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Rhode Island Healthcare Jobs Grow, Nurses in Demand

Posted on August 12, 2008

If you’re looking for an in-demand healthcare job in Rhode Island, you should consider a career as a nurse.

Rhode Island, along with many other parts of the nation, is currently in the midst of a nursing shortage, which is only expected to worsen as many workers retire and the healthcare industry continues to grow. Also adding to the problem is the inability of colleges and universities to increase nursing program enrollments as demand grows and faculty retire.

Nationwide, 4.7 million people are employed as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants, and about 85 percent of these employees work within the healthcare industry. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates one-fourth of the 4 million expected healthcare job openings through 2016 will be in the nursing field.
According to the Rhode Island Department of Nursing and Training, there were 23,439 nurses in Rhode Island in 2006, and that number is expected to reach 27,959 by 2016, with 795 annual openings.

“Mirroring the national trend, the demand for nursing occupations in Rhode Island is also expected to be high as establishments in the state seek to fill nearly 800 job openings each year,” the article notes. “It is expected that Rhode Island hospitals, nursing care facilities and home health care services will need to fi ll some 4,000 registered nurse, 850 licensed practical nurse and over 2,500 certifi ed nursing assistant job openings during the ten-year projection period. These openings will result from the growing demand for workers as well as the need to replace those who leave the occupation.”

In 2002, the federal government passed the Nurse Reinvestment Act, which authorized: loan repayment programs and scholarships for nursing students, public service announcements to encourage more people to enter the nursing profession, career ladder programs for those who wish to advance within the profession, best practice grants for nursing administration, long-term care training grants to develop and incorporate gerontology curriculum into nursing programs and a fast-track faculty loan repayment program for nursing students who agree to teach at a school of nursing.

Colleges in Rhode Island that offer nursing programs include: Community College of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, Salve Regina University, St. Joseph’s School of Nursing and the University of Rhode Island.

Mystic River Press
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Cranston Herald
Sakonnet Times
Portsmouth Times
The Express