Nursing has long ranked among one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation, employing millions. But in the last few years, as healthcare has become the nation’s top employer, nursing job growth has kicked into another gear.

This is especially true in Texas. Projections call for a 16.8% increase in nursing job growth in Texas by 2028, according to federal government data. That’s compared to a 7% nursing growth rate nationally.

Houston Christian University prepares the next generation of nurses with undergraduate and graduate degree programs that give nurses the skills needed to take on challenges in one of the nation’s most in-demand industries. The online RN to BSN and hybrid MSN programs give nurses the flexibility to earn a degree while maintaining their current job.

Program graduates will find themselves with many job options amid unprecedented job growth and the need for nurses.

Explosive Healthcare, Nursing Job Growth

In Texas and elsewhere around the country, healthcare has emerged as one of the fastest-growing sectors. Nationwide, healthcare became the top employer in 2018, surpassing retail and manufacturing.

Between now and 2029, federal government projections call for a 15% growth in healthcare, creating 2.4 million new jobs. Of those, about 222,000 will become nurses. At the same time, the U.S. Registered Nurse Workforce Report Card and Shortage Forecast project that a United States nursing shortage will last from 2016 to 2030, spiking higher demand in some parts of the country.

Texas now employs more than 218,000 nurses, the second-most in the nation behind California. Salaries in the state for nurses have risen along with explosive nursing job growth, reaching an average of $74,540 in May 2019.

What’s Driving the Demand for Nurses?

The intersection of several factors has driven demand for nurses and job growth in the entire healthcare industry. Those factors include the following.

An aging population. By 2040, those over the age of 65 will account for 20.4% of the U.S. population. Older people will require more healthcare services as they develop age-related cognitive and physical conditions.

Machines can’t do it. Artificial intelligence and machine learning have started to siphon jobs away from people in industries as different as manufacturing and marketing. However, no machine can do what nurses do. Nursing only works when a talented, empathetic person does the job.

Chronic conditions are on the rise. A report from PWC Global suggests that the number of chronic diseases has risen worldwide, partly due to people adopting more sedentary lifestyles as they move into the middle class. Rising obesity rates have led to more cases of diabetes, and global pandemics also will continue to be an issue beyond the coronavirus. Other chronic conditions on the rise include arthritis and dementia. In all these cases, nurses are needed to provide in-person care.

The nursing job outlook remains strong for the coming years. For nurses who aspire to the best jobs in the profession, there’s never been a better time to boost their career by completing their four-year degree or earning a master’s degree.