There are many different reasons to pursue a career in nursing. For one thing, it’s a growing field that offers significant rewards.
As a nurse, you’ll be making a difference in people’s lives, comforting them in illness, and serving their basic needs. You’ll also be living a good life and possibly reaping some pretty great financial rewards as well. But of all the wonderful reasons to enter the profession, three stand out above the rest.
A career in nursing is anything but boring. And once you graduate your program, you can put your nurse skills to use in a variety of different settings. Some nurses choose to work in emergency rooms where they can experience the challenge of acting fast and thinking on their feet. Others choose more relaxed atmospheres, such as doctor’s offices or public schools.
Even if you think you know all the positions a nurse can possibly hold, you’re probably forgetting some. For example, nurses can start their careers in the armed forces. They can either enlist after completing nursing school or get their training while serving. They can also work on cruise ships, treating staff and travelers for minor illnesses or emergencies.
Other positions might include summer camps, consulting, forensics, teaching, and many more. But the greatest thing about this is that if you find yourself in a field you don’t care for, it’s usually very easy to change.
Nursing schedules vary from eight to 12-hour shifts, and anywhere from three to six days per week. Some facilities allow their nurses to choose which days of the week they work and others shift their schedules so that everyone gets a weekend off here and there. Other facilities have 12-hour shifts so that their staff gets more days off. For example, a typical 12-hour shift schedule might be three days on and four days off every week.
But days and hours aren’t the only flexible factor of the profession. Work locations are also highly flexible. Not only can you find a job almost anywhere you’d like because of the current nursing shortage, you can also change up your location every few months. Many nurses choose this type of lifestyle through something called “travel nursing”. Travel nursing is a highly-paid sector of nursing where these professionals work in a different high-demand area every 12 weeks. They live in paid housing or receive a stipend, and they can change locations after their “shift” is over.
You can’t talk about the benefits of nursing without mentioning their generous salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the nursing profession is growing by about 15 percent per year, which is much faster than the average any other profession. They attribute this to the “increased emphasis on preventative care,” among other things. But it’s largely due to the size of the baby boomers coming up.
For this reason, health care facilities struggle to hire enough staff and maintain them. But this works in the nurse’s favor. Because of this shortage, most facilities have to pay more in order to hire and keep them. Registered nurses make a median salary of about $70,000, which is quite a bit more than most other jobs only requiring an associate’s degree. And even LVNs make around $45,000 a year with only a one-year certificate.
Nurses who wish to continue their educations and obtain their nurse practitioner licenses can make well over $100,000 a year. And none of them are usually limited by their salaries, as there is typically plenty of overtime and holiday work to go around.