Nursing is the largest healthcare profession with many options for career advancement and personal fulfillment. We think it's an option people who are in school, or thinking about changing careers would consider, and have seven good reasons why.
What does a nurse do?
A typical registered nurse (RN) provides and coordinates patient care, educates families on various health conditions and medical equipment. They also offer advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
Some non-traditional nursing roles include: clinical researchers, case managers and clinical liaisons. Employment of RNs is growing faster than the average for all occupations and per the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, is projected to rise 26% from 2010 to 2020. If you are headed to college and looking for a career choice or thinking of a career change, here is our pick of the top seven reason to become a nurse.
1. Personal fulfillment and job satisfaction is our top pick. There is nothing more appealing about a job than loving what you do and feeling good about yourself at the same time. A survey done by AMN healthcare on nurses and job satisfaction found nurses of all ages are very satisfied with the choice of their careers. This survey is backed up by another study done by Medscape which shows that nurses love the intrinsic rewards of nursing, even though there are still negative aspects, the good outweigh the negative.
2. Nurses have job security. The nursing field is booming, research and job data show a continued demand for nurses and emerging fields in biotechnology and research are creating new positions. Hospitals, physician practices and outpatient clinics are continually searching for good nursing talent.
3. Nurses are respected. It is a nice feeling to love what you do and have job security. It is also wonderful to be respected and have people appreciate you. A recent survey from Gallup finds that nursing is the most trusted profession in the United States, with respondents rating nurses highest for honesty and ethics.
4. Good pay. Per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $66,640 in May 2014, (2015 data is not out yet). Many nurses in management and other non- patient centered roles make as much as $98,000 to $130,000 per year.
5. Flexibility. If you are the type of person who does not want to work 9 - 5 and show up to an office every day, a flexible schedule may be another reason to look at nursing. Make no mistake nurses work hard, but the hours can be accommodating. The most common nursing job is a staff nurse in the hospital, which offers 3 shifts. Your first couple of years you may be obligated to work all three shifts, but as you earn seniority you have choices.
Many hospitals also offer 4, 10 hours shifts, giving people 3 full days off a week. Home healthcare poses lots of flexibility with nurses working out in the field on a per diem basis. If you are the type of person who wants the routine, you can work in a physician office and have a more uniform schedule. Whatever hours work for you, you can typically find it in nursing.
6. You can become a RN in 2 years. If, like many people, you are changing careers and do not want to spend another 4 years in college, or do not have the financial resources for a 4-year degree, you can become a RN in 2 years by earning an associate's degree in nursing (ADN). This includes courses in anatomy, nursing, biology, nutrition, chemistry and some liberal arts classes. Earning an ADN is the most common choice for registered nurses and lands you an entry-level staff nurse position, giving you the hands-on experience to move into other areas of the profession.
7. Career development and growth. Nursing is a field you can spend your entire career working the same shift on a floor in a hospital, or you can develop your skills and grow in different ways. There are countless directions you can take with a nursing degree. From choosing a specialty like oncology, infectious disease or surgical nursing to going into clinical research. The possibilities are truly endless. You can also take your career out of the hospital and work for pharmaceutical, biotechnology or medical device company who offer various positions for clinicians.
If you think nursing might be for you check out our quiz, Do you Have What it Takes to be Nurse.
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