Nursing in the United States
Did you know nursing is the largest health care profession in the country? There are 2.7 million nurses in the United States dedicated to practicing in health care settings and communities across the country. In addition to hospitals, nursing homes and schools, nurses can also be found at community centers, homeless shelters and tourist sites. Despite the large number of people working in the nursing profession, experts project our country will face a shortage of nurses in the coming decades. This projected shortage is based on a number of factors, including declining enrollments in nursing schools, an increased demand for services from the aging baby boom population and the projected retirement of current nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of the registered nurse workforce will be eligible for retirement over the next 15 years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects by the year 2020 the combination of retiring nurses and increased demand for nursing services will mean there are 20 percent fewer registered nurses than the country needs. In recognition of the importance and dedication of our nation's nurses, GovBenefits.gov is highlighting some of the benefit programs available for those interested in pursuing a career in nursing.

For additional information on employment statistics for nursing and other professions, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at www.bls.gov

  • Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship

  • The Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship program supports traineeships for licensed registered nurses enrolled as full-time students beyond the twelfth month of study in a master's nurse anesthesia program. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=726

  • Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program

  • To assist in the recruitment and retention of professional nurses dedicated to providing health care to underserved populations, the Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program offers registered nurses substantial assistance to repay educational loans in exchange for service in eligible facilities located in areas experiencing a shortage of nurses. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=449

  • Nursing Student Loans

  • The Nursing Student Loan program provides long-term, low-interest rate loans to full-time and half-time financially needy students pursuing a course of study leading to a diploma, associate, bachelor or graduate degree in nursing. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=827

  • Nursing Workforce Diversity

  • Nursing Workforce Diversity increases opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented among registered nurses, by providing student scholarships or stipends, pre-entry preparation and retention activities. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=727