By Kyle G. Anderson, ESPN Senior Writer | May 25, 2019 9:22amThe nursing profession continues to be a strong driver of consumer spending in the U.S. and Canada.
And according to a report released Thursday by the Marketing Professionals Association, that drive has continued in 2019 with the majority of nursing professionals reporting an increase in their earnings.
While some sectors have seen a slight decrease in earnings, the average salary for nursing professionals is expected to increase by about $500,000 to $4,600,000 in 2019, according to the Marketing Professions Association’s (MPAA) 2018-19 Salary Survey.
The survey also shows that many nursing professionals are looking to advance their careers.
For example, the median pay for a full-time nursing executive increased by more than 10% over the past year, and the median salary for a mid-level nursing executive rose by almost 8% to $3,700,000.
“There’s a lot of good reasons why the nursing profession is seeing an increase,” said Mike Johnson, CEO of the MarketingProfessions Association.
“There’s more opportunity for nurses to move into other sectors, and that’s something we see across the board.”
For the second year in a row, nursing professionals across the country will be competing for jobs, which is an encouraging sign that the nursing workforce is improving.
“When you’re a nurse you’re really focused on being a nurse,” said Johnson.
“And that’s what makes nursing a good career choice for many of the nursing professionals.”
There are a number of ways nursing professionals can take advantage of the growth in their profession.
Nursing schools are starting to offer internships, which will allow nursing professionals to get experience on-the-job training, learn about nursing issues, and gain valuable knowledge about the industry.
Additionally, nursing schools can also provide paid internships for RNs who are already enrolled.
“We think this is an opportunity to be part of the health care workforce and have that exposure to new health care workers,” Johnson said.
“We think the trend is definitely good.”
Another way nursing professionals may be able to capitalize on the trend in 2019 is through nursing student debt.
In 2019, the nursing student loan industry grew by more then $15.6 billion, and by 2020, the number of nursing students with nursing debt will exceed the total student loan debt for all of the nation’s colleges and universities.
According to the American Medical Association, this is because more than 90% of students who attend nursing schools are enrolled for at least one year.
The average nursing student will have a $5,000 student loan balance by 2020.
The average nursing debt for a nurse will be $17,000 by 2020 with the median student loan amount exceeding $30,000 and the average student loan payment being $537.
The majority of nurses have debt and a wide variety of student loans.
For instance, over 80% of nursing student borrowers with nursing loans will have student loan balances totaling $150,000 or more by 2020; over 80%.
Nearly 90% will have debt of at least $100,000; and over 90%.
The median student loans for nursing students will exceed $100 million by 2020 and over 100% of nurses will have loan balances of more than $200,000 at some point.
Nursing graduates will have higher debt burdens than other professionals, with more than 70% of graduates having more than three times the debt of the average resident.
“If we’re going to keep growing the industry, we have to be flexible,” Johnson added.
“I think that’s the best way to grow the industry.”
The biggest driver of the increased income of nursing graduates is that they are taking on a higher proportion of their own student loans than other careers, according the MPAA.
“In 2019, 77% of new nursing graduates will take on a new nursing student loans, a higher rate than the national average of 54% and nearly the highest rate of any other major career in the nursing field,” Johnson noted.
According to the MPAAA, nursing graduates who are taking out student loans are also likely to be in debt for at some time in the future.
While the average new nursing graduate will be in default on their student loans by 2020 — which means that they will likely have to repay them in full at some stage — more than half of new graduates have some debt to service, and nearly half have some outstanding student loan.
“That’s something that you don’t see much of in other careers,” Johnson told ESPN.
“But with the nursing industry, the percentage of new graduate nursing students who have some student debt outstanding is pretty high.”
While nursing graduates in 2019 may not be taking out as much debt as other professionals in the industry due to the lower rate of defaults, they still have an opportunity for financial independence.
“If you’re going into a nursing school, it’s important that you’re paying your own way, and