Nursing Career Outlook: About to Boom
Looking for a Guaranteed Career? Look No Further
Nursing offers one of the most secure, reliable, and versatile careers in healthcare. Often when a career track promises so many benefits it’s short on jobs, but nursing is a different beast. Nurses were once confined to the four-walls of a hospital, for the most part. But the exterior of healthcare has changed significantly, patients are no longer held in hospitals for long periods of time if it can be helped. They are transferred to long term care, out-patient clinics, and even to home care situations. These environments outside the traditional scheme require highly trained nurses. The care paradigm remains the same, but specialized skills and challenging patient care environments offer the most job intrigue.
There are dozens of nursing specialties. And nursing students may have their pick of the litter. The sky’s the limit and this is why nursing is poised to become a new millennium career. That’s if enough momentum can be created to give it the boost it needs.
Find Out Why the Nursing Field is So Wide Open
The field, as jam-packed as it is with job goodies, is in the midst of a historic nursing shortage, of epidemic proportions. Yes, nursing is a good career, but the demand for nurses is so high right now that the educational system currently in place is unable to satisfy the demand. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the “projected demand” for new, full time registered nurses by 2020 will be close to 3,000,000. The alarming part of this figure is the “projected supply” is expected to fall over 1,000,000 short of the number needed to keep healthcare afloat. These numbers have policy makers sitting up and taking notice. This fault is no longer manageable by nursing alone; the solution is likely to take many heads put together.
For men, nursing is wide open. Traditionally women have filled the roles and there remain antiquated nursing programs that still dig their heels in when it comes to men, but these are few and far between. A couple of active male nursing organizations provide the forum and professional support the male nurse population needs. They have lists of best nursing schools for males, scholarships, and industry portraits of male nurses currently at work in the field. And not only is nursing a smart career choice for all men, but the profession needs them. The population of male RNs is measured at about 5.7%. A steady and growing influx of new male recruits could help make a significant dent in the nursing shortage and diversify the field.
Nursing Provides Advanced Degrees and Upper Level Job Positions
Also a big bonus for nursing is the ease with which one may climb the industry ladder. Not only is there dire need for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and RN staff nurses, but there are critical needs for advanced practice nurses, those at the administrative level as well as an autonomous level of patient care. In fact, many men and women are drawn to nursing for just this type of upward mobility.
Salaries vary among specialties and regions of the country. Nursing students interested in earning the highest figures should pursue Critical Care, ICU, and Emergency & Trauma medicine. These specialties are challenging, and competitive, and require more comprehensive skill sets. Nurses that work in metropolitan areas generally earn more, and those in bi-coastal areas earn the most, primarily due to a higher cost of living. But there are more granular salary metrics and a few high-dollar nursing specialties that continue to draw attention.
If you’re considering nursing, don’t think twice. The career is flexible—most care settings have very flexible scheduling systems in place and many nurses use part time nursing jobs to supplement others. Few other careers offer such options for customization. Mix and match degree, specialty, care setting, and/or patient population. What’s stopping you?
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