The U.S. workforce is made up of three million nurses. This number accounts for the biggest portion of the healthcare sector. Although considered as one of the few professions that see consistent growth, the country’s supply of nurses is having a hard time keeping up with demand. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s prognosis, from 2014 to 2022, there will be a shortage of 1.2 million nurses.
For most people, this statistic is not enough to encourage them to enter the nursing field. The long hours and the hazards even make registered nurses apply as legal consultants.
Baby Boomers Turn Gray
The major catalyst for this projected shortage is the aging of the baby boomer population. There are more senior citizens—65 and older—in the United States right now than at any point in the country’s history. It only follows that an aging population to be in need of more health care professionals such as nurses.
Health Care Facility Hazards
If you or somebody you know work in the healthcare sector, you must be well-versed with anecdotes about workplace hazards to which healthcare professionals are prone. These health care facility hazards come in different forms:
- Biological (Hepatitis, TB, HIV, AIDS)
- Psychosocial (stress from shiftwork, violence, etc.)
- Ergonomic and Physical (heavy lifting, falling, tripping)
- Chemical (ethylene oxide, glutaraldehyde)
- Fire and Explosion (mishandling of oxygen tanks)
- Electric (frayed equipment cords)
Working in a setting where you have to deal with these risks day after day can be draining, and, in the end, not worth the average annual income of $67,000 you could be earning.
Alternative Careers for Nurses
Occupational hazards, among other reasons, prompt registered nurses to look into alternative professions. One such option is working as a registered nurse legal consultant.
If you are a registered nurse who wants to transition to legal consultancy, you can earn as much as $62,000 per annum. This job will still allow you to tap into your medical expertise, minus the hazards.