The Affordable Care Act was upheld by the Supreme Court on June 28 and this historic decision puts nursing programs in an interesting position. Even in a time of budget shortfalls, ECU College of Nursing is looking to the future with optimism and a sense of opportunity.
HealtheCareers’ second quarter Healthcare Jobs Snapshot confirms the opportunities that exist in the nursing profession. The number of job openings for nurse practitioners increased 16% and the number of vacancies for Registered Nurses increased 40% during the second quarter.
Today, nurse practitioners have prescription writing authority in all states and provide valuable patient care services in roles such as family, adult, women’s health, pediatrics, psych/mental health, and nurse-midwifery. Nurse practitioners will provide healthcare to many of the 30 million people who gain coverage under the new law.
Registered Nurses are needed to fill positions vacated by retiring nurses. One caveat with the increased need for nurses is that vacancies occur in advanced positions and hospitals are seeking seasoned nurses to fill these openings. As seasoned nurses accept advanced positions, new nurses will see openings in entry-level positions.
Yes, budgets are tight and nursing programs are feeling the economic impact, but nursing programs must continue to seek ways to expand offerings to meet the needs created by the Affordable Care Act.
Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor
ECU College of Nursing