By Linda Raye
If you have been considering entering into the healthcare industry as a professional nurse, here are some points to consider….
Nursing careers encompass a wide range of activities related to the field of delivering healthcare. As pure healthcare professionals employed in hospitals and similar other healthcare units, people in nursing careers cater to treatment, safety and recovery of acutely or chronically ill or injured people, health maintenance of the healthy, and treatment of life-threatening emergencies in a wide range of health care settings.
Additionally, nursing careers also span many non-clinical functions, such as medical and nursing research, forensic research, nursing education, medical insurance, serving medical, pharmaceutical and healthcare companies and so on.
In the United States, it is estimated that nursing careers of about 50 percent of nurses start at hospitals of all hues. Indeed, hospitals remain the largest employers of registered nurses. But there are other avenues for promising nursing careers, some of which are enumerated below:
• Working in specialized healthcare units and long-term care facilities (hospice nursing, standalone nursing homes, patient rehabilitation, etc.).
• Assisting medical specialists like surgeons, ophthalmologists, obstetricians and others.
• Nursing-on-call on private duty for home patients (home health agencies).
• Serving in outdoor community health clinics.
• Educating aspiring nurses as teachers.
• Engaging in medical, nursing and forensic research, either self or as assistants.
• Independent nursing careers like legal nurse consultants, medical writers, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and so on.
• Serving international organizations, like United Nations, Red Cross, etc.
• Serving insurance companies and managed care centers.
• Serving in statutory bodies responsible for hospital regulations.
• Serving companies engaged in healthcare and medical business.
Job consultants have long noted an increasing uptrend for nursing careers. By all accounts, the employment opportunity for registered nurses is expected to grow at a much faster pace through 2014 compared to all other occupations. Since the occupation is very large and in view of rising median age of registered nurse population, the requirement of registered nurses is likely to create the second largest of new jobs among all occupations.
Even though nursing careers are on an upswing, there are not enough facilities, competent to meet the growing demand. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that the shortage of faculty in nursing schools has reached an alarming proportion. This is happening because on one hand the present faculty workforce is fast approaching retirement, and on the other, the pool of younger replacement faculty is decreasing.
This has thrown a unique opportunity for experienced registered nurses to pursue nursing careers of teaching and counseling new students. Among other considerations in favor of teaching profession, higher emolument is surely a big motivating factor. Since teaching requires higher education in nursing (masters degree or higher), experienced nurses who already have bachelor degrees, may consider enrolling for higher education in order to enhance their nursing careers. At the same time, as the nursing institutes re-organize their teaching facilities, school-level graduates may find nursing careers lucrative to pursue and excel.
Many institutes of repute offering nursing courses, for example University of Northern Colorado, Duke University School of Nursing in Durham and SDSU College of Nursing to name a few, are offering accelerated BSN programs (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) as a direct response to shortage in nursing. These programs allow students, who already have a degree in another discipline, to earn a BSN degree in only 16 to 20 months instead of traditional 4-year program.
Often people in mid professional career feel that nursing careers are more suitable for them. Accelerated BSN programs aim to hasten their journey back to their heart’s desire. In order to sweeten the things for them, many hospitals in fact sponsor students for these programs to assist their nursing careers. They pay tuition fees in lieu of their working for them after graduation. Hospital authorities are effusive in their praise for second-career nursing students. They say that students, who opt for nursing careers after having spent early life in other fields, often make terrific nurses. They come as matured persons, broadly educated and knowing how to conduct themselves in the workplace.
Nursing careers have several tales. The ability to serve mankind is certainly one of them. Bravo to that.
Copyright 2006 Linda Raye
Linda Raye is an accomplished author specializing in healthcare. Nursing is just one of her passions. You can contact her at LRaye@cinci.rr.com or visit the website at http://www.nursingchoice.com
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