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Career opportunities for nurses continue to expand exponentially. The combination of the aging of the U.S. population and the shortage of skilled nurses with advanced education has resulted in an increased demand for nurses. As nurses have moved to the front lines of health care delivery it has resulted in expanded career prospects. With a 4-year degree in nursing, you'll have one of the highest starting salaries, in any field, and with more education, your earning potential can exceed $100,000 per year.
A career in nursing is challenging and dynamic. You might choose to work in a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or other extended-care facilities. You might work with a private practice physician, in a community health agency, a federal nursing agency, in industry and business, at a school, or in the military. Across your career, if you desire, you will have the opportunity to work with different populations of clients and in different settings.
Your work can include everything from actual patient care where you manage the physical, psychosocial, and spiritual needs of individuals, to administrative, academic, or research roles. Many nurses continue to expand their career options by furthering their education beyond the basics required to become a Registered Professional Nurse. There are dozens of specialized fields of nursing. Some of the most popular include: Nurse Anesthesiology, Nursing Education, Forensic Nursing, Pediatric Nursing, Critical Care Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing and Neonatal Nursing.
There's even a new trend in entrepreneurial nursing, where licensed nurses combine other specialty skills to form new businesses. Possibilities include nursing informatics (combining nursing and computers), Legal Nurse Consulting (combining nursing and law), or a range of home health care businesses. With creativity and drive, if you can conceive it, you can achieve it!
The nurse is no longer a woman in a white uniform handing instruments to the male doctor. The nursing profession has given way to a new world where an increasing number of nurses are male, and nurses are involved directly in providing patient care, having an impact on the direction of health care in the U.S., and developing creative means of enhancing the health of the population. Whatever your career choice in nursing, you can be sure that the more education you have, the more demand you'll find for your skills, and the more highly you'll be paid.