Vanderbilt study finds more young people becoming nurses - WSMV Channel 4

Vanderbilt study finds more young people becoming nurses

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A new Vanderbilt study has revealed that significantly more people are becoming registered nurses, which may help ease a shortage in the field.

Research shows a 62 percent increase in the number of 23- to 26-year-old's who became registered nurses between 2002 and 2009. That kind of growth hasn't been seen in that age group since the 1970s, according to a research team of RAND Corporation health economist David Auerbach, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University School of Nursing's Peter Buerhaus, Ph.D., R. N., and Dartmouth College professor of economics Doug Staiger, Ph.D.

Rather than a steady decline as previously projected, the nurse workforce is now expected to grow at roughly the same rate as the population through 2030. 

In addition, more people are becoming nurses in their late 20s or early 30s, spurred by two-year associate degree programs and accelerated nursing degrees targeted to those in other fields. The recession and the decline in manufacturing jobs also have triggered interest in nursing since health care is one of a handful of industries that is continuing to grow and hire.

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 20 schools of nursing in the country.

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