Find An Accredited Online School

Nursing Degrees Provide Future Job Stability

Becoming a nurse is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions in the world, and many people choose this career specifically because they want to help others. Whether you work as a nurse's assistant, a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner, your daily routine will help patients to feel comfortable and get the medical attention they need.

Many aspiring nurse professionals do not realize how many different kinds of degrees are available in this field, or they may not recognize the scope of careers in nursing that each person can choose from. Read on to discover how a degree in nursing can provide you with stability in all kinds of potential employment positions.

Quick Facts: Nursing Industry
Median Pay:   $105,256 per year | $51 per hour
Entry-Level Education:   Associate's degree
Work Experience:   None
Number of Jobs, 2014:   2,915,000

Nursing Occupations:

  • Registered nurses$66,640
  • Nurse anesthetists$153,780
  • Nurse practitioners$95,350

Nurse Assistant

If you are interested in becoming a nurse with as little education and training as possible, becoming a nurse's assistant may be the ideal place to start. Becoming a nurse's assistant does not necessarily require a degree, and some employers will be eager to hire assistants with just some on-the-job training and a passing score on the Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) competency exam.

There is no question that earning an associate degree first will increase your chances of employment as well as your overall job security. While the average salary for nurse's assistants is $24,400 per year, according to the BLS, those with associate degrees rather than simply high school diplomas may be eligible for higher salaries and faster promotions. Since the expected job growth for this position is an impressive 21 percent through 2022, it is a solid option for aspiring nurse professionals who want job security.

Registered Nurse

A majority of the people who refer to themselves as nurses are officially known RNs, or registered nurses. According to the American Nurses Association, there were more than 3.1 million registered nurse professionals in the United States in 2011. With an average salary of $65,470, RNs are able to make a steady income without attending college for four years or more.

In fact, becoming an RN involves earning your associate degree, which typically takes just two years for students to complete. This associate degree can be earned at home through an accredited online college, or you might choose to attend a traditional college campus for lectures and exams.

In terms of job stability, the demand for RNs continues to rise, and the average age of RNs, 45.5, means that many are looking to retirement or part-time work rather than staying competitive with new graduates.

Earning a Bachelor of Science degree requires four years of study. RNs can apply their previous credits to transition from an RN to a BSN. Those who hold a bachelor’s degree can expect more opportunities for supervisory roles and upper level positions.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

For many RNs with a desire to advance their degree further or choose a specialty that interests them most, becoming an advanced practice registered nurse can be a smart option. Along with greater job stability and a significant increase in earning potential, however, these individuals will need to have an advanced education.

To work as a nurse practitioner, a nurse anesthetist or a nurse midwife, all of which are classified as being advanced practice RNs, you will need to have a master's degree in the respective field. That extra education is often worth it thanks to the impressive annual salary of $96,460 as well as the predicted job growth of 31 percent over the next decade, which can do a lot for demand, competitive salaries and job stability.

Nurse Instructor

If you are interested in this aspect of healthcare but you don't have the desire to work in a private practice, hospital or assisted living home directly with patients, a better fit for future employment may be as a nurse instructor.

As the name suggests, nurse instructors teach students how to care for patients and diagnose illnesses. Nurse instructors often work in hospitals to train new hires in the specific protocol of the medical facility, but they may also be employed by colleges and universities who offer nursing degrees.

Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse

Another option for aspiring nurses that want to get involved in the field as quickly as possible is the one-year college certification program that trains you to become an LVP or LPN, which stands for licensed vocational nurse and licensed practical nurse, respectively.

You will have to take a challenging exam after graduation to become licensed, but after that, graduates are ready to tackle roles in hospitals, schools, private practices and even in the homes of their patients. This is a solid career choice for those who prefer to work autonomously and stick to routines rather than dealing with the high-energy environments of hospital.

There are numerous types of careers in nursing and healthcare for those with the desire to make a difference in the healthcare industry. Earning an associate, bachelors or master's degree online or through a traditional campus is the obvious first step toward a fulfilling career as a nurse.