Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics for May 2007 gives us a good idea of the status of the nursing industry in Wyoming. As of that month, there were 4,250 registered nurses practicing their trade in Wyoming nursing jobs and making an average annual wage of $52,800, which is $25.38 per hour. This is considerably higher than the average annual wage earned by workers across industries in Wyoming at the time, which was $36,110, or $17.36 per hour. This much higher than average compensation, along with a better standard of living, is undoubtedly one of the reasons why so many Wyoming residents choose Wyoming nursing programs and Wyoming nursing careers.
In Wyoming, and across the nation, the nursing industry is experiencing a massive growth and, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2008-2009 Edition, is expected to expand by 23% between 2006 and 2016. This would be one of the fastest rates of growth across industries and would result in an additional 587,000 jobs for registered nurses over the next several years. Some of the factors contributing to this increase in demand for registered nurses are the nation’s growing and aging population, the number of registered nurses retiring, the fact that people are living longer, and the trend towards using registered nurses to provide more extensive patient services as a cost cutting measure. As Wyoming’s population continues to grow and age, prospective registered nurses entering Wyoming nursing careers can expect a similar rate of growth.
Students in the process of choosing a Wyoming nursing program should keep in mind that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook also points out that the best and most lucrative job prospects will be presented to registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree or higher.