A 2020 BLS (US Bureau of Labor Statistics) report states that about 2.99 million nursing career opportunities were available in the country. BLS also predicts the nursing profession will grow approximately 9 percent every year through the coming decade. This includes more than 100 specialties and 276,000 jobs.
So, whether you work with patients in their homes or assist doctors during treatment in hospitals, you can rest assured there’s a job role that suits your interests. Not to mention, these nursing career opportunities also come with various growth opportunities and good salaries. However, the plethora of options can leave nursing candidates wondering which specialty to opt for. If you’re a confused nurse, too, we’ve listed a few options to consider below.
Become a Nursing Professor
Nursing professors are healthcare professionals who teach the next crop of nursing candidates. Members of such a noble profession usually work in private and public colleges and universities and other types of nursing schools. It is a teaching job in every sense of the way. Hence, many of the roles of a nursing professor are similar to those of a postsecondary teacher. Some of their job responsibilities include giving lectures on nursing, preparing course curriculum, conducting research, offering advice to students, and taking assessments.
If you want to work as a nursing professor, consider acquiring a Master’s in Nursing followed by a DNP. You’ll be glad to know that nursing professor salaries can range from 77,251 to 140,721 dollars per year. This is similar to what working nurses earn.
Become a Registered Nurse
Consider becoming an RN if you’re looking to work in a healthcare setting after obtaining a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or an associate-level degree. Typically, RNs coordinate and provide patient care, emotional support, advice, and educate patients about treatment management. An RN usually works in a team setting with other healthcare professionals such as doctors and surgeons to ensure patients receive full attention during treatment.
If you want to work as an RN, you must pass the NCLEX-RN examination and acquire a practicing license from your state. After obtaining licensure, you can work in various settings such as hospitals, schools, universities, large organizations, residential care facilities, etc. According to the BLS, the median salary of an RN is around 72,330 dollars per year.
Become an Elderly Care Nurse
An elderly care nurse provides treatment and care to older patients for various illnesses and injuries, ensuring a decent quality of life. They also determine future care responsibilities for elderly patients and support medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and other terminal illnesses. If you’re passionate about helping aging people, becoming an elderly care nurse is the right choice for you.
To become one, obtain a BSN or an associate-level nursing degree. Then pass the NCLEX-RN exam and acquire certification in geriatric nursing. After licensure, you can find work in various settings, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes, elderly care centers, and much more. According to the BLS, the median salary of an elderly care nurse is around 70,000 dollars per year.
Become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
A CRNA is a well-trained healthcare professional specializing in administering anesthesia to patients during medical and surgical procedures. These nursing professionals are among the highest-paid healthcare workers in the industry because of the nature of their job. Their job has a high risk associated with it. And with high risk come higher rewards to ensure precision and accountability.
To work as a CRNA, you must earn a BSN followed by an MSN. After doing so, acquire a practicing license from your respective state. Not to mention, a year of working experience in an acute care setting is a must. According to PayScale, the average salary of a CRNA is approximately 162,527 dollars per year.
Become a Nurse Practitioner
If you’re looking to advance your nursing career and provide more specialty care, consider becoming a nurse practitioner. Typically these healthcare professionals serve as primary care providers and offer more in-depth care similar to a doctor. Generally, nurse practitioners prescribe medication (in some states), order lab testing, perform physical examinations, and assist surgeons.
To work as a nurse practitioner, you must obtain an MSN, followed by a doctoral-level degree such as a Ph.D. or DNP. Furthermore, the kind of certification you need to acquire depends on the specialty of care you wish to offer to your patients. According to the BLS, the median salary of a nurse practitioner is about 117,670 per year. This may fluctuate depending on your niche.
Become a Travel Nurse
Becoming a travel nurse is the best course of action if you wish to work in multiple healthcare settings and travel the world simultaneously. A travel’s nurses job responsibilities vary from your average nurse’s because they interact with different patients present at various locations. Furthermore, a travel nurse typically earns an hourly paycheck, which also includes a housing stipend. Besides learning in new places and traveling the world, a travel nurse has more experience than a typical nurse working in a healthcare facility.
To work as a travel nurse, acquire a BSN, followed by a state-issued practicing license. The type of certification you require also depends on the specialty of care. Furthermore, salaries also vary from location to location.
Before choosing the nursing job of your choice, consider researching each career’s responsibilities, educational requirements, salary potential, and growth opportunities. Thorough research will give you a better idea of what nursing job is the right fit for you. While you might want to acquire some nursing education and skills before practicing, it pays to explore your options to experience excellent job satisfaction in the long term. After all, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a nursing role just because it pays well. So, weigh your options and consider the nursing careers mentioned in the article to make the right choices.