November 8, 2013 | Marcus Varner | Leave a comment You have probably heard a lot about the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, since its online marketplace opened last month. Because of this new sweeping healthcare legislation, the number of Americans with health insurance is expected to increase by tens of millions. As a result, job opportunities in the medical field are on the verge of rising at an unprecedented pace. One of the specializations that is expected to see a significant increase is nursing. More Insured Patients Seeking Care As the Affordable Care Act ramps up, the number of patients seeking routine check-ups and preventative treatment is expected to rise, creating a physician shortage. According to a recent Forbes article, using nurse practitioners to make up for the newfound scarcity of primary care doctors could help alleviate this shortage. The research also indicates that an expansion of nurse-managed health centers, where nurses provide basic medical treatment, has the potential to eliminate at least 50 percent of the doctor shortage. Naturally, these conditions will result in numerous job openings for nurses. A recent article on NBC News echoed this sentiment, with one doctor suggesting that nurse practitioners have the potential to be “a huge, huge solution” to the primary care physician shortage. According to Dr. Thomas Bodenheimer, nurse practitioners can do roughly 90 percent of what doctors do. Given that fact, it’s easy to see how useful nurses will be in the upcoming doctor shortage. In fact, nurse practitioners are already a major part of the American healthcare system. By law, nurse practitioners are able to operate independently, without being supervised by a doctor, in 18 states. With the new healthcare law, that number could easily rise. Nursing Programs Expect Influx of Candidates to Meet Demand There may be no better time to enter the field of nursing than now. Students considering a career in this growing industry should take the time to research all their options. A great option for many students who require a flexible school schedule, is the University of Phoenix, which offers an in-depth, online nursing degree. According to the school’s website, the University of Phoenix has been a leader in nursing education for more than 25 years. The University of Phoenix offers numerous advantages to its students. The school has flexible scheduling, allowing students to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree even if they have a job or other commitment. It also offers an accredited curriculum that is regularly updated to meet state requirements. The school’s almost 2,000-member faculty consists of healthcare professionals and licensed nurses. Moreover, small classes allow each student to receive personalized attention, while the instructors create a collaborative environment so that students can learn from one another’s experience. Consider a Career in Nursing In the months and years to come, the American healthcare system is expected to undergo an unprecedented change, and nurses are going to be in demand more so than ever before. Nurses represent the front lines of the medical field. More than any other specialty, they interact directly with patients, making sure that they’re receiving the trusted care and medical treatment that they need. And with the upcoming shortage of primary care physicians, nurses are poised to take on an even greater role in the American medical system. If you’ve ever thought about pursuing a career as a nurse or a nurse practitioner, now may be the best time. Click here to explore how to get your nursing degree through University of Phoenix or other schools.