Top New Hampshire Nursing Schools, Colleges & Degree Programs
According to economists, the increase in job openings for nurses across the country is 26% between now and 2020. For New Hampshire in particular, the growth is likely to be 25%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has added that the best prospects are for nurses with advanced degrees.
The greatest growth is expected to be in doctors’ offices, hospitals and home health. The highest growth, specifically, is likely to be in outpatient treatment clinics and surgical centers. This is a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, leading to hospitals trying to discharge people more quickly, and also because the baby boom generation is aging and going into retirement. New Hampshire, overall, is set to follow all the standard national trends.
The nursing shortage is caused by a number of factors. One of these is multi-state licensure. Some 20% of New Hampshire nurses actually work in other states. Massachusetts is particularly interesting, as salaries are higher there. As a result, many nurses choose to commute. It is believed that around 30% of the current workforce is mobile. This means that efforts have to be made to increase the median annual salary, which currently stands at $62,800, below the national average.
A second factor is the graying and retirement of a substantial percentage of the current workforce. The average age of registered nurses is the same as the national average, which means that they are approaching retirement age very quickly. Unless the positions lost through retirement are filled, the state will not be able to keep up with the rate of loss. The 25% increase demand in workforce is above and beyond retirement levels, which means the actual increase in demand is much higher.
The nursing workforce in general is aging, but none as rapidly as nursing faculty staff. Unfortunately, there simply aren’t enough qualified nurse educators to teach the workforce of the future, and those that are currently in place are approaching or even past retirement age. Indeed, there are just 9 schools accredited with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and they are so understaffed that some 1,132 qualified students were not able to get accepted in these schools.
As in all states, the best salaries are enjoyed by those with the highest levels of education. There is a strong drive in New Hampshire to encourage further education. At present, around 10% of students are enrolled in master’s degree programs and the state is trying to bring in initiatives to increase this.