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Nursing Careers Increase in Aerospace, Robotics, Rehabilitation and Travel Medicine

Updated on February 9, 2018
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty uses her MS in Preventive Medicine/Health Psych. and TKM as a contractor in research/treatment for public & private health agencies.

First Nurses on the Moon

In the above mage, lunar pioneers have encountered one of many health hazards and emergencies possible on the Moon.

Medics are attending an antenna installer who fell over a 90-foot escarpment and fractured his right femur (thigh bone).

NASA illustration of a medical emergency at a lunar colony.
NASA illustration of a medical emergency at a lunar colony. | Source

Our nation will return to the moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars.

— Vice president Michael Pense, July 7, 2017

Responding on a lunar "hopper", two other crew members use a portable CAT-scan device, a holographic display, and helmet-mounted heads-up displays to determine the severity of the injury.

After an inflatable Thompson splint is placed on his leg, the semiconscious technician is transported back to the base strapped onto the side of the hopper.

Fortunately, the NASA Class of 2013 astronauts for the Mission to Mars contains several doctors.

Apollo 11 Moonwalk in 1969. Who will be the first nurse on the moon?
Apollo 11 Moonwalk in 1969. Who will be the first nurse on the moon? | Source

Largest 15 Advertisers for Registered Nurses

  1. Cirrus Medical Staffing
  2. American Traveler
  3. Advanced Travel Nursing
  4. Epic Health Services Inc.
  5. SavaSeniorCare
  6. Correct Care Solutions
  7. BAYADA Home Health Care
  8. Fresenius Medical Care
  9. Cleveland Clinic
  10. Voyage Healthcare
  11. Core Medical Group
  12. Professional Edge Nursing
  13. Aureus Medical Group
  14. Favorite Healthcare Staffing
  15. PSA Healthcare

This popular poster in history reflects today's need for nurses as well.
This popular poster in history reflects today's need for nurses as well. | Source

High Demand Jobs

An extremely high demand for registered nurses in the US began to appear in 2014. By the end of June 2015, Americans companies advertised at least 1,200,000 openings for RNs. In late 2016, over a million positions were still open as well, reflecting retirement of older nurses and a general increased need to serve a growing population.

450% Increase in Registered Nursing Jobs 2005 - 2016
450% Increase in Registered Nursing Jobs 2005 - 2016 | Source

Nursing in the 21st Century

The US Federal Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook states that Registered Nursing is the largest healthcare field existing today, with 2.6 million jobs already filled in 2010 - 2011. The job market for RNs is forecasted to increase by 22% in the decade 2008 - 2018, which is much faster than other occupations on average.

Nursing shortages exist in some areas of the United States, but employers are attacking this problem with the several attractions of Travel Nursing (see link below). These features include travel expenses, higher pay, increased benefits, and rent/mortgage payment for the working period of 3 to 12 months.

Travel Nurses are sometimes able to be hired in their own cities with these added benefits, because of shortages at some hospitals; while others are able to be posted in exotic locations such as the Hawaiian Islands and other sites known for travel.

Required education will usually involves a Associate's or Bachelor's Degree or a Nursing School Certificate, advanced nursing positions require a Master's Degree. At the same time, one can begin as a Nursing Aide and study all the way up to Physician/MD, sometimes with tuition reimbursement from a local hospital or clinic employer (see links under "Training", below).

Robotics: The Bicentennial People

If you have seen the film or read the book Bicentennial Man by the late author Sir Arthur C. Clarke, You may recall that nurses attended each of the very aged that were near the 200th birthday mark in a future century. Sir Arthur predicted in a timeline he prepared in the mid-to-late 20th Century that immortality would be achieved by medical science sometime after the year 2100.

While human DNA is programmed to an age-limit of 113 years give or take a few, immortality is still unreachable through physical means for us homo sapiens. However, lifespans are adding years to themselves - and still a few more for females than for male cohorts.


Not only are nurses working with robotics, but some nurses are aided by robotic assistants because the nurse shortage of the 21st century is growing.

Aging and Humanity In the Field of Nursing

The Boomers are retiring in greater numbers in the 2010s, but the Millennials almost match their number as a cohort and will retire in large numbers beginning in the 2030s. Nothing is limiting the growth of the human population, even given disaster, illness, and abortion, so population numbers are set to increase and the openings for healthcare providers needed with them.

Bicentennial Man and its spinoffs and inspired works of other authors bring to mind a possibility of human-robotic hybrids. Sci-fi fans see "Borg", but so many military personnel are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in the 2010s with three limbs replaced by electronic prosthesis that the possibility is enduring. Already, medical science experiments with building electronics into the interior of limb stumps with promise for additional advances.

Rehabilitation and Medical Advances in Biology

Regardless of the Borg, our more reachable medical advances to the year 2100 - including new cosmetic surgeries, artificial bones and organs, growing new organs, and advanced dental implants - will all require additional nursing positions.

Nursing jobs of all types will increase throughout the 21st Century, not only because of the aging and increasing populations on Earth, but also as a result of exploration into outer space and to the bottoms of our oceans. These extreme environments require advanced medical care and prevention.

As we search for additional resources and living spaces, the need for medical and health related services will increase proportionately. In addition, new fields of nursing will emerge, like that of Space Medicine that began to congeal in the 1990s.

Underwater Medicine is sure to follow and increasing numbers of projects send scientists and explorers deeper into the oceans each year. An example of that already is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, for which specialist nurses are in high demand.

Prostethics and Paralympic Events

Cpl. Brian Wilhelm uses a mono-ski at the annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, April 4-9 at Snowmass Village CO. Capt. David Rozelle, behind him, lost his right foot after a land mine explosion.
Cpl. Brian Wilhelm uses a mono-ski at the annual National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, April 4-9 at Snowmass Village CO. Capt. David Rozelle, behind him, lost his right foot after a land mine explosion. | Source

Aerospace Medicine

The American Space Medicine Association provides a list of scholarships, training programs, and other much-needed information for a successful career in aerospace or undersea health, medicine, or research.

  • American Society of Registered Nurses - All Specialties

    This professional orgization represents America's registered nurses (RNs) and offers a variety of services that include nursing practice information and standards of care, educational and career opportunities. A monthly newsletter is available as well.

Space Medicine is Here Today

Inside a space station, life is full of adjustments.
Inside a space station, life is full of adjustments. | Source

Undersea Medicine

Undersea medicine is much like aerospace medicine in that it is drawing additional nurses into its ranks of new jobs.NASA astronauts and medical personnel undergo training in underwater conditions to simulate outer space events in weightlessness and isolation.

In the US Navy, particularly increasing opportunities for nurses, doctors, and psychologists exist. Undersea and aerospace medicines are related in the need for treatment among the hazards of exploration and work, and the differences of conditions suffered in the air and under water when compared to those of patients on land.

Naval Undersea Medical Institute


© 2011 Patty Inglish


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Nursing jobs at all levels are available across most of the USA in 2013. Travel Nursing is still a lucrative option with increased pay and a lot of perks.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Fascinating, well documented hub on where nursing careers and medicine are heading in the future.

      The current economy has many of my nursing (boomer) peers remaining in their nursing jobs longer than they expected and I even know some boomer nurses who used to work part-time but are now working fulltime so the real shortage has been delayed for a little while.

      Thanks for the interesting look at the future. Rated up, useful, awesome and interesting.