What Are the Benefits of a Degree in Nursing and Social Work?
Growth Trends for Related Jobs
A career in healthcare is a big commitment. Healthcare professionals, such as nurses, often work irregular hours and must make fast, important decisions in a stressful work environment. Because of the demanding nature of the profession, educational programs in nursing and social work are frequently challenging to complete. Fortunately, earning a degree in this field can provide you with a number of rewards.
More Employment Possibilities
Furthering your education after high school is rewarding both intellectually and financially. The United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published a graph that demonstrates that people who earn a bachelor's degree are, for the most part, subject to a lower unemployment rate and higher earning potential than a person without a college degree. Similarly, because the healthcare field is consistently growing (as people will always require medical care), a person with a degree in nursing or social work would enjoy an even higher chance at find employment than a person with an unrelated degree. In fact, in the Fall 2007 edition of Occupational Outlook Quarterly, a study showed that the largest number of new jobs being created were for registered nurses. Similarly, combining a degree in social work with a degree in nursing would make you even more multiskilled and desirable as a job candidate.
The United States Bureau of Labor asserts that 54 percent of social workers are employed in a healthcare facility, which suggests that combining degrees in social work and nursing is a smart move. Similarly, both careers are expected to grow at a faster than average rate over the next several years, and often demand the same kinds of skills--helping people in abusive relationships or treating health problems (like substance abuse), for example.
Emotionally Rewarding Careers
Though demanding and sometimes emotionally draining, a career in the fields of nursing or social work is certainly rewarding. Every day, a social worker or a nurse helps a client or patient to combat a difficult situation. The nature of the work you could do with these degrees, then, would be highly rewarding in the long run.
2016 Salary Information for Social Workers
Social workers earned a median annual salary of $47,460 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, social workers earned a 25th percentile salary of $36,790, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $60,790, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 682,000 people were employed in the U.S. as social workers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Education Pays
- "Occupational Outlook Quarterly"; Occupational Employment: Most New Jobs; Fall 2007
- BLS: Social Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Social Workers
- Career Trend: Social Workers
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.