Nursing Shortage is Not Exclusive to RNs

If you are a nursing student or considering becoming one, you should know you don’t have to become an RN in order to find a job. In fact, some health hiring experts say LPNs are really in-demand.

We have been hearing about a nursing shortage for more than a decade and that trend is expected to continue well into 2020. Statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show job growth for RNs is expected to increase 26 percent between 2010 and 2020. Right behind, but not as well publicized, is the need for LPNs, with a expect job growth rate of 22 percent.

The explanation for the shortage can be summed up in two words; “baby boomers.” By 2020, the entire baby boomer generation will be 55 years and older. With an aging population that is living longer, the need for healthcare providers is only going to increase. If you pair that with the number of current nurses reaching retirement age, the need grows even larger.

Health hiring experts say that as the number of long-term care facilities increases so will the need for LPNs who can provide basic bedside and personal care. While their scope of responsibilities is not as wide as RNs, there are many advantages to becoming an LPN. Not only is the demand great right now, but as a one-year program, LPNs are able graduate and enter the workforce sooner.

They are also able to enter their program sooner. RN students often find themselves on waiting lists while colleges and universities scramble to expand enrollment capacity. Schools like Rasmussen College have immediate openings in their LPN programs. LPNs can also save considerable costs on education, often reducing the need for student loans.

Becoming an LPN is also a great way to gain first-hand experience and determine whether nursing is truly your calling.


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Michelle Knoll is a freelance writer based out of the Twin Cities with more than 15 years experience writing for local media outlets and other various organizations. She can be reached at

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