Nursing is a challenging career, especially during the COVID pandemic, but it can be very rewarding. Nurses are leaving the medical field rapidly due to the pandemic, and the demand for nurses is very high. As a profession, nursing is a reliable and profitable career with many opportunities for advancement. Keep reading to find out some key reasons for becoming a nurse.
Although the salary for a nurse can vary significantly, it is usually between $53,000 and $115,000 per year. Some of the factors that affect pay include the level of education from a nursing school and the degree type (BSN-RN, LPN, MSN), geographic location, experience, facility, and specialty. Nurses who work PRN (meaning “pro re nata”) or work to fill a particular need can make even more. These nurses don’t aren’t hired as full-time employees but fill in when the demand is high or when there is a need to fill in for other nurses who are on vacation or sick. During COVID, some nurses made up to $8,000 per week to care for patients with the virus.
Nursing is an occupation with a flexible schedule. Nurses who work in outpatient care usually work regular eight-hour shifts, five days a week. But, nurses who work in hospitals or other residential facilities will often work twelve-hour shifts to reduce the number of people caring for individual patients. This means the nurse usually only works three days a week, which provides a lot of flexibility for raising families. There is also the ability to only work PRN, or as needed. The flexibility of working hours is practical for further education. Nurses can get an ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certification completely online, while commuting or when on a break at work.
Nurses will always be needed. There has been and will continue to be a shortage of nurses in the workforce. It is estimated that this shortage will grow by seven percent per year. In 2007, there were 3.8 million nurses, and in 2022 there are only approximately 2.9. This is problematic, considering people are living longer than ever and have an increased need for medical care as they age.
Opportunity for Travel
For nurses who live in an area without a need for a nurse, or for nurses who love to travel, there are always opportunities to work as a travel nurse. There are many agencies help arrange travel jobs for nurses. These jobs last an average of 13 weeks. In addition to the benefit of traveling, the compensation can be great for these positions. There is often a stipend for travel, room and board, and other expenses in addition to an hourly rate averaging $51 per hour.
There’s a niche for everyone. Of course, hospitals are always in need of nurses, but so are outpatient offices. For nurses who prefer to work at home, there is the possibility of being a telehealth nurse or an administrative nurse consulting for insurance companies. There are also opportunities in home-based nursing, hospice nursing, and long-term care. For nurses who enjoy interacting with children daily, there is even school nursing.
Nursing is a rewarding career. Although it can be challenging and exhausting, there are great opportunities for advancement, stability, and great pay.