As reported in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics for May 2007, there were 57,740 registered nurses working in Virginia nursing jobs at that time, with an annual average wage of $59,350, or $28.54 per hour. This is well over $15,000 more than that average annual wage for all workers across industries in Virginia at that time, which was $42,880, or $20.61 per hour, and is undoubtedly one of the reasons why so many Virginians are drawn towards Virginia nursing programs and Virginia nursing careers. Practicing nursing in a state that is rich in history and natural beauty, while enjoying a considerably better than average standard of living, is certainly an excellent career choice.
To make this career choice even more appealing, all one needs to do is look at the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition, which reports projected growth for the nursing industry to be 23% between 2006 and 2016. If the nursing industry grows as expected, this would result in 587,000 additional registered nursing positions across the country over the next few years. This is one of the fastest anticipated growth rates across industries and is due in part to the growth and aging of the country’s population, the fact that people are living longer lives, the expected rate of retirement among registered nurses currently working in the field, and the expanding use of nurses to provide more services to patients in an effort to lower health care costs. Prospective nurses entering Virginia nursing programs can expect to see a similar rate of growth in the Virginia nursing industry.