Is a Nursing Degree the Right Career Move for You?

By JP - February 13, 2020

Among some of the most sought-after careers, nursing always comes in right near the top! In fact, the United States’ largest medical profession is nursing. With an ever-growing, rapidly aging population, the nation truly needs its close to four million registered nurses. If you’re starting to plan for your future or if you’re looking to pivot on your career path and try something new, getting a nursing degree and pursuing a medical position might be for you! We’ve rounded up the top things to consider when looking to get a nursing degree in your local area. All the resources you’ll need can be found right here! An online search is the best place to start.

Available Nursing Degrees

Some nursing roles are available without a college education. People who pursue this route become Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN). A diploma in nursing or associate’s degree in nursing might be just the right fit, as both programs are the shortest ones available, ranging between 18 months to 2 years long. With a four-year degree, you’ll receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Beyond that, graduate degrees in nursing potentially promise the highest-paying positions.

Admissions, Programs, and Certification Requirements

Registered nurses must be licensed. Nursing programs require courses in anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, psychology. and other science-related fields. Clinical practicums during programs typically take place in hospitals as well as non-hospital settings. Often times, registered nurses are required to pursue additional certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and basic life support.

To pursue a nursing degree, admissions to online programs and on-site schools offer a long list of pros and cons. Resources for navigating these options can be found on this page. Schools have become more competitive as they’re on the hunt for the absolute best candidates. Some require volunteer hours or a very high GPA. What’s helpful to keep in mind? Be sure to research all the types of programs you’re interested in, then check online about the schools that offer exactly what you want. Apply to multiple nursing schools for a better chance and more options. Be sure to triple check your application and include absolutely everything that could be interesting to an admissions committee: education, volunteer history, leadership experience, and more! Finally, check the final application date so you’d don’t miss out on admissions due to an oversight.

Potential Career Choices

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that by the year 2024, employment opportunities for nursing degree graduates will have increased by 16%. As the American and Canadian population ages and life expectancy continues to rise, more health care workers are required. Long-term rehabilitation and residential care facilities are projected to see a sharp increase in the demand for registered nurses, as they require increasingly more people requirement healthcare.

Interest in nursing specialties and advanced practice is on the rise as well. Nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners earn on average more than $100,000 per year in the United States. In the next 10 years alone, these specialties will be increasingly in demand, with employment opportunities growing faster than average at 26%. Now seems like the perfect time for considering nursing as a potential career option then.