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December 28, 2021

What are the career opportunities for nurses?

If you are someone who is passionate about caregiving and are ready to invest time into proper training, then a nursing career could be right for you. Nurses work in different environments and can specialize in a number of fields, meaning there are many paths that lead to a fulfilling and upstanding nursing career. If you are studying to become a nurse or thinking about it, then you should first know about career opportunities in the nursing profession.

Nursing Career Opportunities

By the end of next year, it is estimated that there will be more that 100,000 registered nurse jobs available, which is more than any other profession. Additionally, reports mention that over 500,000 RNs are anticipated to retire. Current projections show that there will be a need for 1.1 million new RNs in order to avoid a massive nursing shortage.

With this in mind, there are a number of nursing career paths that you can choose from. It’s exciting that there are so many career options, however with this many options selecting a path can feel a bit overwhelming. Take a look at some of the career options below for registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN).

1. Jobs for RNs

A registered nurse’s role is to treat and educate people as well as provide support and advice to their families during medical visits. They record medical histories, symptoms, medications, and help patients with rehabilitation. They work with assistant nurses who help them take general care of the patients. 

RNs can choose from these different jobs including;

  • Ambulatory Care Nurses: 

These nurses treat patients in physician’s offices or clinics. They provide their nursing services outside the hospitals. In this profession, you can earn around $68,000 annually. 

  • Critical Care Nurses:

Critical care nurses work in critical units of hospitals such as intensive care units. They provide nursing services for patients who have respiratory or cardiac failures. A critical care nurse’s average salary is around $74,000 annually. 

  • Trauma or Emergency room nurses:

This type of RN nurse works in emergency rooms or as a flight nurse. These nurses treat patients with very risky conditions such as accidents, heart attacks and strokes. ER nurses receive an average of $75,000 annually. 

  • Holistic Nurses: 

Holistic nurses treat patients’ physical health along with their mental and spiritual health. They provide nursing services such as massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and biofeedback. Holistic care nurses can earn around $71,000 annually. 

  • Home Health Care Nurses: 

This type of nurse provides services for patients at home. They take care of patients who are recovering from childbirth, surgery or accidents or on hospice. As a home health care nurse, compensation averages at $80,000 annually. 

2. Jobs for LPNs 

If you are studying to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), take a look at the career options below:

  • Physician’s Office: 

An LPN can work in clinics, ER centers, or doctor’s offices. They provide services to patients in physician’s offices. This profession has a lower salary of $30,000 annually compared to other LPN positions available. 

  • Medical and Surgical Hospital: 

Many LPNs choose work at private hospitals in the surgical, ER, or maternity departments. This profession can expect to earn around $40,000 annually. 

  • Home Health Care Services: 

In-home care services are a popular choice for LPNs. Nurses can work with a private home healthcare agency or a large healthcare facility. The annual salary will be around $43,000.

  • Nursing Care Facility: 

Such nurses work with groups and provide services for mentally, terminally ill patients. They provide rehabilitative services for patients, elderly and provide hospice services. They can earn around $44,000 annually. 

  • Community Care Facility for Elderly: 

These types of LPNs work in public or private assisted living centers, nursing homes or retirement homes. The average annual salary for this position is $43,000.. 

Requirements to Become a Nurse

A student interested in becoming a nurse may often choose from a variety of educational programs after receiving a high school diploma or GED. Students can choose a specific nursing school that will help them become licensed practical nurses or registered nurses. If a nursing student decides to become a LPN, they can enroll in more classes later on to become an RN. Nurse education can be obtained through specific nursing certifications, advanced medical certifications like ACLS , associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree programs at a college or hospital. Although certifications and associate degree programs take less time to finish, they may provide fewer job options with lower salaries upon graduation.

If you are studying to become a nurse then you should also know about the career requirements. The National Council of State Boards of Nurses (NCSBN) requires all nurses to get a state licensure by passing the National Council Licensure Examination. The NCLEX-PN is taken by aspiring licensed practical nurses, whereas the NCLEX-RN is taken by aspiring registered nurses. Students are usually prepared for these exams through their educational programs. Individual states may have additional criteria, so check with the licensing board in the state where you’re applying to work.

Bottom line

If you are studying to become a nurse, going through this article will give you satisfaction that you are on the right path. You will have a lot of opportunities in your nursing career. It should be a good feeling to know that you can choose any area of nursing you prefer. 

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