Make a difference with a career in nursing

Need a reason to study nursing? How about finding a reason not to!

1.       Opportunity and flexibility!

Nurses work to promote health and offer counseling and education to individuals, families and communities. A degree in nursing offers a variety of career opportunities – from inpatient acute care, home care, skilled nursing facilities, community health and more. “There is so much you can do,” said Lisa Dunlap, associate professor of nursing. “What direction you go will dictate what each day looks like. There is such a vast array of jobs.”

2.       Rewarding work.

Nurses care for the sick and injured in their time of need. It is a noble, time-honored profession that welcomes those who want to help people. Nurses enjoy the personal satisfaction that comes with alleviating pain and making a positive impact on their patients and families. “It’s definitely a rewarding field,” Dunlap said. “You are with a person through a very vulnerable period. If you can calm them and help them, help their family or educate them, that is the most rewarding.”

While the work is demanding, it also offers monetary and personal rewards. Salaries start at about $50,600 for registered nurses in hospitals, according to Career One Stop. Licensed practical nurses’ salary start at about $34,100. Many nurses have opportunities to boost earnings with overtime pay.

3.       It’s an exciting profession!

A day in the life of a nurse is never boring! Whether in a private practice clinic or a hospital setting, situations may change or arise quickly, and nurses who enjoy the flexibility and are able to make quick decisions and think on one’s feet will best succeed. And while standards of care are constant, each individual that one works with is unique.

4.       You are always learning.

Nursing is a perfect career for those who love a challenge. Those who are savvy with technology will find success, as even patient charts are now entirely electronic. Learning new equipment and updated treatment methods will be a constant. Licensure requirements mandate some continuing education for nurses. With further education, opportunities continue to grow. Completing a bachelor’s degree will enhance job opportunities, and completion of a master’s degree will allow even more choices such as being a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.

5.       You are in demand.

Employment of nurses is expected to increase 16 percent – faster than the average for all occupations – through 2024, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. An aging population with more needs for healthcare services is part of the reason for the demand. Also, as more individuals have health insurance due to health insurance reform, more will have access to primary and preventative care services.

Whatever your reason, nursing is a career with possibilities. An associate degree is the first step to becoming a registered nurse, or a certificate to become a licensed practical nurse. Jackson College offers both, as well as transfer programs for bachelor’s degrees, and an LPN-RN associate degree program. Students may continue their education toward a bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree in nursing to further career possibilities. Nursing is a second admit program, meaning students start taking general education credits and prerequisites required for the program, and then apply for admission to the nursing program.