There is a strong demand for nurses today. Career prospects are excellent and job possibilities are plentiful. In fact, employment opportunities for Registered Nurses are expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations in the near future. St. Thomas University graduates will continue to fill the demands for traditional hospital nurses, but a large number will be employed in home health, community care and ambulatory care. The most rapid growth is expected in hospital outpatient services such as same-day surgery, rehabilitation and community-based care agencies. The St. Thomas University/University of Miami Joint Nursing program emphasizes these areas for future professional nursing positions.

St. Thomas Nursing graduates can expect an average annual income of at least $60,000. The average annual base salary of advanced practice full-time nurse practitioners is $80,000 while other advanced practice nurses, such as nurse anesthetists, earn over $100,000.

The number of registered nurses employed in Florida in 2006 was 152,000. It is projected that in 2012 there will be 175,533. This represents an annual average growth rate of 2.9 percent, faster than the 1.9 percent growth rate for all occupations in Florida. By 2020 the demand for nurses in Florida will exceed the supply by 33% which is higher than the national average (20%) due to the aging population and the retiring nursing pool in our state. The shortage of Registered Nurses in Florida is projected to hit 61,000 by the year 2020. Nationwide, at that time there will be a shortage of more than 400,000 RNs.

Hospitals are using several strategies to hold on to their nurses. Many hospitals offer flexible schedules, bonuses, training programs for advancement into critical-care nursing (CCN) and other incentives such as loan forgiveness programs.