If you’re trying to decide on the perfect career or you’re getting ready to make a career change, nursing might be a great option. Healthcare is something that everyone needs at every stage of their lives, and helping people achieve and maintain good health can be an extremely fulfilling and satisfying path to follow.
2023 is the perfect year to make your nursing dreams a reality. Here’s why you might want to consider this in-demand career path.
A Growing Demand for Nurses
Nursing is one of the most important roles within the healthcare field. Nurses provide direct care for patients and often spend more time with them than their doctors. When people are hospitalized, nurses provide more than just medical care— they provide comfort as well.
The population of the United States is aging. As people are living longer, they have more complex and chronic health needs that require ongoing care. Now that the Baby Boomer generation is aging, more nurses are needed to keep up with demand and to replace nurses who are retiring or leaving the field.
More nurses will be needed in the coming years to account for the growing demand. It takes intensive training, generally over a period of two to four ye ars to become a qualified nurse, which means that now is a great time to enroll in a nursing degree program.
Understanding the Nursing Profession
The nursing profession is always changing. While in the past, registered nurses (RNs) were limited to tasks like taking vital signs, monitoring patients, and performing basic medical tasks, there are more options now for career paths within nursing.
Nurses can get additional training and specialize in a certain population or type of medicine. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) can even practice independently in some states. Nurse practitioners (NPs) are becoming an integral part of the healthcare delivery system in the United States.
Travel nursing is another popular option for RNs. Taking on short-term assignments offers flexibility and variety for motivated nurses. As many hospitals are facing staffing issues, travel nursing will continue to be an important part of the healthcare landscape for years to come.
Technology is also changing how nurses work. As some tasks become automated, nurses can focus on providing a personalized care experience for each patient.
The Benefits of Working as a Nurse
Nursing is a fast-paced and challenging career that can be stressful and emotionally taxing. However, it’s also an extremely rewarding and fulfilling career path for those who are suited to it. People who do well as nurses are compassionate, proactive, and flexible people with a drive to help others.
Working as a nurse has a number of compelling benefits. Not only will you be helping people improve their health and recover from illnesses and injuries, but you’ll also get to help them (and their families) cope emotionally. Many patients would not get better without the care and support of their nursing team.
Another major benefit of nursing is its flexibility. You have lots of options for your career path. Although many nurses choose to work full-time in a hospital setting, you could work in a school or another facility that hires nurses. You could become a travel nurse, get additional credentials to become an APRN or NP, and even open your own practice someday.
Nursing is not an easy job, but it is rarely boring. You’ll work with all kinds of people and have a variety of tasks, which can keep the work interesting and fresh. New challenges help keep people engaged at work and nursing has no shortage of them.
Finally, nursing has the benefit of offering competitive compensation. Registered nurses make a median salary of $77,600. Nurse practitioners can make much more— about $120,000 annually. Depending on education, specialization, demand, and region, nursing salaries can be extremely attractive.
How to Become a Registered Nurse
If you’re interested in pursuing nursing in 2023, then you’ll want to start researching nursing programs and their prerequisites. Depending on your educational history, you might need some prerequisite classes before you can be accepted into an RN program.
To become an RN, you must go through an accredited program. A two-year associate’s degree will qualify you to take the licensure exam, but many jobs require or prefer to hire nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. You must decide which program is right for you in your situation.
Once you’ve gotten through your nursing program, which could range from mostly online to fully in-person, you will need to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) to work legally as a nurse. Once you have passed, you can start applying for nursing jobs!
Becoming a registered nurse is an investment of time and money. But considering the growing demand, it’s an extremely smart career choice for dedicated and compassionate individuals.