It’s not news that our economy is in the toilet. Across the board, layoffs are bolstering the ranks of the unemployed and prospects for new jobs are bleak at best (although apparently it’s all going to turn around very soon). Despite this, certain fields seem to be holding steady or even growing. Nursing seems to be at the top of the list (a close tie with customer service…ugh). At one point or another, everyone is going to need health care, and with baby boomers hitting retirement and health care reform set to increase the number of insured Americans by millions, the future looks bright for those entering the nursing profession. So what are your options when it comes to a career in nursing?
Well, if you plan to be a nurse for life, you really should aim for at least a Registered Nurse (RN) degree. It is a two-year degree and seems to be the minimum for almost any job in nursing (from staff to travel to school). You can also get a four year degree, which is a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). Either way, you will be required to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in order to practice. Most fields also require additional certification depending on both the area of expertise and the state you will practice in. And now, on to the fun stuff.
Once you have the required schooling taken care of, there are a wealth of options available to those in the nursing profession. You can be a staff nurse at a hospital or private practice. You can work as a school nurse, caring for and educating students. There is also travel nursing, which allows you to see other parts of the country (or the world) and set your own schedule through the contracts you choose (many companies that place travel nurses even offer benefits like insurance and 401k). Another option is in-home care-giving, which can be both fulfilling (working with one patient for an extended period) and lucrative (many care-giver situations are live-in, so you get room and board in addition to a salary). And these are just a few of the options available to those with a degree in nursing.
In these uncertain times, it pays to choose a career that will continue to be in demand regardless of the solvency of our economy. And the benefits of nursing exceed the merely financial. Nursing offers you a unique opportunity to give something of yourself to both individuals and the community at large. You will acquire a sense of satisfaction from helping those in need, as well as enjoy a unique opportunity to connect with other people on the most intimate level. And through mentoring programs, you will even be able to steer others along the path to their own careers. All of these incentives make a move towards nursing look very appealing indeed.
Guest Post by: Sarah Leonard of Online Nursing Programs.