By A.F. Hutchinson, Special to StudentAdvisor.com
In today’s economy, it is a great time to become a nurse. Over 40 percent of our country’s current nurses are in their fifties – which means that they will be retiring soon. Their nursing jobs will need to be filled by a new, younger crowd. At the same time, our population continues to get older and requires more medical care. An aging workforce plus an aging population means that there is a serious nursing shortage. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that by 2020, the health care field may need up to one million nurses.
What a perfect opportunity for you to earn your nursing degree! Now more than ever, there are a wide variety of places where nurses can work. Also, nursing salaries are increasing – but your earning potential as a nurse will depend on how much training you have and where you work.
Registered Nurses (RN)
To become a Registered Nurse, you need a nursing degree or a diploma from a hospital-based nursing program.
- An Associate of Science degree takes 2-3 years to complete
- A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) takes 4 years of study
- A hospital-based diploma program takes about 3 years, where available
Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree have better earning power than those with just a diploma or Associate’s Degree. The more experience you have in the nursing field, the better your chances for promotions and higher pay.
Registered Nurses typically earn $50,000 – $70,000 a year. In 2005, the average salary for an RN was $57,785.
Where Nurses Are Working
Healthcare settings are classified as either clinical, like working in a hospital, or non-clinical, like working in the administrative department within a hospital. Here are where nurses are working:
- 12% Hospitals
- 16% Employment Services
- 17% Nursing Care Facilities
- 22% Home & Health Care Services
- 33% Doctors Offices
Find out more about nursing and health care in StudentAdvisor’s Guide: Health Care Trends 2010.
Are you a nurse? Comment & share what the best part of your job is!