As I look at the growth potential for many health care occupations, including nurses, doctors, technicians, technologists, pharmacists and many more, the growth rates are among the highest in the labour market.
It’s quite simple, our population is aging and health care workers play a critical role in that trend. And while innovative drugs, technology and therapies are limiting the amount of personal interaction required, the highly intensive nature of health care limits our ability to significantly lower the total number of jobs needed to be filled.
All this is taking place at a time when the largest pool of workers, who are paying the majority of taxes, are retiring. I say all this to say that while you may read that health care jobs have excellent potential, that potential is significantly limited by government’s ability to fund those jobs.
As an example, as we looked at job postings for nurses, nearly all of them were for part-time, temporary or casual positions at a time when most health care authorities are struggling to keep up with demand. There just isn’t the funding available to create the new full-time positions required.
Nurses remain one of the largest occupational groups in British Columbia with more than 46,000 workers. And while many nurses may be struggling to find employment in Metro Vancouver, the data would suggest that seeking casual employment or relocating to a small rural community can be a fast-track to full time, sustainable employment.
While it’s estimated that 5,000 new jobs will be created in the next five years just to keep up with the expanding health care sector, more than 7,000 jobs will be created to replace retiring nurses.
Most nurses are now in their late 40s and early 50s and thousands of new jobs will become available to replace these workers in the coming decade.
While nursing appears to be a great career choice, at least in the long-run, it is critical for new nurses to make effective choices. These choices will relate to where they go to school, the communities where they hope to find work and their area of specialty.
Gerontology is just one area of tremendous growth. In nursing as with all occupations, it is essential for new workers to have a clear understanding of their life goals, employment preferences and a clear sense of what brings workplace satisfaction. With that understanding you can make a career in nursing work best for you, rather than the other way around