It is interesting to note that registered nurses constitute the largest occupation in the healthcare industry. They occupy around 2.3 million jobs. Job opportunities for registered nurses are very good and more jobs will be added in this field over the next decade. The role of a registered nurse is that of a health educator for families, individuals and communities. Major job responsibilities include helping patients cope with illness and improve their lives, prevent diseases and promote health. [Highest Paying Nursing Careers]
Registered nurses or RNs perform their work abiding by the state rules and laws. However, their daily responsibilities are determined by their work setting. They provide direct patient care, observe patients, assess patient conditions, note the symptoms and also notice the progress in patients. Registered nurses can choose from diverse career possibilities.
Home Health Nurses
Public Health Nurses
Occupational Health Nurses
Head Nurses or Nurse Supervisors
Educational Requirement for Becoming a Registered Nurse
Candidates who want to become registered nurses should possess a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing. A Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) is required to make a successful career in the field of nursing. There are several colleges and universities across the United States offering a bachelor’s degree, which takes 4 years to complete. An associate degree in nursing may take 2-3 years to complete. The associate degree is offered by numerous community colleges and junior colleges. Those who wish to obtain administrative positions should pursue a BSN or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.
Nursing education is comprised of both classroom teaching and supervised clinical experience. Candidates gain the clinical experience under the supervision of qualified and expert instructors in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Clinical experience can be gained in maternity, pediatrics, psychiatry, surgery etc.
Nursing Job Opportunities
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for registered nurses is expected to grow at a faster rate than the average of all professions, through to the year 2012. More job openings will be created as a major number of experienced nurses leave the occupation for their own reasons. As the total elderly population continues to grow, there remains a continuous requirement for nurses. There is no dearth of employment opportunities for registered nurses. They can land jobs in nursing care facilities, ambulatory clinics, home health agencies, physician’s clinics, hospitals, public health departments etc.
The median annual salary of a registered nurse is around $48,090. The annual salary ranges between $40,140 and $57,490. Those employed in general medical and surgical hospitals earn the highest salary. The average salary for registered nurses working in nursing care facilities is around $43,850.