WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CAREER PATHS IN NURSING?

The system of healthcare is an essential component of our national framework. Doctors and nurses –our chief medical practitioners – are the foundation of this system. The nursing profession has come a long way since the days of Florence Nightingale. The AACN claimed (2019) that there were less than 4 million nurses employed nationwide. More than 80% of all RNs worked in medical facilities as nurses. In 2018, the federal government vowed to generate 200,000 nurses annually from 2016 to 2026. Nurses can find employment both in a private or official capacity. There are many incentives to pursue a career in nursing. But first, let’s discuss career opportunities available for RNs in the United States.

Career opportunities for nursing professionals

There are dozens of careers in nursing you can choose from. One can become a nurse-midwife or become a nurse researcher. But there are administrative positions available too, such as nurse manager or chief nursing officer. We have nurses who work on diplomatic levels and create health policies for this field. We also have nurses who treat a single patient. Then there are oncology, telemetry, and radiology nurses. We’ve tried to describe some career paths in nursing below briefly:

  1. Nurse lawyer: You can study law after your nursing studies and become a nurse attorney. So, you’ll be a nurse and a lawyer at the same time. A nurse lawyer defends the rights of RNs with their extensive knowledge of medical legislation. Combining one’s nursing career with a legal one seems like a curious opportunity for ambitious individuals.
  2. Nursing educator: Some people are confused about how to become a nursing professor or instructor. It would be best if you had at least an MSP degree to consider this job. But most universities like to hire one with a DNP (doctorate of nursing practice). The annual salary ranges from $90k to %100k. This job is an ideal way to educate and train young nurses.
  3. Nurse advocate: These nurses “advocate” in favor of the patient and the patient’s family. They serve as a mediator between the medical staff and the patient. She/he will work on behalf of the patient to ensure the best medical treatment for him/her. Resolving patient care issues is a nurse advocate’s responsibility. You can also become an independent patient advocate.
  4. Pre and post-anesthesia nurse: Nurse Anesthetists administer drugs to patients to induce unconsciousness before surgery. When a patient gains consciousness post-surgery, post-anesthesia nurses take care of him/her. Nurse anesthetists require an NBCRNA, while post-anesthesia ones need a CPAN certificate.
  5. Informatics: Nursing informatics is a relatively new field of study within the nursing profession. These individuals work with nursing informatics. This subject combines nursing science with information technology and data analysis techniques. Paid more than $80k every year, informatics nurses work with the latest technologies in medicine.
  6. School nurse: The job description of school nurses is self-suggestive. They find employment in educational institutes and attend the medical needs of children. These nurses treat children who are ill or have suffered an injury during school time. Paid $73k annually; they require an ADN/BSN degree.
  7. Clinical nurse specialist: This is a nurse whose experience enables her/him to treat complex medical cases. In the United States, we have APRNs (advanced practice registered nurses). Paid $75k annually, these nurses require a BSN/MSN degree. They find employment in clinics, hospitals, or privately-owned medical centers.
  8. Travel nurse: As the name suggests, these nurses need to travel with their patients. So, if you crave a constant change of environment, this career is ideal for you. Hospitals require their services temporarily. Their assignments are similar to what contract-based employees do. Paid $71k per year, these nurses need to have an ADN/BSN degree.
  9. Pediatric nurse: They treat kids ranging from newborns to teenagers. They are experts in the medical treatment of young patients. Aside from managing a child’s pain, they serve as children advocates. One of the most challenging responsibilities of pediatric nurses is to console dying children. Pediatric nurse practitioners make $110k. They should get a CPN certificate, though.
  10. ER and trauma nurses: Some people use these terms interchangeably when these are two different nursing practices. Trauma nurses deal with patients who are beyond sick, whereas ER nurses work in emergency rooms. A trauma nurse earns more than $60k per year and should hold a CEN certificate.

Benefits of being in the nursing profession

Every profession has its advantages and disadvantages. Every career has an attraction that makes it unique. For nursing, it’s one of the well-trusted jobs in the United States. In the 20th century, male nurses were a rarity to see in America. Nowadays, around 9% of RNs are men. Nurses compose the majority in our country’s national healthcare workforce. BLS expects the nursing profession to grow 7% in the next decade. Furthermore:

  1. It’s not that difficult to become a registered nurse as you can study online now.
  2. The median payment of a registered nurse is around $70,000 annually.
  3. You can make nursing a second career choice to supplement your income.
  4. The coronavirus pandemic has increased the demand for additional nurses in hospitals.
  5. There are more nurses in America than physicians, and this profession will keep growing.
  6. Medical facilities require the services of RNs, so there’s little chance of being laid off.
  7. Nurses can continue their education and receive an MSN degree for career development.
  8. Nursing is a flexible job, and RNs can choose to work full-time, part-time, or freelance.
  9. The nursing profession helps you reach self-actualization by serving humanity.
  10. You can receive a special certification in nursing. There are many career opportunities for RNs to choose from, as explained above.

Conclusion

In 2017, for 16 consecutive years, Americans declared nursing to be the most honest and ethical profession. More than 80% of people described nurses as individuals with the most vigorous moral constitution. This prestige motivates more women – and men now – to pursue a career in nursing. The ongoing battle to eliminate the gender gap works as an incentive to bring the masculine representation in nursing. The current coronavirus pandemic has rekindled the need to hire more nurses in hospitals. Therefore, nursing students should utilize this golden opportunity for the benefit of America’s healthcare. This opportunity will also come in handy for their career development.

*ADN = Associate’s Degree in Nursing

*BSN = Bachelor of Science in Nursing

*MSN = Master of Science in Nursing

*NBCRNA = National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists

*CPAN = Certified Post-Anesthesia Nurse

*CPN = Certified Pediatric Nurse

*CEN = Certified Emergency Nurse

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