The Bureau of Labor Statistics published an Occupational Employment Statistics report for May 2007, which states that the average annual wage for Mississippi nursing jobs at that time was $53,400, or $25.67 per hour. This is lower than the national average annual wage of $62,480 ($30.04 per hour) for registered nurses in all states; however, it is important to note that most areas in Mississippi have a considerably lower than average cost of living and the annual wage for all workers across industries in the State of Mississippi at the time was $31,730, or $15.25 per hour, showing that Mississippi nursing careers actually pay very well, relatively speaking.
The future of registered nursing looks very promising with employment opportunities expected to grow by 23% by the year 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If nursing career possibilities expand as expected, this would result in an additional 587,000 nursing jobs across the nation over the next few years. As stated in the Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is a considerably higher growth rate than that expected of almost any other industry. When one considers our expanding population and medical advances that are leading to increased lifespans, it is easy to see how the demand for registered nurses will continue to grow. The demand will also increase as current registered nurses retire, and as the health care field moves towards the idea of nurses providing some additional services, once only performed by doctors, in an effort to limit health care costs. As the population in Mississippi expands and ages, registered nurses in this state can expect similar growth rates in their field.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition also points out that nurses holding a bachelor’s degree or higher will experience better job prospects in the coming years than their counterparts with lower degrees. And, nurses who advance their education beyond the bachelor level will experience the greatest increase in opportunities and advancement. Prospective registered nurses considering Mississippi nursing careers may want to look into Mississippi nursing programs that confer these bachelor-level or higher degrees in order to set themselves up for the greatest success in their nursing career.