Graduates who are completing accelerated nursing programs and looking to embark upon their exciting new nursing careers will find that there are numerous different directions that they can go in. The great news is that there is a plentiful supply of nursing jobs right now, something that is expected to be present for at least the next decade. Not only that, but the range of nursing careers is actually more diverse and widespread than many people realize, and you’ll see that there is no limit to what you could end up pursuing.
Looking at the total figures and projections for how many nursing jobs are available or will be in the next few years is very exciting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government’s official body for these issues, projects that by 2018 there is a need for more than 580,000 new and replacement RNs in the workforce. Also staggering is the fact that by 2020, there will be an estimated 800,000 unfilled positions. This means that the number of nursing jobs out there is quite literally massive, and you should have your pick.
When most people think about nursing careers, they think about hospitals. That’s true to an extent, because plenty of nurses still work in this domain. About 60% of nurses in fact call hospitals home, and within hospitals, nurses have more responsibilities, and respect, than ever before. They outnumber doctors about 4-to-1 in hospitals, and perform much of the routine and daily tasks, from performing tests and taking blood to administering medication, working with patients firsthand and more.
If 60% of nurses work in hospitals, that means that 40% are working elsewhere, and in truth, the figure continues to slide in that direction. The types of settings you could find yourself working in range from private physicians offices and practices, schools and nonprofit organizations, primary care clinics, public health agencies, nursing homes, home health care settings, and on down the line. Some of the largest categories include community health settings, outpatient facilities, and long-term care facilities.
Nursing careers today also offer great room for growth and advancement than ever before. This can be seen in part from the average salary of nurses at over $61,000, and also by the broader scope of responsibilities that nurses have, and the increasing number of leadership and upper level positions in important health care settings that nurses hold. The days when nurses were simply second-tier to doctors, or were seen as nothing but their assistants, are long gone. Nursing careers stand on their own merit, and there’s great demand and respect for them.
As you can see, there is a plentiful collection of opportunities out there for the nursing student who is prepared to pursue their new career and has the education and training to back up that pursuit. There are hundreds of thousands of nursing jobs and awaiting you, and there is a wide range of different directions that you could find yourself moving in, in terms of settings and responsibilities with nursing careers.