As Baby Boomers age into retirement
by the millions each year, their growing health care needs require more
people to administer that care.
That makes fields such as nursing
one of the fastest-growing occupations, and hospitals are hiring now to
prepare for what's to come.
Central Florida Health Alliance has
140 to 170 open positions a week, and almost 90% of them are for jobs
that include registered nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and
pharmacy technicians, says Holly Kolozsvary, human resources director.
two-hospital system based in Leesburg and The Villages is hiring for
its peak season from January to April, when many retirees seek winter
refuge in the Florida sun. But it's also managing a trend that requires
it to employ more people year-round: More retirees aren't leaving at the
end of spring, Kolozsvary says.
kind of a domino effect," she says. "They move here, they're well, they
get sick, they're left here through their cancer or heart disease, and
we have to take care of them."
postings on Monster.com for positions including registered nurses,
physical therapists and physician assistants rose 13% from June 2011
through June 2012, according to a 2012 health occupational report by the
The additional demand could be due partly to hospitals
preparing for the retirements of many older nurses as the economy gets
better, increasing the need for new skilled workers. Scripps Health, a
group of five hospitals and 23 outpatient facilities in San Diego, plans
to hire about 400 nurses a year over the next three years but might
need to increase that by 200 annually because of retirements, says Vic
Buzachero, senior vice president for human resources. About 30% of the
hospitals' nurses are older than 50.
Jamie Malneritch applied for
a part-time job as a registered nurse with Scripps in March and heard
from the hospital the same day she submitted her application. She
started working a month later.
The 31-year-old, who has worked as a
nurse for four years, says the job security and growth opportunities
were primary drivers in her decision to go to nursing school in 2006.
"It seems like we always need more hands," she says. "Nursing is flourishing."
an average salary of $64,690 a year, according to 2010 data from the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing may be the more desired
profession, but lower-paid home health aides are actually in higher
An industry shift that puts more emphasis on outpatient
care and home health services makes home health and personal care aides
two of the fastest-growing occupations in the country. Employment in
both positions, which have an average salary of about $20,000 a year, is
expected to grow by about 70% by 2020, BLS data show. Registered
nursing is expected to grow 26%.
ResCare HomeCare, a national
provider and employer of home health and personal care aides, who work
primarily with seniors with chronic illnesses or disabilities, has
received 32,000 applications this year, a 23.3% jump from last year, and
it hired 6,000 of the people who applied, about 5% more than in 2011,
says Shelle Womble, senior director of sales.
Home health and
personal care aides are generally the same, providing services such as
checking vitals, prepping meals and bathing and grooming the patient.
But home health aides are funded by Medicare and, in some states,
require more training, while personal care aides are funded privately
and may require less training, Womble says.
ResCare, where aides make $22,000 to $30,000 a year, is anticipating the need for more workers in the near future.
now, one of our key positions is that we are hiring the talent before
we even get the clients so we can be prepared and have the staff
available," Womble says of home health and personal care aides. "There's
a lot more competition for that type of employee."