Last December, more than 156,000 online job ads for health care organizations were looking for registered nurses, an increase of 20 percent from a year ago, according to research by WANTED Analytics.

Medical and surgical hospitals were seeking most of these positions, representing 16 percent of the demand for RNs in December, the research finds. Among other health care industries with high demands are physicians' offices, home health care services, nursing care facilities and ambulatory health care services.

Of the metropolitan areas with the most RN job ads during December were Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami. Dallas employers were in most search of RNs with more than 5,400 job ads for a 13 percent growth from December 2011. Meanwhile, Atlanta experienced the highest year-over-year growth as demand increased 78 percent from 2011.

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