Growing field of nursing busy on Christmas

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Like many other Americans, nurses and other healthcare workers often must work on Christmas and other holidays.

St. Mary’s Hospital emergency room nurses Michelle Bovyn and Rachael Skott admit missing special events like holidays can be difficult, but they also point to rewards offered by their work.

“It is, for me, the most gratifying thing that I’ve done,” Bovyn said. “I didn’t go straight out of college into nursing. I worked in another field for almost eight years, and decided to go into nursing and haven’t regretted a day.”

As the U.S. population grows and ages, demand for nurses is increasing rapidly, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. According to that data, the number of registered nurses needed in the United States is expected to grow from 2.71 million in 2012 to 3.24 million in 2022. Along with the need to replace nurses who retire or quit, experts expect 1.05 million new job openings for registered nurses by 2022.

“There’s definitely different areas of nursing,” said Skott. “There’s homecare and nursing homes … it’s not just the hospital setting.”

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