Without question the hottest career field in the United States in the coming decade is in healthcare. While many of the careers and positions within healthcare are expected to experience strong growth over the next few years, none of them will experience growth equivalent to nurse jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found an estimated 2.6 million individuals employed as nurses in 2008, and projected that an additional 500,000 plus new nurses would be needed by 2018 to replace retiring and advancing nurses. Those who feel they are stuck in a dead end job could quickly find themselves working in one of the hottest and well paying industries available by training for a nurse job.
The two most popular nursing designations in the U.S. are Registered Nurse (RN) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). These designations don’t represent particular nurse jobs, but rather represent designations that nurses in several different career fields of nursing can hold.
An RN is a more highly educated nurse who holds greater responsibility in the workplace and is often paid more for their services. LPNs/LVNs can enter into nurse jobs more quickly because their educational process is quicker, but they have fewer responsibilities and are paid less on average for their services. Greater specifics regarding these nurse jobs include:
- RNs: Individuals with this designation have graduated from an undergraduate nursing school or program and hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This degree can be completed at typical four year institutions as well as through online programs and accelerated programs.
- LPNs/LVNs: Individuals with this designation receive training that takes generally one year to complete. The programs are offered in a variety of places including on the job at hospitals, in nursing schools, and at some traditional institutions. Upon graduation students are not presented with a degree, but rather they receive a diploma or certificate.
Individuals who hold either an RN or LPN/LVN designation can actually hold a wide range of nurse jobs when they enter the career field. Nurse jobs have several areas of specialization that hold within them even greater diversification of job positions and descriptions. Examples of nursing specialties include:
- Intensive Care Unit (ICU)
- Emergency (ER)
- Labor & Delivery, Birthing
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
- Case Management
While many of the nurse jobs available this day in age are still centered around hospitals, there are a large number of other facilities that now require nurses on hand for day to day operations to run smoothly. One of the fastest growing nurse jobs available in a hospital setting is the position of Nurse Practitioner. The position of NP has evolved largely due to the pressure on Medical Doctors to further specialize in other areas of medicine, leaving a gap in General Practitioners available. The details of the NP nurse job include:
- Operating under the guidance of an M.D.
- Performing many of the same day to day tasks as a General Practitioner.
- Diagnose common illnesses and act as “Family Doctor” for many patients
- Prescribe medications to patients in many states
Nurse Practitioners are not the only important nurse jobs available in hospital settings. Examples of other specific nurse jobs available in a hospital include but are not limited to the following:
- Nurse Anesthesiologist
- Cardiac Care Nursing
- Case Manager Nurse
- Critical Care Nursing
- Hematology Nursing
- Intravenous Nursing
Nurse jobs are not just confined to hospitals anymore though. The services of nurses are required in a number of other settings. The specializations available in these settings do not differ greatly from hospital settings, but the day to day tasks can be different. The following are a few examples of non-hospital nurse jobs:
- School Nursing: Located in elementary, middle, and high schools around America, it is the job of School Nurses to care for students who fall ill during the course of a school day.
- Substance Abuse Nursing: Located primarily in rehab and addiction clinics, Substance Abuse Nurses help individuals struggling to overcome addiction and abuse problems.
- Occupational Nursing: This increasingly popular field finds nurses employed in private companies, offering onsite clinics for employees and even conducting instructional lectures and developing wellness plans.
Nurse jobs are guaranteed to be the hottest jobs between now and 2018. The growing number of Baby Boomer generation members in the U.S. who are reaching their golden years is placing a greater strain on the healthcare industry. This strain presents a great opportunity for those who are unhappy in their job or looking for their first career to land a good nursing job.