According to data in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics for May 2007, there were 16,970 registered nurses working in West Virginia nursing jobs making $24.53 per hour on average, which comes to $51,020 per year. This is nearly $20,000 more than the average West Virginian worker who makes $15.53 per hour, which is $32,310 per year. This significantly higher pay and better standard of living is undoubtedly one of the many reasons why West Virginia natives and new residents are drawn to West Virginia nursing programs leading to rewarding and well-paying West Virginia nursing careers.
Nursing has always been a popular career choice and is now even more appealing as the demand for qualified, well-educated registered nurses continues to rise as our nation’s population expands and ages, registered nurses currently working in the field begin to retire, and the health care sector moves towards using nurses to provide more services to patients in order to keep health care costs down.
These factors, and others, are certainly behind the expected 23% growth rate in the nursing industry across the nation between 2006 and 2016, as reported in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition. These projections note that this growth would lead to an additional 587,000 registered nursing jobs across the nation by 2016, and would be one of the country’s fastest growth rates across industries. As the West Virginia population continues to grow and age as well, the nursing industry in West Virginia can be expected to increase at a similar rate.