Nursing Careers

Finding a job that you find personally and professionally satisfying can be a challenge, but luckily careers in healthcare are considered some of the most rewarding available. With 2.4 million jobs, the nursing profession is the largest employer in the health care field, which makes nurse jobs a rare opportunity that offer the best of both worlds: personal fulfillment and a very high employment rate.

Employment Advantages of Being a Nurse: The advantages of being a nurse are numerous. First, there is a large demand for nurses nationwide, great job opportunities, and various nursing career choices. Experts predict that nurses will create the second largest number of new jobs among all occupations. At this moment, there are roughly 100,000 vacant nursing positions in the U.S. Over the next 20 years, that number is expected to increase to 800,000 vacant positions. There has never been a better time to be a nurse. For more info

Financial Advantages of Being a Nurse: Another advantage of being a nurse is the money. The average Registered Nurse earns between $43,370 and $63,360 a year. However, you can earn much more, depending on what career decisions you make. Nurse Practitioners, for example, earn an average of $71,000, while Nurse Anesthetists earn an average of $113,000 a year. The majority of nursing jobs come with good benefits as well. Plus, in an effort to attract and retain more nurses, many employers offer signing bonuses, as well as family-friendly work schedules, and subsidized training. (For more statistical information regarding the advantages of being a nurse, check the US Department of Labor's Statistics on Registered Nurses.

Career Advantages of Being a Nurse: A nursing career offers many choices both in terms of specialty areas and opportunities for advancement. The biggest nursing employment settings will be hospitals, physicians' offices, outpatient care centers, nursing care facilities, and home health care. With all this variety, there's almost always something new and different for a nurse to do. And with the increasing popularity of nurse travel jobs, nurses can work in an even greater variety of settings and places.

Nurse Travel Jobs: Nurse travel jobs are short term assignments in a location and setting of your choosing. With nurse travel jobs, you can broaden your knowledge base, or simply try a new practice setting. Nurse travel jobs are a great way to get the valuable experience you'll need to advance your career. Plus, nurse travel jobs can pay 10%-15% more on average than regular nursing staff positions.

Becoming a Nurse But before you can take advantage of these nursing career choices, you have to meet the basic requirements. First, you must have a high school diploma. Below is a list of the entry level education/degrees beyond high school that are necessary to become a nurse. 

  • Bachelor of Science Nursing (BS/BSN): A four-year program offered at colleges and universities. BSN graduates have the greatest opportunity in terms of nursing career choices.
  • Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN): Offered at junior and community colleges, and even some universities and hospitals, an ADN is a two-to-three year program that trains and prepares nurses to provide direct patient care in a variety of settings.
  •  Hospital Diploma: A hospital-based two to three year program that specializes in preparing nurses to give direct care to patients in a variety of settings.
  •  Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): Under the direction of doctors and registered nurses (RNs), an LPN administers basic care (takes temp, vital signs, etc.) directly to patients.
  •  Accelerated Programs (Accelerated BSN/MSN): The programs are for those nursing candidates that already have Bachelor's, or even Master's, degrees.  Learn more now.

In addition to having one of the above degrees, nurses must also pass the NCLEX-RN, a national licensing exam.

It's never too early to start preparing for your exciting and rewarding career as a nurse. Even if you are still in high school, there are steps you can take toward becoming a nurse. Learn more now.