You can’t miss nurses. In fact, you’ve probably encountered them at least once in your life from the school nurse putting a band aid on your cut to waking you up after surgery to check your vitals to input into the hospital computer systems. Along with doctors, registered nurses (RNs) are an integral part of the healthcare industry, especially in hospitals. Today we cover 10 reasons why people should consider becoming an RN as the next move in their career path. 

1. Love to Care for People? Now Get Paid for It

The main reason many people choose to go into nursing is that they simply like to help others. They get joy out of it. Nursing is very much a people’s profession. 

Nurses have the opportunity to listen to patients’ stories and get to know them as individuals. They get satisfaction in making a difference during their time of need. Nurses are there, for example, to care for an expectant mother and her growing baby. They’re there as witness to that baby’s first breath at delivery. And when an elderly patient expires, nurses provide comfort, love, and support to those left behind.

2. People Trust Nurses. A Lot 

Americans rate the nursing profession among the highest for honesty, integrity, and ethics. People trust nurses in their roles as caregivers, supporters, and educators. COVID-19, one of the greatest global healthcare challenges in recent times, showcased the nurse’s importance as many risked their health, well-being, and even lives to care for those gravely ill with the highly contagious disease.

3. Demand for Nurses At All-Time High

The numbers don’t lie: there are plenty of open jobs for new nurses in the US and around the world. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment growth among the nursing profession was predicted to be around 11 to 28 percent between 2018 to 2028. This far exceeded the average 5 percent across other business sectors in the same period of time. 

Some of the major factors contributing to this high demand include: 

  • the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation 
  • the rising demand for preventive care 
  • longer life expectancy thanks to better medical technology 

The COVID-19 pandemic also fueled the demand as there are simply more hospitalized patients than nurses, especially bedside caregivers. People training to be nurses have an extremely good chance of finding employment after securing their certifications, licenses, or degrees. 

4. Stable Job Market for Nurses

New nurses will not only find it easy to get a job but also to retain one. As people age, nurses will be needed to care for them in many different settings. The BLS anticipates many nursing opportunities in long-term care facilities to provide care for rehabilitation and Alzheimer’s disease. Demand in home health, outpatient services, and residential care are also expected to be high for years to come. 

The job outlook, it’s safe to say, is quite bright for nurses looking for long and stable careers.

5. Nurses Average a More-than-Livable Wage

Having a nursing degree is not only opening up job opportunities, but higher-paying ones as well.

In 2022, the average salary in the US. is $53,490. Nurses typically bring in nearly 45 percent above that average with a national median annual salary of $77,600 with figures ranging from $60,500 to $124,000 depending on the state. 

Even better, more education usually meant some significant boosts in salaries. Look at nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and nurse anesthetists, for example. The median salary of the three specialties, which required graduate degrees, was $117,670 in 2020.

6. Wide Range of Nursing Positions 

Nurses can be found in a variety of jobs and functions in healthcare. This allows nurses to determine what interests them and the opportunities to pursue it.  

There are more than a 100 nursing specialties. Nurses interested in helping patients involved with plastic surgery can specialize as an aesthetics RN, for example. Or those who want to help new mothers learn to breastfeed their newborn correctly can become lactation consultants. More are being developed as the field of medicine continues to grow. 

Aspiring nurses can also determine their niche depending on where they want to work. Within hospitals, nurses can be found in a variety of locations from greeting visitors at the nursing station to supporting surgeons in the operating room. Those more interested in working outside such settings can specialize in home healthcare. There’s even a “camp nursing” concentration for those interested in working in the great outdoors. 

As mentioned earlier, nurses can earn degrees for higher tier medical roles such as nurse practitioner (NP) and certified registered nurse anesthesiologist (CRNA).

7. Nursing Work Schedules are Flexible

Nurses have tremendous flexibility with their schedule. This is especially true with hospitals, many of which are active and open all year round.

Nurse work schedules can include:

  • Weekdays or weekends 
  • Day or night 
  • Full-time, part-time, or PRN (“pro re nata” or as necessary)
  • Typical 9-5, Monday through Friday 
  • 12-hours for 3-4 days per week. 
  • Seven 12-hour shifts in a row then off for the next 2 1/2 weeks

Nurses can swap shifts with co-workers, giving more flexibility to one’s schedule. This allows outside pursuits such as child rearing or caring for one’s elderly relatives like parents. They can also work with nursing employment agencies called “registries” for even greater choice in determining their work schedule.  

8. Technology Opening Up New Opportunities

Advances in technology are rapidly changing all areas of the healthcare industry. This includes nursing. Today, nurses can quickly access and update patients’ electronic medical records (EMR) from a medical computer or medical tablet. This helps reduce reliance on paper files which are cumbersome, can be hard to read, and be prone to misinterpretation and errors. This in turn allows nurses and other medical staff to concentrate on patient care instead of paperwork. 

Technological change can also lead to new opportunities. In nursing, this has led to a new specialty: nursing informatics. This growing field uses today’s healthcare IT tools like Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) to gather patient and treatment data. Analysis of such data can then be used to help drive improvements to greater efficacy, efficiency, and safety for patients. 

Other technologies such as advanced robotic use in healthcare may lead to even more nursing specialties. 

9. Ability to Work from Home

The nursing profession also has opportunities for those who prefer to work from the comfort of their home. Telephone triage, or assessing the urgency of a patient’s medical issue via phone calls, is a common one. Remote patient monitoring, data collection, and telehealth can also be performed by nurses from their residence.

Insurance nursing, nurse recruiting, and legal nurse consulting are just a few specialties where the nurse primarily works from home. 

10. Get Paid to Travel 

Nursing is a great occupation for those who want to travel and get paid while doing so. Registries connect nurses with clients in need of their services. These are usually hospitals. Assignment length varies with some as short as a month (4 weeks) to as long as 26 weeks, with 13 weeks being the average. Some agencies may even pay for the nurse’s housing and food as well as their salaries depending on the urgency of the assignment. Regardless, nurses get to travel, live, and work in new places with little effort on their part. 

Closing Comments

Nursing is one of the fastest growing occupations in the healthcare industry. The profession has a lot to offer for those who enjoy giving care and nurture to people especially during trying times like pregnancy or illness.  

If your healthcare group is interested in how technology can help their current – and future – nurses in your facilities and offices, contact a representative from Cybernet. 

Also follow Cybernet on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to stay up to date on this and other relevant topics.