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Nursing Career Overview

Next to physicians, nurses are probably the most visible representatives of the healthcare industry. The nursing profession encompasses a very wide range of practice areas and specialties, but generally, their scope of duties include the following.

  • Assisting in the direct administration of medical treatment and medication.
  • Recording symptoms and medical history of patients.
  • Performing diagnostic examinations and analyzing their results.
  • Assisting physicians during operations.
  • Preparing and maintaining medical instruments.
  • Monitoring medical equipment.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2012, the median annual wage for Registered Nurses was $65,470*

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What Is Nursing?

According to the American Nursing Association, nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations. There are many different types of nurses, including:

  • Acute Care Nursing
  • Cardiovascular Nursing
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Rehabilitation Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Women’s Health Nursing
  • And More

The Pros & Cons


  • Being a nurse is rewarding in many ways.
  • First, nurses enjoy being able to help others get healthier from their sickness or injury, and many like being able to get to know their patients and form friendly relationships.
  • Nurses also do well financially and have many opportunities for jobs anywhere in the United States.
  • Nurses are more in demand now than they ever have been before, so finding a position should not be a problem.


  • Depending on the type of nurse you become, it can be a very stressful position and sad at times.
  • Just like many people heal and leave the hospital better than they arrived, there are also many who don’t.
  • Working as a nurse is rewarding, but also very tough emotionally and physically.

Obtain a Degree in Nursing

A nurse must obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree from a state-approved program. Those who wish to have an associate’s degree must take two years of schooling at a community college or hospital-based program. A bachelor’s degree requires four years at a college or university. Those who receive their bachelor’s degree become Registered Nurses (RNs). If you already have a four year degree but would like to switch to nursing, you can take an accelerated BSN program that you could obtain in 1-3 years, depending on prerequisites. To learn more about a nursing degree, visit our search area to find nursing colleges near you!

Certificate Nursing Degree :

Certificate Nursing Degrees are for those seeking to become certified nursing assistants or practical nurses.

Associate Nursing Degree :

Covers general education courses and nursing theory. The associates nursing program are for those who seek to become Registered Nurses.

Bachelor’s Degree :

Includes clinical rotations in health care facilities that could lead to employment after graduation. Graduates can also become advance practice RNs.

Master Degree :

If you would like to further your education and become nurse practitioners, nurse educators, clinical nurse specialists or healthcare administrator, you may want to pursue a Master Degree in Nursing.

Nursing Doctorate Degree :

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Programs (PhD) are the highest degree of specialization in the industry. The length of each program varies between 3 to 4 years to complete.

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