It is far from a hidden truth that there is a shortage of nurses in the United States. Hospitals, doctors and nursing homes have been clinging to dear life for years in the attempts to find and keep a good group of nurses. With the shortages in the profession, the pay rate has climbed to far exceed expectations and this leaves nurses with many options. For the nurse this is an excellent opportunity, but for the providers it can prove costly. If you are on the fringe of making a decision between a nursing degree and some other here are some things to consider.
The American Association of College Nursing estimates that there will be a shortage of over 300,000 nurses by the year 2012. That could not only create a hazard to the medical industry, but also provide nurses with an excellent paying career. Nursing is one of those careers that not only provides good pay, but also gives the individual the greatest reward ever. This reward can be seen on a daily basis with the fact that they help those in need and it is the thanks in the eyes of a child that sustains the career choice.
There are several options that nurses have afforded to them. There are different certifications in nursing and with them brings different duties as well as pay. Another positive about the nursing profession is the fact that there are so many options. One nurse may work in Pediatrics and another can work in Geriatrics. There is no limit to the opportunities in the nursing field. Here is a look at the types of certifications and a little bit about each.
A year’s worth of college training and a set amount of experience can help you obtain the certification of either LVN/Licensed Vocational Nurse or LPN/Licensed Practical Nurse. While completing the required academic requirements the nursing student will spend time shadowing nurses, doctors and other health care providers for hands on and/or practical experience. After all the requirements have been fulfilled the nursing student will be expect to take the state exam, which is not easy. It is recommended that students purchase a good study guide or course to refresh and prepare for the test. A LPN or LVN can expect to make an average of $37,000 per year. LVN or LPN can be responsible for administering medications, giving injections, drawing blood and/or starting IV’s as well as a host of other medical duties.
The RN or registered nurse is gained by attending college for two to three years and passing the state’s respective exam. The test consists of educational material as well as practical information, making it necessary to study for the exam. The major shortage in nursing comes with the licensure of the registered nurse. The RN certification opens many doors and opportunities to those wanting to pursue a career in the medical profession. In most cases the Registered Nurse oversees other medical tech., interns, LPN (LVN) and Certified Nurses Aids. The average salary reported on the Internet for a RN is in the range of $55,000 per year. RN’s can work in private practice, doctor’s offices, hospitals, traveling situations as well as other medical options.
The BSN or Bachelors of Science in Nursing can be obtained after a nurse completes a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Many universities are now offering an online option or correspondence classes for nurses to achieve the higher level of education. The RN may wish to return to school to enhance his/her skill and salary level. This transition may not be obvious to a patient by sight, but the experience and knowledge could be a tale-tale sign. A BSN also looks better on paper and hospitals, doctors, nursing homes will ring your telephone off the wall. Generally, the BSN works in a managerial position reviewing case files, dealing with administrators and advocating for patients, but can hold a variety of other nursing positions. The Internet reports the average salary for a BSN at well over $60,000 per year.
Regardless of the nursing path that is chosen, it is extremely important to prepare. While in school take good notes, keep textbooks and other information obtained during the educational experience. Pay close attention in the practical training provided in the hospital or with other medical professionals. The state exam that you will be taking to obtain your license must be taken seriously. There are a variety of great preparatory study guides that will help prepare you for your big day. It is also recommended and advisable to obtain the furthest degree in nursing possible. The more education and letters behind your name the more opportunity that you will have. Nursing is one of those fields that no matter where you go or live there is always a job waiting for you.
If the predictions of the American Association of College Nursing is correct and there is truly that big of a shortage in the future, the pay rates for nurses could double, even triple. The pay scale is already exceptionally good, but imagine what will happen when the nurses of today are retiring. The pay rate will rise and since you have the education and experience, you will be in high demand.