Nursing is a career that offers not only excellent job prospects but a rewarding and emotionally satisfying career. Nurses enjoy good salaries and can choose from a broad range of specialties, ranging from pediatrics to hospice work. As the population ages, nurses are in demand more than ever, making this an excellent career choice for the future.
The Nursing Shortage
The United States is running out of nurses during a time when the population is getting older and is in need of more healthcare. Nursing was a less popular career choice after the 1970s when different opportunities opened up for women. That means there aren’t enough young nurses coming up through the ranks to replace retirees.
The shortage is a huge problem for patients, hospitals, and the healthcare system at large, but it’s great news for nursing program graduates. Jobs are plentiful, and qualified candidates enjoy being wooed with sign-on bonuses, extra benefits, and opportunities. Those who train as nurses are almost guaranteed to have good job prospects when they graduate.
High Starting Salaries
Nurses are starting out at a higher rate of pay than those in other career fields, thanks in part to the nursing shortage. Actual starting salaries vary widely depending on a nurse’s area of expertise, geographic location, and level of education, but according to Drexel University, The national median nurse starting salary is projected at $66,640 during 2016-2017, with overall employment in the field expected to rise 16% within the next decade. Post graduate degrees, such as accelerated DNP programs, will greatly enhance a nurse’s chances of getting an even higher pay.
A Sense of Purpose
Studies show that having a sense of purpose or mission in life boosts both emotional and physical health, and nursing is certainly a rewarding career in this regard. Depending on their field, nurses care for sick children, dying patients, mental health patients, and other people in need every day. They bring comfort to people who are in pain, and people’s lives depend on their work. Most nurses are driven in their work by a profound sense of purpose, and that makes their jobs highly engaging and brings meaning to their lives.
A Stable Industry
The non-profit and for-profit healthcare sectors have a very stable outlook. While healthcare is an industry that’s been in flux due to the Affordable Healthcare Act and other legislative changes, the need for care in our nation’s medical facilities has not changed. As the population ages, demand for both outpatient and inpatient healthcare services will continue to grow. Even if industry profits fluctuate due to costs and insurance procedures, the demand for skilled nursing care will remain strong.
Nursing is a career choice that offers meaningful work and emotional satisfaction alongside strong job prospects and solid starting salaries. The market for nurses is so strong that qualified candidates find they are easily able to move wherever they like, see the world as traveling nurses, or take advantage of lucrative signing bonuses and other perks at home. Although nursing jobs are sometimes stressful, it’s hard to find other career fields that are as equally rewarding and financially stable in the long run.