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Nursing Career Outlook

The Healthcare System is Always Changing.

This is a critical time for healthcare — the industry is losing over half a million experienced nurses to retirement while undergoing transformations to healthcare policy, law, and expectations of care that are creating new roles.1 It’s now estimated that between those combined changes, 1.18 million jobs in nursing need to be filled between 2014 and 2024.1 The nursing career outlook for clinical nurse leaders, educators, and administrators is physically and financially viable with strong growth opportunities.

Nurse Educators Job Outlook

As a nurse educator, you can use your voice and nursing experience to set the future standards of care for patients and nursing-practice expectations as you instruct the next generation of nursing leaders. As more nurses take advantage of the new opportunities available and wish to advance their job in nursing, more nurse educators are needed to teach them the advanced practice skills and knowledge they need to move forward in their careers.

There’s a 19 percent increase projected in available jobs for nurse educators between 2014 and 2024, and the industries with the highest levels of employment and salary are outlined below.2

Industries With Highest Levels of Employment

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $76,480
Junior Colleges $69,320
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $86,980
Technical and Trade Schools $82,490

Industries With Highest Salaries

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals $106,910
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals $88,630
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $86,980
Other Schools and Instruction $83,960
Technical and Trade Schools $82,490

Clinical Nurse Leader Job Outlook

As a CNL, your daily scope of patient responsibilities widen, and are rooted to strong leadership skills. You’ll improve patient care based upon communicating the data you’ve collected about your patients and collaborating with an entire care team, including other nurses in your unit, doctors, physical therapists and even family. In your daily interactions and communications with others, you’ll act as a mentor and motivating force, exemplifying a higher standard of quality patient care by bringing research to light, considering the ideas of those on your team, and making suggestions for improvements that maximize patient outcomes and comfort.


“The CNL coordinates care between MDs, physical/occupational therapies, nutrition, discharge planners and other providers involved in the patients’ care. We are the glue that binds the different healthcare disciplines together so that information or detailed assessments are not missed.”
— Queens alum Caroline Hosseini in “A Day in the Life of a Clinical Nurse Leader.”


A vast majority — 90 percent — of CNLs work in either urban or suburban settings and 62 percent of them are responsible for acute, inpatient care.3 Though CNLs main focus is patients, and their employment settings are concentrated there, as noted above, 20 percent of CNLs are employed at nursing schools or health universities.3

The role of a CNL has been proven to reduce the occurrence of infections, falls, pressure ulcers, and readmissions, and to improve medication adherence. Their advanced knowledge and capabilities result in a higher salary than the average RN, with a median annual wage of $84,000.4

Nurse Administrator Job Outlook

As nursing roles advance, and the demand for healthcare services increase, the experience of highly skilled nurses is seen as a valuable credential in management. Nurses bring a practical, patient-centered understanding of management-level issues, and considerable empathy to the ramifications of executive-level decisions.

The nursing career outlook for nurse managers is 17 percent, and the median pay is $94,500 per year.5 The industries with the highest levels of employment and salary are outlined below.6

Industries With Highest Levels of Employment

Industry Annual Mean Wage
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $117,630
Offices of Physicians $105,140
Outpatient Care Centers $101,800
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities) $90,970
Home Health Care Services $98,690

Industries With Highest Salaries

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing $216,910
Scientific Research and Development Services $149,150
Insurance Carriers $146,090

Take charge of the health of your patients and the wellness of your organization with the Queens online Master of Science in Nursing program. Learn more about our MSN specializations. Call us at 866-313-2356 to speak with an admissions representative, or request more information.


1 ANA Nurses by the Numbers, June 2016 Edition.

2 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251072.htm for nurse educators.

3 http://www.aacn.nche.edu/leading-initiatives/cnl/cnl-certification/pdf/CNLStats.pdf.

4 http://nursejournal.org/clinical-nursing/what-is-the-salary-outlook-for-clinical-nurse-leader/.

5 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm for nurse administrators.

6 https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119111.htm#st.