Careers in Nursing
A worldwide shortage of nurses means unlimited opportunities for qualified nurses.
Hospitals, communities, educational institutions, research institutions and the military are some of the places where the demand for nurses is high. Openings are also projected to increase in related areas of business, law and public health.
Nurses are among the few professionals who can select their schedules and modify them to fit their own changing needs or lifestyle. Nurses can work full or part time, by the day, the week or the month. Salaries are competitive and benefits are excellent.
Bachelor's Degree in Nursing
Registered nurses play an important role in health promotion and disease prevention. They are the most trusted health care provider when patients, families and communities require assistance in coping with illness. If you choose to pursue a nursing career, you will incorporate nursing theory to assess, plan, and provide direct patient care in a variety of settings.
- Job prospects for RNs are expected to grow 26% from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations
- Median pay for RNs $64,690 (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Registered Nurses)
- 89% of graduates surveyed currently employed in their field or attending graduate school
A bachelor's degree in nursing prepares you for entry into practice as a generalist, so you are able to work in any practice setting as a beginning practitioner. There are over 75 different specialties in nursing. Some nurses practice in specialty areas which are hospital-based; others practice in patients' homes, clinics, universities, offices, long-term care facilities, industries, and community agencies. You can also practice in the military or all over the world as a traveling nurse. As the health care system undergoes restructuring, new opportunities are emerging in case management, home health nursing, and primary care.
Advanced Degree in Nursing
An advanced degree in nursing with a choice of clinical focus will provide you with additional professional options. At this advanced level, more and more nurses are involved in research, consulting, and private practice.
The nursing profession offers many career pathways requiring advanced nursing degrees:
- provide primary and specialty care
- assess, diagnose, plan and institute management of healthcare services for individuals and families in need of care.
Clinical Nurse Specialists:
- provide direct patient care and consultation and participate in nursing research in one of many nursing specialties.
- Positions include: assistant director, director, chief nursing officer
- Management from the business side of healthcare includes opportunities in areas such as insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, managed care organizations; home based and chronic care businesses.
- May work in clinical settings, nonprofit agencies, government and higher education campuses.
Pursuing a Masters in Nursing with choice of a clinical focus allows students to self-design their clinical component in order to fulfill their desire to study in one particular area of nursing. The possibilities are endless because nursing offers a wide variety of focus areas.