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.
Experienced registered nurses may become registered nurse consultants in their particular area of expertise. Some become legal nurse consultants (LNCs) and help attorneys with the medical aspects of their cases. Some nurses choose to become lactation consultants to help new mothers that are having trouble breastfeeding. Registered nurses also become consultants for government agencies for issues like childhood obesity awareness campaigns and HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns, and help to prepare plans in case of natural disasters or biological terrorism. Registered nurse consultants should usually be advanced practice nurses, credentialed in their specialty and/or have several years of relevant experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts excellent, overall job growth for registered nurses.