Registered nurses enjoy a career that combines variety, compassion, and rewarding professional challenges. Nursing Careers Promise Multifaceted Rewards.
Careers in Nursing
Registered nurses constitute the largest healthcare occupation, and their day-to-day responsibilities are as varied as the 2.6 million Americans who hold these jobs. Yet despite the many areas of specialization that exist within the field of nursing, all nurses share some common ground: the treatment of patients, the education of their patients as well as the public at large regarding medical conditions, and the providing of emotional support and advice to patients and their loved ones. Their duties may include everything from administering medication to organizing immunization clinics, but specific responsibilities are determined largely by area of expertise.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identifies three main paths of education for students interested in nursing studies: earning a bachelor’s degree, an associate’s degree, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Individuals who aspire to advanced nursing positions–clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives, and nurse practitioners–need master’s degrees. All nursing schools educate pupils with a blend of classroom instruction and clinical experience; subjects may include: anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition, psychology and other behavioral sciences.
A nursing student’s education culminates in the mandatory licensing examination known as NCLEX-RN. Consult your state board’s nursing directory for detailed information.
Great Job Opportunities in Nursing
There are literally dozens of nursing titles, so whatever your area of interest, there’s sure to be a job that’s right for you. Registered nurses enjoy four different ways to specialize: by health conditions (such as diabetes management nurses), systems of the body (dermatology nurses, for instance), work setting (e.g. perioperative nurses), and demographics (like pediatric or geriatric nurses).