The Nursing Profession:
Nurses are versatile and unique healthcare providers who are essential to the day-to-day delivery of healthcare. They diagnose and address a wide range of health and illness-related human responses. Nursing is a strong and respected profession, grounded in science and guided by a code of ethics.
Nursing graduates have the opportunity to work in a myriad of settings: clinics, hospitals, schools, and community-based health organizations such as home healthcare and hospice. They can choose to work with any age group and can select to assist individuals who are critically ill, those who have acute or chronic illnesses or even those who are healthy and want to stay that way.
Basic nursing education takes place in diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate or advanced degree programs. Successful completion confers the right to sit for the registered nurse licensure examination. Many nurses pursue advanced education such as specialty certification and master's and doctoral degrees.
The nursing profession is one of the largest professions in the healthcare industry. There remains a shortage in the field of nursing and it is anticipated to continue through 2020. Nurses are needed in all specialties.
Salaries and Wages:
Salaries are very competitive, varying according to location, preparation and specialty. An associate degree nursing graduate's average starting salary in a hospital setting is $80,000. Nurses who attain higher education can earn more. For example, a master's prepared nurse can earn well over $100,000.
Career Advancement Opportunities:
Associate degree nursing graduates can pursue their baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees to prepare them for advanced nursing, clinical specialties, independent practice, academic teaching and research. Nurses often combine their clinical skills with other professional practices such as law and business in order to serve in other healthcare agencies such as public, private and governmental institutions.