With the growing number of opportunities in the healthcare industry, a career in nursing can prove to be a very lucrative and rewarding path. Due to the shortage of nurses in the country, you can easily find a job in this medical field upon completing your training. To start off, all you have to do is enroll in a nursing school that will equip you with the right training.
The Roles of Nurses in Healthcare
Before exploring the various career opportunities in this field, it is important that you understand exactly what nursing is. The American Nurses Association define nursing as the promotion, protection, and provision of abilities and health, injury and illness prevention, alleviation of suffering by diagnosing and treating human diseases, as well as advocating and caring for individuals, families, communities, and entire populations. Nursing careers provide a range of roles and responsibilities in the field of medicine. There are different types of nurses as well as different ways of building careers in nursing.
A nurse works alongside physicians in nearly all aspects of patient care, from administering injections and oral medications to providing comfort and hygiene to the patient. He/she also updates patients’ medical records and performs minor diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The physician handles major diagnosis, treatment, and medical prescription while the nurse administers the care on a continuous basis to ensure successful recovery of the patient. Due to the nature of their work, nurses spend more face-to-face time with patients than other healthcare professionals. Therefore, they need to be adept at interacting with their patients and keeping them relaxed while assisting them through the recovery process.
Nursing Career Paths
You can take several career directions as a nurse. You can work in settings within and beyond hospitals. In addition, you can advance your career by pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in various clinical specialties.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center recognizes and certifies more than forty areas of specialty in nursing. These certifications are presented to nurses with bachelor’s, associate’s, and doctoral degrees. The certifications focus on specific fields such as family nursing, gerontology, psychiatric, and pediatric nursing among other fields. The certification reflects a nurse’s special expertise and can improve job prospects besides attracting high remuneration.
Job Growth in Nursing
Changes in the healthcare sector have led to the rise of nurses who perform the same procedures as physicians. Such nurses provide cost effective healthcare that focuses on the patient as a whole. These professionals are referred to as advanced practice nurses. Alongside the basic clinical training, these nurses also hold a master’s degree. Advanced practice nurses fall into four categories. These are certified registered nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists.
Salary and Compensation
The starting salary can vary greatly depending on a number of factors such as location, level of education, and the industry of practice. Primarily, you can expect to earn from $16 per hour to $23 per hour. This will increase steadily as you gain experience, receive more credentials, and get job promotions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for nurses is between $43,000 and $63,000 with the top 10% of nurses earning over $75,000.
As with any career choice, there are certain factors that you should consider before taking up a career in nursing. Choosing the right career involves making accurate decisions that will take you down your path of choice. Therefore, you should be aware of everything that this career path entails, including potential merits and pitfalls as well as how to go about acquiring education in your career of choice.
Sarah Daren is a writer who creates informative articles in the field of health. This article aims explain in detail the career of nursing and to encourage programs such as RN to BSN Online .
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