Nursing Facts and Figures: Job satisfaction is increasing!

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Nursing Facts and Figures: Job satisfaction is increasing!

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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Statistics don’t always make for interesting reading, but you might find these from the California Healthcare Foundation to be an exception. They are all about the nurses in our state.

• With close to 300,000 actively licensed practitioners, nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the state. The number of practicing
California nurses nearly doubled between 1980 and 2008, but California remains near the bottom of all states in the number of RNs per capita.

• The diversity of the nursing workforce has grown over the last two decades, and non-white nurses now comprise 40 percent of the total. The workforce does not, however, reflect the general population, since many of the non-white nurses are foreign-trained from the Philippines.

• The nurse practitioner designation is the most sought after advanced-practice credential, and the
number of NPs more than doubled from 2004 to 2008.

• RN salaries grew nearly 19 percent from 2001 to 2009, outpacing inflation, and resulting in an average salary of $81,428. San Francisco ranks highest with an average salary of $91,104. In Los Angeles the average is closer to $76,913.

• The age of the average nurse is increasing, and now is at 47 years old. Nearly half the workforce is over 50 with 12 per cent planning to retire in the next five years.

• Most nurses, over 50 percent, continue to work in acute care settings.

• Job satisfaction is increasing and relates directly to interaction with patients. What is least pleasing? The amount of paperwork required.

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