If you've already decided that nursing job is what you want, you've made a fantastic decision. You should know that there are plenty of different nursing specialties, and that there's a tremendous nursing shortage in the U.S. Just like there are different types of doctors, there are different types of nurses. And that is why nursing is such an exciting field. If you get tired of one area, there's always another.
Below are several different directions your new career in nursing could take you...
Certified Nurse Aides - As an important member of the health care team, CNAs are the "eyes and ears" of nurses. They observe patients, administer medications, develop care plans, prepare operating rooms, bathe patients, and much more. They average $25,000 a year, and it only takes 120 hours of work, 16 hours of supervision, and 12 hours of annual training.
Licensed Practical Nurse - The step before RN is an exciting opportunity. LPNs can give basic care like take samples, measure vitals, monitor patients, and other similar work. They must work under the supervision of an RN at all times. They average around $35,000 a year.
Registered Nurse - The backbone of the health care industry is as a registered nurse. RNs must obtain an associate degree, Bachelor degree, or diploma program, plus have hands on experience. This process can take between 2 and 4 years, but you will make approximately $50,000 per year. It is the largest healthcare profession, with over 2.5 million RNs nationwide.
Nursing Home Nurse - As the baby boomers come of age, nursing homes are popping up across the country and all nursing homes are required by law to have a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day. This is a big market.
Home Health Nurse - These are usually RNs that do house calls to care for people that are house bound. There is a high level of responsibility, but also you control your own hours to some extent.
Head Nurse/ Nurse Supervisor - A position that is earned after hard work in the nursing field. This lucrative position brings in over $75,000 annually, but comes with the responsibility of supervision and experience.
Travel Nurse - This may be the best of both worlds - nurse and traveler. With this job, you are able to travel the country and work at hospitals that need temporary help - usually with nice perks like free housing. You may spend the winter in a skiing winter wonderland and your summer at an island resort. This is a great way to see the world and get paid well.
If you choose to get a master's degree in nursing, you could become...
Nurse Practitioner - After becoming a registered nurse, further education and training bring you to the next level of nursing - nurse practitioner. NPs can write prescriptions, order tests, do physicals, and much more. They can work with a doctor's office, hospital, or independently. The average salary is $75,000.
Nurse Anesthetist - After nursing school, add approximately 24 to 36 months of further education to become a CRNA. CRNAs are nationally certified nurses that provide anesthesia care. An average CRNA salary ranges upwards of $125,000. Not too shabby.
There are many other nursing professions that are not listed in detail here. You may want to be school nurse and deal with cuts and bruises from recess accidents... Or your passion may be to help with psychiatric patients... Or you may be a full time provider for an elderly relative... Or even a nursing school teacher...
Whatever path you choose, you will find work. Nurses are in extremely high demand across the globe! When you are a qualified nurse, be ready to pick where you want to work, what hours you want to work, and what type of nurse you want to become.
Jeff Craft writes about jobs in healthcare, including nursing jobs and many other types of medical careers for Healthcare Jobs 411 - a free career information website for job seekers. Craft is a busy college career counselor and freelance writer who likes to share his knowledge about healthcare education options, conducting an effective industry job search, and choosing a rewarding career path. Need more information? http://www.healthcarejobs411.com/nursing-careers.html
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