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How The Pandemic Changed Nursing

Families relocating are seeking careers immune to location and recession

By Debby Wadsworth, Freelance Writer

The coronavirus is upending jobs, taking away our pastimes, creating havoc with our social lives, separating us from family and friends. Many Americans are now on an unemployment rollercoaster and clamoring to get off. Many are looking toward relocation and location-proof careers for their new normal.

Big Cities Losing Popularity

Immediately after the Great Recession, Millennials flocked into big cities that created a period of growth and revitalization. But the growth bubble burst a few years ago when Millennials and older members of Generation Z started moving into smaller metro areas according to a report by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution.

The three largest metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have experienced population losses over the past several years. Even slightly smaller metro areas, like Houston, Washington, D.C., Miami, have been affected by the trend. The first city on the list of top 10 metro areas people are relocating from is New York, New York according to Redfin.

The 10 Top Areas People Are Moving From
  • New York, NY
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Washington, DC
  • Miami, FL
  • San Diego, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Albuquerque, NM

The pandemic has boosted an already growing relocation trend. According to a Harris Poll, nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas. For Millennials, 73% said they want to move in the next 10 years. According to Frey, the trend began in the mid-2010s with millennials and older members of Generation Z who were increasingly choosing smaller metro areas like Tucson, Ariz.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Columbus, Ohio.

The Pandemic Fuels Relocation

Millennials are getting older and entering the next stage of life — marriage, kids, higher salaries. A 2018 survey of 1,200 adults aged 20-36 from Ernst & Young revealed that more millennials are buying homes in the suburbs than in cities. Gen Y is beginning its exodus too, just like the generations that came before it. They are leaving because of skyrocketing rent, interest in better schools, and finding more family-friendly amenities.

Now the coronavirus virus has given them one more reason to move — health safety. Americans are looking for less densely populated places according to Retinectomy’s housing migration report for Q4 of 2019. For Americans, Phoenix is first on the list of the places where people are moving. Millennials have Dallas, Texas at the top of the list, followed by Houston and Austin, Texas, then Phoenix, Arizona, according to US News & World Report.

The Top 10 Metros People Are Moving To
  1. Phoenix, AZ
  2. Sacramento, CA
  3. Las Vegas, NV
  4. Atlanta, GA
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Dallas, TX
  7. Portland, OR
  8. Tampa, FL
  9. Boston, MA
  10. Nashville, TN

Many Consider Changing Careers

Millions of working adults are reevaluating their careers during the coronavirus pandemic and are ‘re-skilling’ to ensure they can adapt to life post-lockdown. A study of adults found that 39 percent of respondents are considering changing careers according to PeopleCert. People want to avoid another ride on the unemployment rollercoaster and trying to increase their odds of having a location-, recession-, and pandemic-proof jobs.

Many employers are open to people reskilling and even helping them switching careers. For instance, recently, Amazon announced a $700 million program to reskill 100,000 of its U.S. based employees in healthcare, machine learning, manufacturing, robotics, and computer science

68% Of Millennials Want To Work From Home

With new careers come new work location choices. Sixty-eight percent of Millennial job seekers say a work from home option would greatly influence their interest in working for a company, according to a recent study by Fundera. Regular working at home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 173% since 2005, according to March 2020 report from Global Workplace Analytics. That is 11% faster than the rest of the workforce. Medical and health jobs are among the top categories for remote and partially remote jobs according to

Health Care Careers Shine In This “New Normal

For families seeking work-life balance, health care and medical careers have the highest odds for a location, recession and pandemic-proof career. It is estimated that five health care workers are needed for every moving truck that arrives to a city bursting at the seams from relocation. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, this sector accounts for seven of the top ten categories for the highest projected job growth through 2024.

The Fastest Growing Health Care Jobs 2020- 2024

1. Specialty Hospitals
2. Home Health Care Services
3. Offices of Other Health Practitioners
5. Offices of Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and Audiologists
6. Community Care Facilities For The Elderly
8. Ambulatory Services
9. Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities

The non-health care and medical related categories in the top 10 were:
Power and Communication Line and Related Structures Construction (#4), Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses (#7), and Other Financial Investment Activities (#10).

Registered Nurses Tops the List

Top job titles for the number one category were respectively Registered Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Medical Secretaries, and Medical Scientists. Registered Nurses are the leading occupation mainly due to an aging population, an aging workforce, and a limited supply of new nurses. States will have the biggest nursing shortages by 2025 are:

1. Arizona – 28,100
2. Colorado – 12,900
3. North Carolina – 12,900
4. Maryland – 12,100
5. Nevada – 7,800
6. Washington – 7,000
7. Georgia – 6,700
8. Oregon – 6,000
9. California – 3,700
10. New Mexico -3,400

Registered Nurses choose their specialty, receiving good pay, make a difference, work in a variety of work environments, and have a flexible work schedule. Registered Nurses also enter the workforce quickly and can switch jobs relatively easily when relocating. Plus, nursing roles are also expanding. There are increases in specialization for psychiatry, gerontology, forensics, research, legal, etc. Entrepreneurship opportunities are also on the rise for starting your own business and work from home.

While there is no job that is 100% location-, recession-, and pandemic-proof, moving to a health care career as a Registered Nurse role improves the odds of achieving it. The change will also lead to getting off the unemployment rollercoaster.

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