June 16, 2017 – Washington, DC – The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this month reported that 6.9 million Americans are unemployed, while at the same time 6 million jobs remain unfilled in America. This gap in labor exists because employers demand job-ready employees and millions of prospective employees are simply not able to bridge the skills gap without appropriate career education and training. One such field is vocational nurses, where 117,300 skilled professionals are needed by 2024.
BLS projects that the licensed practical and vocational nurse profession will grow by 16% by 2024, much higher than the average growth rate. In 2015, 78% of degrees in practical nursing, vocational nursing, and nursing assisting came from private sector career colleges and universities, according to CECU research supported by data from the U.S. Department of Education’s IPEDS database and BLS. The sector is projected to produce 58,441 degrees in practical/vocational nursing and nursing assisting by 2025. With the high growth rate of the vocational nursing projection, it is vital that career colleges are able to provide the quality training needed to prepare skilled workers to fill that demand.
Vocational nurses perform critical roles in patient care at hospitals and long-term care facilities. From administering care, to helping patients bathe, dress and change bandages, to maintaining health records and working with nurses and doctors to report on status of patients, vocational nurses are key to ensuring that the facilities where they work run smoothly and that patients get the treatment they need. This gives vocational nurses opportunities to work directly with patients very often. As the baby boom generation ages and the number of people diagnosed with chronic conditions increases, more vocational nurses will be needed to take care of patients.
“Vocational nurses have a vital role in face-to-face contact with patients, as they may have the most contact with patients out of the whole medical staff at a facility,” said Konstantin Gourji, CEO of Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts. “A career in caring for patients who cannot care for themselves is a great option for those who want to make a difference in people’s lives and build a sustainable career.”
“Our schools are of vital importance to ensuring that the demand over the next decade is met and that facilities can be well-supported with the staff they need to care for patients,” said Steve Gunderson, president & CEO of CECU. “A huge percentage of degrees in this field come from career colleges and universities, and we must ensure that they can continue to train the skilled workers our nation needs to care for our sick and elderly population.”
About Shortage of Skills
Each month CECU will profile America’s “Shortage of Skills” (SOS) in one key industry. We will examine industries that are critical to America’s economic advancement and explain how a well-educated and well-trained workforce can address these issues. See previous SOS releases here.
About Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU)
Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) is a membership organization of accredited institutions of higher education that provide postsecondary education with a career focus. CECU’s work supports thousands of campuses that education millions of students.