Why Practical Nursing Career Opportunities Continue to Grow

a group of people in a room

Nurses are medical professionals who provide patient care and help other medical professionals perform tests or administer treatments. Nursing professionals include certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses (LPNs), licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) such as nurse practitioners (NPs), nurse anesthetists, and nurse-midwives.

Career opportunities for nurses continue to exceed the average job growth rate for all occupations. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicated that while the average growth rate for all jobs will be four percent between 2019 and 2029, LPNs and LVNs would enjoy a nine percent job growth rate, and RNs should see jobs increase by seven percent. Opportunities for nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists are projected to increase by 12 percent and 14 percent, respectively, while NPs enjoy a 52 percent job growth rate during the same period. Read on to explore some of the reasons practical nursing opportunities continue to grow.

Medical facilities need nurses with specialized training.


Medical research continues to expand doctors’ and nurses’ medical knowledge, leading to new treatment options. There are thousands of different diseases, including more than 100 different types of cancer. While some of the most common types of cancer include breast cancer, lung cancer, and prostate cancer, people can also be diagnosed with rare cancers, including thyroid cancer, brain tumors, and lymphoma. Specific tests must be performed to confirm a cancer diagnosis, and the type of treatment patients receive may depend on the type of cancer, location of the tumor, and how far cancer has progressed. Each type of cancer specialist needs nurses to work in their office or medical facility to provide optimal patient care.

Nurses can also specialize in specific medical fields, such as neonatal care and infection control. Specialized medicine increases the demand for nurses.

Many activities can lead to physical injuries.


Many people dream of traveling to Hawaii and spending time in the ocean. Surfers enjoy the benefits of being physically active on the water while riding a surfboard. Other popular water-based recreational activities include paddle boarding, bodyboarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking. Taking surfing lessons ensures surfers have the knowledge needed to surf and know how to respond to emergencies, which can prevent injuries.

When injuries occur, the injured parties may need medical care from nurses and other medical professionals. A patient with a broken arm or leg may need an LPN to help them dress or bathe. The United States Coast Guard reported 4,168 boating accidents in the U.S. in 2019, resulting in more than 2,500 injuries. This figure doesn’t include the number of people injured in other types of recreational activities, such as horseback riding, windsurfing, hand gliding, and rock climbing. The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that exercising resulted in approximately 468,000 injuries in 2019. Driver Knowledge reported that three million people are injured in car accidents in the United States each year. These figures highlight the need for nurses and other qualified medical professionals who can treat patients with injuries.

There are more types of medical services available today than ever before.


Individuals seeking practical nursing career opportunities have more options now than ever before. As medical knowledge increases, medical services diversity. Hospitals or medical clinics may employ nurses. Nurse practitioners and nurse midwives may establish their medical practice, primarily if they serve communities in remote areas. Nurses may also work for physical therapy offices and ambulatory services. Agencies also hire nurses to provide in-home medical care for patients. There are also employment opportunities with nursing homes and insurance companies.

Qualified medical professionals have opportunities outside traditional medical facilities.


Nurses may work for employers outside the traditional medical community, including government agencies and schools. School nurses provide first aid and emergency care for any students or staff members injured on school grounds. They may also evaluate students who feel ill to determine if they should be sent home. Students who need to take medication throughout the school day are sent to the school nurse, who secures their medication and gives them the appropriate dose. School nurses must comply with medication administration requirements and document all medications they receive and doses given to students.

Nurses employed by the government may provide medical care to government employees. These nurses may also work with people who need medical assistance and advise people on Medicaid and Medicare about their treatment options.

Experienced nurses may opt to leave the field.


Nurses may opt to leave the medical field and work in related fields, creating job vacancies and increasing demand for new nurses. With a master’s degree in nursing, experienced nurses can pursue opportunities to teach nursing students in college programs. The BLS reported that postsecondary nursing instructors earned median incomes of $75,470 in 2020, making this an ideal career option for nurses who want to pursue an academic career.

Experienced nurses can also become legal nurse consultants. Lawyers hire legal nurse consultants to provide expert insight on medical lawsuits. For example, a personal injury lawyer may hire a legal nurse consultant to evaluate a client’s condition and testify about the severity of their injuries. Legal nurse consultants may also research medical products or workplace operations to determine if a product or procedure caused a person’s injuries. Legal nurse consultants may also testify at criminal trials if a person’s actions or a product causes a wrongful death.

Opportunities for nurses continue to grow at a fast rate. There are several reasons nurses are experiencing high job growth rates, including demand for specialized healthcare services and the high rate of accidents causing injuries. Not only are there more types of medical services than ever before, but organizations outside the medical field also need professional nurses. Nurses may also leave the field and pursue opportunities in education and the legal field, increasing the demand for practical nurses.