The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health A report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. With more than 3 million members, the nursing profession is the largest segment of the nation’s health care workforce. Working on the front lines of patient care, nurses can play a vital role in helping realize the objectives set forth in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, legislation that represents the broadest health care overhaul since the 1965 creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. A number of barriers prevent nurses from being able to respond effectively to rapidly changing health care settings and an evolving health care system. These barriers need to be overcome to ensure that nurses are well-positioned to lead change and advance health.
American Nurses Association The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent member nurses associations, its organizational affiliates, and its workforce advocacy affiliate, the Center for American Nurses.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs. About 60 percent of RN jobs are in hospitals. Three typical educational paths to registered nursing are a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program; advanced practice nurses—clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners—need a master’s degree. Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent, but may vary by employment and geographic setting; some employers report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs.