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Mental illness is a leading cause of disability in the United States and mental disorders affect one in five Americans, including children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. The need for psychiatric and other nursing specialties will be in great demand in the future. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment for registered nurses who work in offices of mental health practitioners (except physicians) will grow by nearly 28 percent through 2022, or much faster than the average for all occupations. Opportunities will be even better at outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, where employment is expected to increase by 35 percent. On the other hand, employment is expected to decline for registered nurses who work at state and local psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals.
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