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Facts About Nursing


  • There are 2.9 million RNs in the United States. (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2007)
  • Nursing is America’s largest growing profession. There will be 587,000 new RN positions created in the next 10 years—a projected growth of 23%. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Nursing is one of the largest segments of the U.S. workforce. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Healthcare is currently one of the only sectors of the economy still growing and adding jobs. (Buerhaus, Staiger & Auerbach, 2009)
  • Nurses have topped Gallup’s Honesty and Ethics ranking every year but one since they were added to the list in 1999. (The exception is 2001, when firefighters were included on the list on a one-time basis, shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks.) (Gallup Survey on Honesty and Ethics, 2000–2008)
  • There are four nurses for every doctor in the United States. (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008)
  • Famous nurses in history:

–       Clara Barton (created the American Red Cross in 1881)

–       Florence Nightingale (statistician and advocate of sanitizing hospitals during the Crimean War)

–       Margaret Sanger (birth control advocate)

–       Helen Fairchild (documented the bravery of nurses during WWI)

–       Mary Todd Lincoln (First Lady of the United States and volunteer nurse in Union hospitals during the Civil War)

  • Nurses are educated, affluent professionals:

–       100% professional/managerial (1)

–       94% female (1)

–       39.4 median age (1)

–       $62,480 IEI (1)

–       $95,767 median HHI (2)

–       70.5% married (2)

–       45.4% children under 18 (2)

(1) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

(2) U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2004 National Sample Survey RN