With more than three quarters of nurses in Vermont age 45 or older, there is an evident need for a new crop of nurses to fill nursing jobs in the near future. The nursing shortage is not as severe in Vermont as it is elsewhere, but with more than half of the nursing industry planning to retire by 2020, it will definitely feel the pinch soon. The state has already prepared for this by offering financial incentives for nurses to pursue graduate studies and go into teaching, which will help expand nursing programs and lessen the projected shortage.
Patient care assistants (or PCAs) work under the supervision of nursing and medical staff to complete routine tasks and provide direct patient care. Certified nursing assistants, hospital attendants, licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses are examples of patient care technicians. Patient care assistant job requirements will vary greatly depending on the job; some will require CNA certification while others will only require a high school diploma. Because of this, patient care assistant salary will also vary greatly between positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent job growth for nursing aides, orderlies and attendants, at 19%.