According to information in the Occupational Employment Statistics for May 2007, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 10,600 registered nurses practicing in Rhode Island nursing jobs that year, making an average annual wage of $65,190 ($31.34 per hour). This is higher than the average annual wage of $62,480 ($30.04 per hour) earned by registered nurses across the nation at this same time, and is also over $22,000 higher than the average annual wage earned across industries in Rhode Island that year, which was $42,210 ($20.30 per hour). This data clearly shows that registered nurses who choose Rhode Island nursing careers earn higher than average wages and enjoy a better than average standard of living.
This already appealing career choice is poised to become even more enticing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition. Projections in this report show an anticipated 23% growth rate in the nursing industry between 2006 and 2016, which would result in 587,000 additional nursing jobs over the next few years. The country’s population is expanding, people are living longer, our population is aging and current registered nurses are preparing to retire. All of these come together to create an ever increasing demand for health care professionals to meet the needs of our changing world, and to make this an exceptional time for students to consider Rhode Island nursing programs.
This report also notes that registered nurses will have better and more plentiful job prospects if they earn a bachelor’s degree or higher through an accredited nursing program. Therefore, students looking towards future Rhode Island nursing jobs should keep this in mind as they choose the nursing program that is right for them.