The United States will need up to one million new nurses by 2022, according to a report by the Huffington Post. As the American population ages, lives longer, more people needs access to health care. The National Nurses Week starts Friday and it is important to remind the key role these health professionals play in society.

More than a million nurses will be needed in less than ten years to face a wave of retirements. The National Council on Aging reported that Americans age 55+ will make up 107 million people, or 31 percent of the population.

Save a life you're a hero, save a hundred you're a nurse
It’s a must for the U.S. health care system to upgrade its employees as over half of the current work forces are over 50 years old. Image Credit: Children’s Hospital

From 2014 to 2024, employment of registered nurses is expected to increase more than 19 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That rate will grow much faster compared to the average for all occupations.

About 50 percent of all nurses are over the age of 50 today. This represents an opportunity for universities and colleges to expand their nursing programs and create new ones.

The most honest and ethical profession in America

An annual Gallup survey revealed that nursing is the most honest and ethical profession in the United States. The public has been standing for this opinion for 14 years in a row nationwide. Registered nurses (RNs) are on the frontlines offering quality health care every day across the country in hospitals and clinics. People benefits from health care when attending physician offices, nursing homes, patient’s homes, schools and community health centers.

The American Nurses Association (ANA), has focused this year’s celebration on the need for safe work environments through its Culture of Safety campaign. It’s worth noticing the ANA has backed the nursing profession since 1896. A culture of safety consists of key values and behaviors that come as a result of an overall commitment by managers, health care worker and organizational leadership. Which in turn emphasizes the patients’ safety over competing goals.

Nursing is no easy job

Nurses practice in more than 200 different specialties, from mental health and anesthesia, to oncology and geriatrics. This profession implicates a hard job physically and emotionally. Large numbers of nurses suffer debilitating pain and severe injuries from manually lifting patients each year. In fact, they often miss work days because of musculoskeletal injuries as they rank fifth among all occupations for the highest rates.

Moreover, half of all accidental needle stick injuries occur to nurses. Other safety-related incidents happening at the workplace include bullying, exposure to disease and fatigue.

A research conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality  revealed that contributing to a healthy work environment for nurses results in improved health care for patients.

Source: Huffington Post