Nursing job overview:
- 60 percent of registered nurses work in hospitals.
- There are more than 2.6 million nurses in the United States.
- On average, registered nurses make $62,000 a year.
What do nurses do?
It ain’t just fluffing pillows and waiting on doctor’s orders. Nurses do a lot of the same things doctors do – and then some.
According to the BLS (the Bureau of Labor Statistics) nurses not only treat patients who are sick and injured, they offer advice and emotional support to patients and their families, take care of paperwork (lots and lots of paperwork), help doctors diagnose patients and provide advice and follow-up care.
That’s right, there’s a lot more to nursing than meets the eye. It’s one of the hardest and most emotionally draining jobs out there. Got a weak stomach? Then consider a different career, my friend. Nurses have to deal with terribly sick people – and that often involves various bodily fluids.
How much do nurses make?
Registered nurses who work at hospitals make $63,000 a year, on average. Those who choose to work at nursing homes or with a home healthcare service make around $58,000. That’s pretty good money, right? We hate to be cheesy, but the real reward is the feeling you’ll get by helping those who need you.
What are the education requirements to be a nurse?
If you want to be a nurse, you’ve got a bunch of schooling in your future. Think about it. Do you know how to intubate a person? Or run an IV? Us neither. Learning those things takes schooling and practice.
There are two common ways to become an RN. You can get a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) or an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). BSN programs, offered by colleges and universities, take about 4 years to complete. ADN programs, offered by community and junior colleges, take about 2 to 3 years. After graduating from one of these programs (and taking your local licensing boards), you’ll qualify for an entry-level position as a staff nurse.
Career paths for nurses
Most nurses start out as staff nurses at a hospital. Master the art of reading a doctor’s handwriting and you could move on to a better shift or a shift management role. After that nurses can advance to assistant unit manager or head nurse. Get an advanced degree and you could find yourself as an assistant director, director, vice president, or chief of nursing.
The future of nurse jobs
According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), job opportunities for nurses are growing at a better than average pace. Job prospects will be the best for nurses who choose to work in doctors’ offices.