By the year 2014 - just eight years away - there will be 3.6 million new jobs available in the medical profession, and the bulk of those jobs - about 60% of them - will be open to those with nursing degrees of one kind or another. The demand for registered nurses is highest - the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs available for registered nurses will rise by 27% by 2014 - but there will also be increased opportunities for certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, physician's assistants and those in medical technical fields like phlebotomy and pulmonology.
And if you thought that the only jobs available for nurses were in hospitals and medical facilities, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has more news for you. Less than 60% of registered nurses work in a hospital. A nursing degree opens doors of opportunity into so many fields that it's easily one of the most versatile and useful degrees that you can acquire. Not only that - a nursing degree appeals to a wide range of people. According to the BLS, about 20% of those entering the nursing workforce are older workers starting on a second career. Many of them have been attracted by rising salaries triggered by the nursing shortage, but for many of them, a nursing degree is a chance to do something that makes them feel good.
Whether you've just started your nursing career, are returning to work after a hiatus, or are switching to a career in nursing as a second career, take a look at some of the opportunities that are open to you with a nursing degree.
Pediatric Home Health Care is one of the growing fields for those with nursing degrees. Every state in the Union now has some sort of Early Intervention program that identifies children under the age of three years with special needs. Pediatric home health care gives you the opportunity to work with children and parents and make a real difference in their lives.
Elder Home Health Care is the other end of the spectrum. The 'aging of America' means that more and more people require a little bit of help to remain in their homes. Nursing assistants, registered nurses and licensed nurses can provide that little bit extra that will allow a senior citizen to maintain a higher quality of life and remain at home when all they need is a few hours of medical care a day or week.
Working in a Blood Donor Center is an option that makes you part of the life-saving network. There's more to blood donor centers than just starting IVs. Nurses who specialize in pharesis can command high salaries, and a nurse working in the blood collection field can be a valuable community organizer as well as a medical practitioner.
A Critical Care Transport nurse requires multiple nursing degrees, but it can be one of the most interesting and fascinating nursing jobs available. A CCT nurse accompanies patients being transported from home or a nursing facility to another nursing facility. The nurse is responsible for maintaining continuity of care for every patient - in the back of an ambulance. It's a challenging and fun job that commands a salary commensurate with the experience required.
On Site Nursing is a wide open field for medical workers with nursing degrees. You can work at an amusement park or zoo, or in the medical office at a state or national park, or provide medical backup for the emergency workers at a beach or other recreational setting. If you choose to work on site at a camp or other facility, your benefits may include free tuition for your own family.