If you are looking to embark on a new career that is challenging, financially and personally rewarding, and commands respect, then you do not need to look any further than nursing. The nursing field is a noble one where the employees’ main prerogative is to provide care for ailing patients. It is also a quickly growing occupation and the most populous position in the health care industry, clocking in with 2.6 million jobs for registered nurses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With so many things going for the nursing occupation, it is easy to see why enrolling in nursing school is a smart career choice.
One of the best reasons to join the nursing field is that it holds many career opportunities for new and currently employed nurses alike. Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to experience a 22 percent increase from 2008 to 2018, according to the Bureau. This means that by 2018, approximately 581,500 more nursing positions will pour into the job market. The demand for nurses is an on-going one as well. There will always be a need for health care professionals due to the complexity and unpredictability of illness and injury, yet the rising cost of health care also prevents many patients from seeking the help of physicians and specialists. It is becoming more and more commonplace for nurses to provide basic care to these patients because it is typically less costly to see a nurse than to see a doctor, yet for basic ailments, nurses can provide the same level of care. As the population continues to grow and age and the cost of health care continues to climb, more nurses will be needed to provide affordable basic care services.
Registered nurses aren’t the only ones who will see massive job growth. Job opportunities for licensed practical nurses and vocational nurses are expected to increase 21 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau, adding 155,600 more jobs into the market. With so many positions opening up within the coming decade, nursing school graduates will likely be able to find rewarding work straight out of nursing school.
In addition to ample job opportunities and job security, nursing also offers financial rewards and career mobility. Nurses who have been working for some time have the opportunity to earn more education and advance to positions of higher specialization or authority, such as working exclusively as a nursing manager or even as a nurse practitioner. These positions typically pay more as well, though the average salary of general registered nurses is still generous. The median wage for registered nurses in May 2008 was $62,450, according to the Bureau, though those figures may vary greatly depending on where the nurse is employed. If you are considering switching to a new career and are interested in helping others and becoming part of a much-needed occupation, then you should consider joining the nursing field.