May 11, 2018
Nursing is the fastest-growing profession in healthcare. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nurses represent more than one-third of healthcare workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) estimated that there were 2.7 million registered nursing jobs in 2014, a number that's projected to grow an astounding 15% by 2026. Added to the huge portion of the nursing workforce that's approaching retirement, there could be more than 438,000 new nursing jobs available by 2026, with opportunities to pursue more than 100 specialties ranging from school or camp nurse to cardiac care.
So many options can leave new nurses wondering which specialty is right for them. To help, we've compiled a list of the 20 types of nurses employers are looking to hire.
If you're still not sure what kind of career you want to pursue as a nurse, don't worry. This list is just a slice of the hundreds of types of nurse you can become in your nursing career. Nurses are the most employed profession in healthcare and is the occupation with the third highest projected change in employment in the U.S. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS):
And, demand for nurses keeps growing.
According to BLS, there were 2.91 million nursing jobs in 2017, with the average RN making $73,550 per year. That number is projected to grow an astounding 15% by 2026 - creating more than half a million jobs.
Earning your Bachelor in Nursing or Master in Nursing provide you with an undeniable advantage in your nursing career.
Although it isn't required for a registered nurse to have a BSN degree, according to the latest survey by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, more than 65% of RNs are now prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher. A BSN helps prepare you for the increased complexity of care, advances in technology and a shift from acute care settings to community based care, and many RN specialty certifications require a BSN as a minimum education requirement.
And, earning your BSN or MSN can help you at the outset of your career. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 49% of employers now require new hires to have a bachelor's degree in nursing, up two percentage points since 2015, and 86.3% express a strong preference for BSN program graduates.
Additionally, a 2017 AACN survey found that 73% of BSN students and 78% of MSN students had job offers at the time of graduation, versus 25% of all new graduates. Four to six months after the completion of their programs, the survey found employment among entry-level BSN and MSN graduates to be 94% and 95%, respectively.
Finally, in 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report, The Future of Nursing, that called for increasing the number of nurses with BSNs to 80% by 2020, which means more and more hospitals, especially those with the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet designation, will require their nurses to hold a BSN or higher.
Few careers have as much potential to positively impact people's lives as nursing. According to the AACN, nurses are the primary providers of patient care in hospitals, deliver the majority of long-term care in the country and have a huge impact on patient satisfaction and treatment outcomes.
"People who want to work in the service of others, who want to aid in healing the whole person make excellent nurses," said Southern New Hampshire University online BSN graduate Julie Antis.
According to a 2016 Medscape survey of more than 10,000 registered nurses in the United States found that 95% of respondents were glad they became a nurse.
Nursing is a career that allows you to create the life you want. While some nursing jobs follow a standard five-day workweek, many registered nurses work nights, weekends and even holidays, offering flexibility to fit your life. And, nurses are in demand all across the country, which means you can opt for a change of scenery without damaging your career.
"It is tough work...but it's amazing and you can truly build a career," said Hannah Boutselis, a cardiothoracic O.R. nurse. "There is always something new and you can always find something to learn about! Nurses never stop learning. Once you think you know everything, something new comes along and you start all over."
Rebecca LeBoeuf is pursuing her bachelor's degree in communication at Southern New Hampshire University, and is set to graduate in May 2018.
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