Strong Demand for Nursing Degree Programs

RN Nursing Program Student
RN Nursing Program Student

Students obtaining R.N. and B.S.N. Degrees in Nursing from New York have more than doubled since 2002. The number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to nursing students has spiked from 4,913 in 2011 to 5,866 in 2014, according to the University at Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies report. These figures present very good news, because New York and the rest of the United States desperately need more nurses.

Growth of Healthcare Employment
Growth of Healthcare Employment

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’, there will be a need for 525,000 replacements nurses in the workforce by 2012-2022, bringing the total number of job openings for nurses to 1.05 million by 2022.  Fueled by a baby boom generation of nurses now over the age of 46, the needs of the healthcare community has shifted and poses a substantial challenge to the health care educational community. More than 50 percent of the nursing workforce is close to retirement; younger nurses will need education to close the gap. Luckily, the potential salary and job growth outlook for those who pursue a nursing career has candidates entering nursing degree programs in droves.

This influx of interest in the nursing degree program has necessitated an uptick in online programs for nursing degrees. In fact, the number of fully online R.N. to B.S.N. programs in America has grown by more than thirty percent in the last two years according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

More Baby Boomers Retiring

Today, many online nursing programs provide interactive seminars to students in all nursing courses which address various readings, online discussion, and written assignments. Instructors convey concepts and assignments that aid students gain deeper, cognitive understand of each course. Through this process, learners must demonstrate mastery of the material, which faculty evaluates based on student posts on interactive discussion boards and written papers. In short, online courses prove just as rigorous as in-classroom courses. Online colleges and traditional colleges are accredited in the same way — they both must meet the criteria set by independent accrediting bodies to receive recognition by that body.

In order for the U.S. nursing degree programs to prepare future nurses to tackle the deficit in the field, the growth in on-campus nursing degree programs must increase in conjunction with online nursing degree programs to meet demand.

 

Graph sources

Baby Boomers Retiring

Growth of Healthcare Employment

Photo Credit

Medical & Healthcare

Research Contribution

A. Anderson

Physician Assistant Degree Programs

Physician Assistant degrees are growing in demand as more than 60% of the health industry’s workforce are in fields that require Allied health degrees of which a Physician Assistant (PA) graduate degree being one of the most necessary in the future. With a high annual median salary of over $90K and a job outlook of over thirty-eight percent more than other occupations, the PA graduate degree has massive appeal.

Physician Assistant Grad Program
Physician Assistant Grad Program
Quick Facts: Physician Assistants
2012 Median Pay $90,930 per year$43.72 per hour
Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 86,700
Job Outlook, 2012-22 38% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 33,300

Graph via BLS.gov

Why Are Physician Assistant Graduate Degrees In Such Demand?

The Professional Environment in which physician assistants work typically are physicians’ offices, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.  The direction of the Job Outlook for the profession is projected to grow thirty-eight percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. The growing elderly and general population, expanding chronic diseases and a physician shortage, will result in a higher demand for health providers, such as physician assistants. Physician Assistant ranks as one of the Top 10 Jobs In the United States by the The Bureau of Labor Statistics report 2014-15 because of salary, length of the degree program and flexibility to transition into many other fields of medicine.

Students for Physician Assistans Degree Program
Students for Physician Assistans Degree Program

What Is The Degree Program For Physician Assistants?

Physician assistants must have some experience in the allied health field prior to entering their two-year bachelor’s practitioner program. After earning a bachelor’s degree, most students complete a master’s physician assistant program — an intensive two-year degree which require candidates to familiarize themselves in specialities and expertise in wide-ranging subjects including biochemistry, pathology, pharmacology and physiology to name a few. Some students decide to take a BA-PA in conjunction with an MS-PA in an accelerated graduate degree.

Studying a broad spectrum of medical and surgical care, the knowledge retained will advance their proficiency in a broad range skills rather than one specific area of study. Graduate students master such subjects as surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, geriatrics, pediatrics, among many other fields.

Licensing and Certification

To become a certified physician assistant and be eligible for the acronym PA-C, students complete a graduate degree from an accredited, Allied health college.

What Crucial Service Can Physician Assistants Provide?

Physician assistants practice medicine under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Physician assistants are medical providers who are licensed to diagnose and treat illness and disease and prescribe medication for patients. The PA profession is designed to be adaptable, preparing PAs to work with doctors in primary care or medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Because of the breadth of their knowledge, they are highly capable of providing care in emergency situations. In the primary care setting, Physician Assistants can provide almost all of the clinical services that physicians provide, including diagnosing and treating illnesses. PAs may be required to make clinical decisions and provide diagnostic, preventive and other health services.

What Communities Do Physician Assistants Offer High-level Care?

Today, thousands of people have access to quality health care because there are PAs in their communities. Physician Assistants are critical to increasing access to care for underserved patients, as they are often the only health providers in these areas. PAs made nearly 300 million patient visits and prescribed or recommended approximately 332 million medications in 2008.

In order to continue giving high-quality healthcare to patients, physician assistants graduate degree programs are essential to the healthcare industry. These graduate degrees are growing in demand — which means more PAs will be entering the workforce to assist in the physician shortage in the forecast.

**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Physician Assistants.

Research Contribution: A. Anderson

Photo credit:

MedSourceConsultants  — Physician Assistants

PA Grads

PA Grad Program

Students for PA Program

 

Allied Health Degree Programs in High Demand at Colleges and Universities

Allied health professionals are those who work and function within a variety of diagnostic, technical, therapeutic and direct patient care support services.  These practitioners make up approximately 60 percent of the health workforce in the United States.

The benefits of a Doctor of Osteopath Degree is that it carries with it the expertise in modern medicines, surgery, the use of technology to diagnose disease and evaluate injury, and a hands-on diagnostic and treatment system called osteopathic manipulative treatment . This system of osteopathic manipulative treatment can often alleviate symptoms without the use of surgery or medications. Osteopathic physicians work in partnership with patients to help them achieve a high level of wellness by focusing on health education, injury prevention, and disease prevention through a holistic approach, using the body’s natural capability to fight off illness.

Allied Health University Students
Allied Health University Students

With the nation facing a critical physician workforce shortage, degree programs for health professionals are more relevant than ever. By 2020, the gap between our physician supply and demand will range from 50,000 to more than 100,000. Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine are in high demand to meet the upcoming shortage. According to a 2015 report released by AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), the nation will face a 46,000 to 90,0000 physicians shortage by 2025.

“The doctor shortage is real – it’s significant – and it’s particularly serious for the kind of medical care that our aging population is going to need,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.

Currently, there are 74,000 licensed and active practicing osteopathic physicians who utilizes the entire scope of modern holistic medicine and a hands-on approach to diagnosing and treating illness and injury. More than 4,800 new osteopathic physicians enter the workforce each year — with more than 20 percent of medical students in the United States who are training to acquire osteopathic degrees. And the number of nurses, physical therapists, and physicians assistants wanting a DO degree are on the rise.

Allied health professional
Allied health professional

Thousands of Allied health professionals seek admission to Osteopathic Medical Schools every year.  Numerous international medical candidates also seek admittance to U.S. Osteopathic Medicals Schools because of the highly regarded Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.

The interest in homeopathic, holistic and osteopathic systems of medicine is proliferating exponentially. The growing need to provide allied health care college degree programs is very attractive to entrepreneurial colleges and universities.

Research Contribution: A. Anderson