Who should consider a career in nursing?
Nursing offers rewarding careers for men and women who:
- enjoy – and prefer – working with people
- derive satisfaction from helping and caring for others
- have demonstrated interest and aptitude in science
- are motivated to work hard to achieve their goals
Why should you consider a nursing career?
Nursing presents many options. Many specialties. Many ways to help people. Here are some things to consider:
A critical nursing shortage exists today throughout the U.S. — and it is projected to worsen as huge waves of the Baby Boom generation retire each year. Nebraska is projected to have a shortfall of nearly 4,000 nurses by 2020.
The deficit is most severe in small towns and rural areas — but nurses are in short supply throughout our state and nation, including metro areas. Job demand is expected to be strong for decades to come.
Great need exists for nurses at all levels — and in all care settings, including hospitals, outpatient centers, community clinics, physician offices, schools and nursing homes. The nursing deficit is also mirrored in a shortage of nursing teachers. Nursing schools everywhere seek qualified faculty.
There are approximately 100 nursing specialties — requiring different types of training and degree preparation from bachelor’s to master’s to doctoral. All options need bright, dedicated nurses. As health care rapidly changes and evolves, there is exploding demand for nurse leaders/executives who direct other nurses as well as manage programs, systems, facilities and nursing education.
A nursing career offers great flexibility in work schedules. You can arrange your work window:
- around family, child care, civic, church and charitable activities.
- to make time for advanced nursing education.
- or simply to enjoy life — leisure and recreational activities.
Because registered nurses are in demand in many different care settings — some of which operate 24/7 — you have wide options to work an 8 or 12-hour shift, weekends only, or three or four days per week, etc.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that nursing will create approximately 587,000 new jobs nationally by 2016 — at average annual income of $62,480 for a full-time RN (registered nurse).
A Nebraska Appleseed Center report shows that, among the state’s top-10 growing jobs, only one — RN — pays sufficient wages to support a family of four. Pay rises, of course, with increased education and skills.
Among all the health professions, nurses have by far the most patient contact. Since the days of Florence Nightingale, the mother of modern nursing, people consistently say that nurses are among the most memorable and helpful parts of their treatment — as day-to-day anchor of care, as hour-to-hour physical and emotional support in trying times of disease, illness and injury.
It can be deeply satisfying to help patients and their families — to be part of a health care team that creates good outcomes. Nurses are a proactive, highly visible force in helping people foster something they treasure more than anything: their health.
A large, forceful group with vast power to lead positive change.
With over 3 million members, nursing is easily the largest, most omnipresent of U.S. health professions. As a group, nurses have enormous power to lobby for — and create — positive change in health care policy, practices and systems.