The nursing field is one of the most diverse and rewarding career paths available. There are nursing jobs that involve dealing with all types of patients in just about any kind of environment you can think of. Better yet, there are dozens of nursing specialties that allow you to focus your interests in a particular area. During your education and training, you will get a better sense of some of the most prominent nursing jobs that are available today. By the time you are ready to begin your career, you will have several options when it comes to applying for nursing jobs.
About Nursing Employment
The nurse job description involves an endless list of duties and responsibilities, and it can change drastically from one position to the next. However, at their most basic level, nurse jobs involve attending to sick or injured patients in need of care. Although nursing jobs are not as complex as the job of a doctor or surgeon, they can still be very demanding.
As a nurse, you will be constantly dealing with new patients who are suffering from a wide range of conditions. You must be able to handle emergency situations, often involving people who have received a serious injuries. In order to become prepared for the types of scenarios you will encounter, you must have an adequate education and training. There are many nursing schools available that will give you the knowledge and tools needed to take on any nurse job.
Nursing Job Statistics
There are two main different types of nurses: Registered Nurses (RNs) and Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPNs/LVNs). Nursing jobs for LPNs/LVNs usually involving attending to a patient’s basic needs like changing bandages, checking blood pressure, and more. They often work directly under RNs, who take on more of an advanced role in patient care. Because of these two different career paths, nursing employment opportunities and salary levels varies greatly.
The average salary for LPNs/LVN nurse jobs is $40, 380 per year. There are more than 700,000 LPNs/LVNs working in the country, and the amount of nursing jobs is expected to grow by 22% over the next decade. This is slightly higher than the average growth of total occupations.
For RNs, the average salary is $64,690 per year. Currently, there are close to 3 million RN nursing jobs, and that amount is projected to increase by 26% over the next decade. The reason that there are more RNs than LPNs/LVNs is that many nurses become RNs over the course of their career. People that complete a certificate or diploma program and become an LPN/LVN often pursue additional training in order to become an RN after working for several years.
Beyond the typical nursing jobs available, there are also many specialized nurse jobs for the right candidates. In order to become a specialized nurse, you must usually earn a certificate in your area of interest. Specialized nursing jobs are broken down into different categories like work environment, body system, and illnesses. For example, there are specializations like ambulatory care, critical care, respiratory care, and more. After becoming certified in a specialization, you will have the chance to pursue higher paying nursing employment opportunities that require your specific and critical skills.
Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.