A Career in Nursing: What You Need to Know

A Career in Nursing: What You Need to Know

Do You Want to Be a Nurse?

If you dream about becoming a nurse, maybe it’s time to make it a reality. Consider what you get in return: meaningful work, a flexible schedule, and a competitive salary. The median annual wage of registered nurses was $64,690 in May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don’t let your age, education level, or employment prospects deter you. According to NACNEP (National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice), the average age of the RN workforce is 45.2 years. It’s possible to qualify as a registered nurse in 18 months or less of study. Registered nursing is the top occupation for job growth, and this is expected to continue at more than double the average rate for all other occupations through 2020.

[Begin your career now, or get ready to climb higher up the ladder. Enroll in a nursing program now.]

Nursing Career Outlook

There are more than 581,500 new RN jobs projected within the next 5 years. One of them could be yours. Government projections show the demand for RNs in hospitals climbing by 36 percent within the next seven years.

According to federal and industry studies the career outlook for a registered nurse is extremely healthy. The Journal of the American Medical Association agrees, reporting that just to meet requirements more than five times the number of available nurses will be needed by 2020. That translates to above average employment and excellent career opportunities.

[Find out more about a Registered Nurse’s Salary and Career Outlook.]

Nursing Career Path

How do you become a registered nurse? The American Association of Colleges of Nursing says that the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is the primary method. Depending on where and how you choose to study it can be earned online or on campus (although in either case there will be a component of study that will take place in your community). It can take four years or as little as 18 months of full-time study to achieve your degree.

An associate’s degree in nursing or a hospital training program are also options. However, according to NACNEP, two-thirds of the basic nurse workforce should hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing.

[Read more about the Types of Nurses.]

Nursing Specialties

Nurses work in hospitals, care facilities, doctor’s offices, and home health care services. Overall responsibilities include treating patient ailments and providing patient support and education, but there’s an option to specialize your career path, as well.

You can choose to specialize in practically anything, from geriatricscaring for the elderly by doing in-home care, working in a hospital, or working at a nursing facilityto neonatal careproviding health care to newborns. Oncology nurses treat cancer patients, trauma nurses specialize in emergency care, psychiatric nurses care for those with mental illnesses, pediatric nurses work with children, and the list goes on.

A nurse is guaranteed to work with a wide variety of patients and face new challenges every day.

[Read about the best major for becoming a CRNA.]

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Nurse?

Nursing involves both book knowledge and emotional intelligence. While you will need to understand all the facets of the medical world, you will also need empathy. Nurses must have the ability to communicate clearly with a wide range of people in many different environments.

[Take your nursing career to the next step. Get your RN-to-BSN degree.]

What kind of nursing are you most interested in and why? What are the most important skills for a nurse to possess?

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