Nursing is a great career because it offers an excellent work environment, salary, and schooling flexibility. If you want to enter this field, it is the perfect moment as the demand for nurses continues to skyrocket. Here is a look at why many medical facilities need these professionals and the career opportunities that are available.
Why is the demand for nurses increasing?
Nurses are critical professionals throughout the healthcare industry. There are ample opportunities for individuals looking to enter this field. Right now, there is an increased demand for nurses, which has led more and more individuals to look into becoming a nurse through the numerous in-person and online courses offered around the country. Institutions such as Spring Arbor University offer a range of programs like online MSNs and BSNs to provide a gateway into the sector.
Here is a look at what is driving the demand for new nurses.
More patients are in need of healthcare
The modern lifestyle has contributed to the rise of chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. This means the number of patients requiring critical nursing care is increasing. Moreover, increasing healthcare accessibility allows more individuals to seek care, contributing to the need for more nurses in the medical sector.
Burnout and retirement
The American Nurses Association (ANA) notes that many nursing professionals are retiring soon. Contributing factors include aging among professionals and burnout. Exhaustion among some nurses is causing them to pursue other career paths. Experts say the medical field needs more professionals to cover for those retiring and cater to expanding healthcare service needs.
More baby boomers are reaching their senior years
As more adults reach their senior years, the demand for nurses continues to grow. A shortage of these medical professionals makes it challenging for older adults to obtain reliable healthcare for chronic conditions and other medical issues. According to a recent study, by 2034 there will be 77 million people aged 65 and older. As more nurses retire, more professionals are required to offer appropriate healthcare to patients.
The need for additional skills
Some medical facilities are advancing their standards for hiring nurses. Those without an advanced or bachelor’s degree find it hard to enter the sector. For example, some institutions may require additional skills besides an associate degree. Nurses who are having challenges entering the workforce may consider pursuing an advanced or bachelor’s degree to gain a competitive edge. This can help them acquire the training and skills employers seek.
Career opportunities available for nurses
Given the many available nursing career opportunities, you may need clarification on which path to follow. To help clear your doubt and navigate your profession with minimal glitches, here is a look at some of the most in-demand career opportunities for nurses.
A registered nurse is a primary contact for most patients. They regularly work with caregivers offering help to their loved ones battling chronic health issues. The professionals provide education, advocacy, and emotional support to patients in challenging situations. This role requires patience, empathy, sensitivity, and cultural awareness.
This advanced role requires a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) qualification. The primary duty is administering anesthesia to patients. These professionals must have the skills to ensure patient well-being and safety throughout procedures.
Once they administer anesthesia, certified nurse anesthetists monitor patients to uncover critical signs and must be ready to help if they discover anesthesia-related issues. The educational background for this career role equips an individual with assessment, management, and treatment skills for successful practice compliance and safety.
Clinical nurse specialist
Typically, a clinical nurse specialist has an advanced nursing degree and specialization in a specific nursing area. A doctorate or master’s degree allows the professional to acquire critical skills necessary for offering reliable expertise and care. While the daily duties may differ from one specialist to another, some of the common responsibilities include:
- Conducting research
- Championing healthy living
- Treating patients
- Leading and guiding other nurses
- Creating programs to deal with health issues
Nurse life-care planner
A life-care planner professional collaborates with nurse practitioners and doctors to create continuing care programs for patients with chronic illnesses and those in need of long-term care. They can choose to be certified nurse life-care planners after offering continued care for at least two years. Once they earn certification, these professionals can work with lawyers, insurance companies, and other parties involved in patients’ payment plans.
If the idea of helping a newborn enter the world appeals to you, you may find a nurse midwife career fulfilling. The responsibility of a certified nurse midwife (CNM) is to offer holistic care to prepare patients for healthy child delivery. They factor in the individual’s overall health when providing their services. Their broad approach involves examining the patient’s psychological, mental, and physical needs. A nurse midwife’s duties include:
- Offering prenatal guidance and postnatal education.
- Monitoring the baby and mother’s health during pregnancy and after delivery.
- Encouraging and assisting patients during delivery.
- Providing follow-up care after delivery, including helping with breastfeeding
This role is considered the future of nursing as it allows professionals to analyze patient data and collaborate via information systems. If you are interested in this option, you should pursue a bachelor’s of science in nursing and acquire some experience to get your informatics nursing certification. As the field advances, professionals in this sector are interacting more with patients and enjoying more streamlined processes.
This role is found at the highest level in the nursing field. Nursing executives work on the healthcare administration side to smoothly run various components within an organization. The position requires a master’s of science in nursing, and responsibilities include:
- Implementing values and missions in an organization.
- Creating and managing healthcare delivery programs.
- Creating and shaping healthcare policies.
- Leading, guiding, and motivating nursing professionals.
While nursing executives may not interact with patients face to face, their work is unique, and they operate behind the scenes for reliable care delivery. Their services impact patients and employees positively in an organization.
Public health nurse
Public health nurses work in correctional facilities, state or county health departments, or businesses to foster safety and health measures. They concentrate on the larger community’s health in clinics, organizations, and schools. A public health nurse teaches community members about well-being and health. Although the education requirements for the profession may vary, a nursing diploma is an excellent beginning.
Telemedicine nursing is expanding as more institutions embrace digital health. It involves connecting with patients remotely using video technology for consultations, check-ups, and monitoring. If you have a passion for technology, working as a telemedicine nurse can be exciting as there are reliable tools to interact with patients from any location.
Working as a travel nurse can be a unique and rewarding experience. You will have the chance to travel to different locations and work with a variety of people from various backgrounds while still gaining valuable, hands-on experience in the nursing field. Travel nurse salary range can vary greatly depending on their experience level, the state they work in, and the type of facility they work in. This is usually accompanied by additional benefits like paid housing, medical insurance coverage, and sign-on bonuses. Ultimately, being a travel nurse can offer you an unforgettable journey packed with excitement, personal growth, and financial security.
As a nursing professional, you do not have to work in a medical facility. You can choose to be a school nurse and provide your services to children of various ages. Responsibilities include offering screening exams, dispensing medication, tackling essential health education roles, and administering care. As a school nurse, you will enjoy summer vacations and other perks. If you are a registered nurse, you can pursue a bachelor’s of science in nursing to compete for this role.
Trauma nurses help patients suffering from chronic illnesses from unidentified, intentional, or accidental injuries. They work in emergency rooms and should be proactive and have proper communication skills as they handle patients with severe health conditions. This allows them to make quick decisions and save patients from life-threatening injuries.
If you are a registered nurse, you can become a trauma nurse by earning professional certifications in cardiac support, trauma, and critical care. Some employers may require nurses to specialize in particular areas, such as emergency nursing or pediatrics.
Gerontological nurse practitioner
Gerontological nurses are in high demand as they specialize in caring for elderly patients. Many medical facilities are dealing with an increased percentage of older adult patients and need more gerontological professionals to meet the growing demand. This position requires a registered nurse to earn gerontological nurse practitioner certification to gain a competitive edge.
Family nurse practitioner
This nursing career opportunity involves working at clinics and hospitals for patient caseload management. These professionals collaborate with specialists and physicians to provide healthcare to injured and sick individuals. As a family nurse practitioner, you can establish a private clinic to treat patients in your local community, prescribe medication and perform medical examinations. This role is critical, especially in areas where patients may struggle to access healthcare resources.
Registered nurses who are interested in working in this position should pursue advanced training and education to acquire the necessary skills. They must be passionate about patient care and improving other people’s health.
As the medical sector experiences a shortage of nurses, there is a need for more educators to prepare learners to enter this field. If you love working in a college setting, becoming a nurse educator can be a great career option. Outside of colleges, you can work in research facilities, textbook publishing organizations, and manufacturing companies for medical devices.
Take advantage of the available nursing career opportunities today
Nursing is a lucrative career with many well-paying and in-demand job opportunities. If you are considering taking this professional path, this is the right time to achieve your dream. Evaluate the direction you would like to follow and earn the required skills to excel in your position. Which of these nursing career opportunities would you like to pursue? Do not hesitate to get started!
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