Sean Higgins documents for the Washington Examiner problems the Affordable Care Act is causing for nurses.

Add registered nurses to the list of people getting headaches from Obamacare.

The new law is accelerating a push toward requiring them to have higher-level education. Many nurses find that it isn’t easy to get a job without a four-year degree, which traditionally they haven’t needed.

“You do have hospitals increasingly expecting that nurses have at least a [bachelor’s] degree,” said Diana Mason, former president of the American Academy of Nursing. “The Affordable Care Act is raising the bar.”

Nursing has traditionally been a good career path for people from low-income backgrounds partly because it didn’t require the cost of financing a full college education. But nurses with just a two-year degree now face more competition and are increasingly finding that they’ll need a four-year degree just to be competitive in the job market — something that many may not be able to afford.

Meanwhile, more nurses are staying in the profession longer since the recession caused many to postpone retirement. Those factors are creating a potential problem no one foresaw: an excess of nurses.

A decade ago the concern was over an expected shortage. Hospitals now have their pick of who to hire. A study last year by the Health Resources Services Administration predicted that the workforce could have a surplus of 300,000 nurses by 2025.