GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in every five jobs created this year is in the health care field. On the forefront of that hiring wave are careers in nursing.
Local 5 took a look at that trend here in northeast Wisconsin and how area hospitals and schools are getting ready for the rush.
Friday was a big day for one local group of graduates. The first graduating class of the Rasmussen College nursing program took part in their traditional pinning ceremony.
"I wanted to become a nurse just because I see the effect they have on others," said new nurse, Kristie Lewins.
Created just last year, the Dean of Nursing said the program should help combat the expected nursing shortage the state will soon be facing.
"A majority of them have been offered job interviews and some have already been offered positions," said Bill Hartman.
Despite today's economy, statistics predict registered nursing employment will grow about 26% by 2020. And as baby boomers continue to age, there will be a big demand for licensed practical nurses to work in long term care facilities.
"It's cyclical so there will be times that we do okay from a recruitment prospective and then there's other times where it's very difficult," explained Gwen Baumel, the Vice President of Human Resources at Aurora BayCare.
Baumel said, currently, their nursing vacancy rate is very low. However they are still preparing for the future.
"We try to continue to support the schools in terms of providing clinical sites for the students and to encourage them to keep their enrollments at an even pace so that when we do experience greater recruitment needs, there will be nursing graduates out there," added Baumel.
"If it's at a nursing home or anything, it's great," said Lewins "Just a start to get some of the nursing profession under our belt and get it on our resumes."
Local 5 also checked in with St. Vincent and St. Mary's hospitals in Green Bay and found a majority of their job openings right now are for nurses.