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Pursuing a career in nursing can be rewarding in many ways. While nursing isn’t the right occupation for everyone, those who have a strong desire to pursue a lucrative career that provides opportunities to help others in a nurturing manner may find this occupation to be satisfying on personal and professional levels.
Assisting People Who Are Ill
Nurses have an opportunity to provide direct assistance to people who are sick; participating in assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Nurturing and providing care to people who are ill to help them regain their health, things that nurses do on a daily basis, can be very meaningful and fulfilling.
Serving as Health Educators
In addition to ministering to the needs of patients who are ill, nurses often have an opportunity to provide wellness and health promotion education, teaching people what they need to know to improve or maintain their health.
Mentoring New Nurses
Not only do nurses have an opportunity to educate patients, they often serve as a source of education and on-the-job training for nursing students and early-career nurses. As new nurses enter the profession, experienced nursing professionals often have the opportunity to mentor the newcomers as they learn to apply what they have learned in school to a clinical setting.
Opportunities to Specialize
There are opportunities for nurses who wish to pursue a specialty of particular interest to them, such as pediatric or obstetric nursing, or to become nurse managers. They even have an opportunity to pursue graduate-level studies in areas of advanced practice nursing to become nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives or clinical nurse specialists.
Nursing Travel Opportunities
Nurses who have an interest in earning a living while traveling can pursue opportunities in travel nursing once they have a few years of successful clinical experience. Travel nurses are assigned to work in different locations during times of particularly high demand or to fill-in on open positions when health care providers are finding it challenging to hire permanent nursing employees.
Variety of Settings
There are a number of different settings where nurses can work. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, urgent care centers, home health agencies and public health clinics all have nurses on staff, as do school systems, mental health service providers, nursing homes and health insurance companies. There are also opportunities for nurses to work for pharmaceutical companies, in higher education, and in medical research laboratories.
There is significant demand for nurses, and that is something that is not likely to change in the future. As long as people experience illness, there will be a high demand for nurses.
Not only are nurses in high demand in the workplace, they also earn competitive wages. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May of 2010 the median annual salary for registered nurses was $64,690, with a range of $44,190 to over $95,130. For licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, median compensation for the same time frame was $40,380 per year, with a range of $29,680 to over $56,010.
Mary White is professional trainer and human-resources consultant with more than 20 years of experience. She is also the author of two nonfiction books and has worked as a writer since 2007. White holds Master of Arts in communication and certification as a senior professional in human resources.
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