Pickens Health Pathway: Nurse Aide—Tightening Labor Markets Bring Opportunity to Entry-Level Healthcare Workers

You probably joined the Nurse Aide program at Pickens Technical College because you
heard about all the opportunities in the healthcare field in Colorado and the United States at
large. Nurse aides are becoming increasingly important to nurses and other healthcare
professionals at facilities all over the country. With the Baby Boomer generation getting older,
retiring, and facing more health issues, and because of more people getting health insurance
coverage, the healthcare industry has been struggling to meet demand for several years now.

Many people looking for a career have stepped in to fill this void, but in Colorado, there’s still a massive shortage, and the shortage is projected to get worse before it gets better. According to a report by the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, our state is one of 16 in the US projected to have a shortage of nurses for its healthcare infrastructure by 2025.

In High Demand

Nurse aides are and will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future. Nothing has changed since you last heard about how tough the labor market is for healthcare facilities, and your skills as a nurse aide will be all the more appreciated and needed for healthcare centers around the state to be effective.

What this means is that you’ll have a better negotiation position when you graduate from Pickens’ Nurse Aide program. Because your skills will be in high demand due to low staff recruiting numbers for many healthcare facilities across the state, you can ask for higher wages, better access to career development resources, and more.

For example, UCHealth is constantly hiring nurses and nurse aides for its many vacant positions. Over the summer, it reported it had 250 nursing positions open, with dozens more available in two new hospitals under construction. Nurses need nurse aides to perform their duties well, so the job market for aides is still extremely strong.

More Opportunities

Going back to how you can leverage the current labor crunch in healthcare, you’ll have options coming out of Pickens’ Nurse Aide program. Many healthcare facilities are giving generous signing bonuses to new nurses. While aides might not be getting signing bonuses, know that you still have leverage in this market because you have valuable skills the state healthcare industry badly needs, so review all your options, let employers woo you a bit, and see if prospective employers will sweeten the pot to lure you away from their competitors. Weigh your options, and know that other states badly need nurse aides, too. Many Colorado healthcare companies are actively engaged in hiring out-of-state candidates to solve their staffing woes.

Study Hard

Once you receive your Nurse Aide Certificate from Pickens Nurse Aid program, you’ll have options, and not just at hospitals. Nursing homes, daycare facilities, government assistance programs, and many more healthcare operations will need skilled, qualified, highly-trained nurse assistants, so study hard and keep your eyes on the prize.

 

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