous factors.

Common reasons include a longer-living population, increasing rates of severe medical conditions, and retiring older nurses.

9. Approximately 60% of Registered Nurses Work in Hospitals

Another interesting fact about nursing is that approximately 60% of registered nurses work in hospitals.

It means that 40% of RNs provide care outside a hospital setting.

It includes ambulatory healthcare services, nursing, residential care facilities, government, and educational services.

Most of the public’s experience with registered nurses is in hospitals.

Therefore, it’s easy to understand why many assume that most registered nurses work in hospitals.

Although hospital nurses are above 50%, many registered nurses operate outside of a hospital environment.

10. The Average Age of Registered Nurses is 51

Despite marketing/adverting showing registered nurses as young college graduates, the average age of registered nurses is 51.

It’s according to a survey by NCSBN. The survey provides numerous statistics regarding RNs and LPNs/VNs.

This data supports that a younger registered nursing workforce must offset the soon-to-be retiring nurses.

With the population living longer and requiring more healthcare, younger nurses will be necessary to minimize the nursing shortage.

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