The nursing profession may be one of the world’s oldest, yet it has always been highly regarded for the service it offers to mankind. This challenging and highly rewarding career attracts people from all walks of life who wish to contribute positively to the lives of others while playing an essential role within the healthcare sector.
Along with a good bedside manner and traits such as compassion and empathy, nurses are required to undergo technical and academic training which varies depending on their level and specialization. Whether you are considering a FNP or would like to work in critical care, this article will explore some of the reasons to choose a career in nursing.
This is a sector where there is no shortage of job opportunities for entrants. According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), the U.S. is facing a critical nursing shortage which is tantamount to a national crisis. For nurse practitioners in the U.S., this means overall employment is set to grow by 40% over the next decade, resulting in growth that is much faster than the average for all occupations.
With numerous skilled professionals in this field, nurses can expect to have long-term security in their career and benefit from a variety of options allowing them to work in various medical specialties and workplaces.
There are a range of factors that can influence the salary of a nurse and these include their level of training, education, experience, specialty and location. In 2021, the salary range for registered nurses in the U.S. was between $59,450 and $120,250 per year. This represents a median pay of $77,600 per year. The median salary based on practice type in 2021 was as follows:
- Government: $85,970
- Inpatient Hospitals; $78,070
- Ambulatory Healthcare Services: $76,700
- Nursing and residential care facilities: $72,420
- Educational organizations: $61,780
Opportunities to Specialize
The nursing profession offers numerous opportunities to work in a large variety of fields and specialisms due to the essential role it plays in different healthcare settings. This makes it possible to pursue a career based on interest and to find an area that is a good fit for you. Whether you wish to focus on hands-on care, working directly with patients, or prefer to work in the field of academia or healthcare policy, nursing offers several areas to specialize in. Below are some nursing specialties to choose from:
- Critical care
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Flight Nurse
- General Medicine and Family Practice
The ability to move into different fields of practice also enables nurses to expand their knowledge base and benefit from continual learning.
The nursing profession also offers the possibility to take on leadership positions, opening the door for nurses to manage their own teams, conduct clinical research as well as contribute to governmental healthcare policy. Nurses can take advantage of leadership roles to advance their careers with roles such as nursing supervisors, clinical specialists, nurse manager and Chief Nursing Officer.
With all of the reasons outlined above, this article shows there are several benefits to entering the dynamic, rewarding and highly fulfilling field of nursing.