Nursing is a rewarding profession that allows you to truly make a difference in the lives of others. The healthcare industry as a whole is expected to see tremendous growth in the next decade. As the aging population continues to increase, the demands for nurses will continue to grow. The following nurse career prospects are in the highest demand.
LVN and LPN
LVNs (Licensed Vocational Nurses) and LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses) are able to provide patients with basic nursing care. They work under registered nurses and physicians in a variety of different work settings. Some LVNs and LPNs find themselves working in nursing homes, hospitals, physician’s office and even private homes. Most of these nurses work full-time and earn an average salary of $41,540 per year.
Training to become an LVN or an LPN is relatively simple. Prospective nurses must complete an educational program that is approved by the state. Most programs take approximately one year to complete. LVNs and LPNs must also be licensed before they can start working. Employment in this field is expected to grow by 25 percent between 2012 and 2022.
RNs (Registered Nurses) coordinate and provide care to patients. They also educate both the public and their patients about a variety of different health conditions. In many ways, RNs also provide emotional support to patients and their families during a health crisis. The average nurse earns a salary of $65,000 per year. This career path is expected to see a growth rate of 19 percent between 2012 and 2022.
Most RNs work in hospitals, but they can also be found in nursing homes, schools, correctional facilities and the military. Nurses can choose to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate’s degree or participate in a diploma program. Regardless of which route they take, they must become licensed before they can start working as an RN. Those that choose to earn a bachelor’s degree will have more job opportunities available to them.
A nursing assistant provides basic care. They may work in hospitals, or they may work in a nursing home. This career is more active and many nursing assistants are required to help lift or move a patient.
In order to become a nursing assistant, you must first complete an educational program that is approved by the state. You must also pass a state exam to become certified. While no college education is required, nursing assistants typically have at least a high school diploma.
The average salary of a nursing assistant is $24,000 per year, and employment is expected to grow by 21 percent between 2012 and 2022. This equates to 321,200 new jobs.
Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Anesthetists and Nurse Midwives
Nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives fall into the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) category. These nurses coordinate and provide care to patients. Many of these nurses also provide special and primary health care.
The average APRN earns a salary of $96,000 per year. The field is expected to grow 31 percent by 2022 with 47,600 new jobs becoming available.