Career Opportunities for Nurses
The healthcare field is always looking for qualified, competent nurses. Nursing is a high-demand career and anyone who becomes a nurse will, not only make good money, but have job security. Being a nurse can oftentimes be very stressful yet rewarding at the same time. Anyone interested in this career should take a few things into consideration prior to deciding which direction they will go. First ask, why nursing? Is helping others something you’re passionate about? Make a basic assessment of your interests. This will help you figure out where to start and the steps to take to get where you want to be. Once you’ve decided that nursing is a perfect fit for you and your career goals, then consider all the nursing career options. Read further to learn the basics of a few of the many choices available.
Many choose to start at the Certified Nurse Assistant level. This is not the highest paying of nursing careers but it is great for getting health care experience to move up into higher levels of nursing. Education can be completed in a matter of months and today’s certification programs also educate you on home health care which will allow you to work not only in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, but you will also have the skills to work in home health care.
A typical day for a CNA is simply providing care for patients. You will simply be assisting patients with the things they have difficulty with or cannot do for themselves. Many people who enter into this use it as a stepping stone to become an LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse. An LPN has a higher level of responsibility than a CNA does. They also have a higher salary. Licensed Practical Nurses work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics, and in a variety other settings. An LPN can administer medication to patients, which is something a CNA cannot do. Due to the higher level of training, there are other duties an LPN does that a CNA cannot and those duties will depend on the particular setting the LPN works in.
In order to become a Registered Nurse, you must first be an LPN. Registered nurses have developed more skill, more knowledge, more experience, and have had more education. This means that they often manage the nursing staff and they have quite a bit more responsibility. RN’s are also employed in a variety of settings such as private doctor’s offices, home health care, long-term health facilities, and hospitals. These are some examples of the specialties that nurses can choose to focus in:
Pediatric nurses work in pediatric offices and care for children and in many cases children who are very sick. Emergency nurses work in the emergency room which means their duties are many. They work in a fast-paced environment and administer care to people of all ages.
A nurse midwife cares for pregnant women up through the labor and delivery process. In most cases this is in a different environment than a hospital and sometimes at the mother’s home.
Military nurses work for the military caring for veterans or military personnel who are sick or have been injured.
A travel nurse is just that. They travel and work in various places.
Occupational health nurses use their education and experience to recognize as well as prevent the health effects the cam from exposure to hazardous material and they treat the injuries and illnesses of the workers.
Nurse practitioners have been prepared through clinical training and advanced education and they provide acute and preventive health care to people of every age.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists provide anesthesia services to patients just as an anesthesiologist does.
Nursing is a wonderful career and there are many opportunities available for those entering into the health care field. Nurses work in private doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, home health, and a variety of other health care settings. Depending on the work environment, the duties of a nurse will vary, and depending on your personal goals, there will be a lot of education and training involved. The one thing that is set in stone is the rewards this career can provide. Not only is their job security and an increased salary, but caring for others is great for personal growth.
The following links will provide more insight, information on requirements, qualifications, opportunities, and salaries for the different nursing career options.
- A Day in the Life of a CNA – This document is written by a CNA who describes what a day at her job is like.
- What it Takes to Be a Nurse – This document discusses what it takes to become a nurse including the physical, mental, and emotional requirements. It also discusses general, communication, and observational abilities required of a person who chooses nursing as a career.
- The LPN – Discusses the typical duties of a Licensed Practical Nurse, the training and qualifications needed, and employment trends.
- What Can I Do With a Degree in Nursing – A great list of different careers in nursing. It also provides employment opportunity resources as well as a list of professional nursing organizations.
- Nurse Practitioner – Provides a general description of nurse practitioners, practitioner characteristics, practice settings, and scope of practice.
- Nurse Midwife – A document discusses a little history of the nurse midwife profession. It also provides advice on how to choose the right program.
- Military Nurse – Very interesting and provides a lot of great images of military nurses of the past, present, and the future.
- Why Emergency Nursing? – The Emergency Nurses Association provides answers to frequently asked questions about the emergency nurse career.
- Registered Nurse – An occupational profile of registered nurses. It gives a general description, a list of specific tasks, required education, and salary.
- Nursing Career Options – This PDF document answers frequently asked questions about the career options for those considering becoming a nurse.
- Nurse Anesthetist – Information on job duties, occupational specialties, working conditions and the requirements for this career.
- Home Health Aide – a brief description of what work as a home health aide may be like.
- Men in Nursing – An interesting read for anyone considering a nursing career. Readers can gain a perspective about how it is to be a male nurse.
- Travel Nurse – A list of what a person can do as a registered nurse.
- Registered Nurse – The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a lot of information on nursing careers from the nature of the work to the average annual salary.