Nurse counselors, also known as nurse consultants, work in a variety of settings where they focus on ensuring delivery of quality patient care services. Although some counselors are directly involved in patient care, others contribute to the professional training and development of other nurses. Employers of nurse counselors include health care facilities, health care agencies and nursing schools.
Doing the Work
In clinical settings, nurse consultants assess patient health problems, give nursing care to the sick, injured and disabled, maintain medical records and advise patients on disease prevention and health maintenance. In health care agencies, nurse counselors conduct research to establish the strengths and weaknesses of various health care policies and advise policy makers accordingly. Nurse counselors working for nursing schools teach trainees to prepare them for employment.
Nurse counselors are registered nurses who complete advanced courses specializing in specific fields, such as adult nursing, critical care nursing and public health. To become a registered nurse, obtain a diploma, associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university. You must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to obtain a license to practice. Between 2012 through 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the employment of all registered nurses will grow 19 percent, faster than the 11 percent average for all jobs.
2016 Salary Information for Registered Nurses
Registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,450 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, registered nurses earned a 25th percentile salary of $56,190, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $83,770, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 2,955,200 people were employed in the U.S. as registered nurses.