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Nursing Basics

So you think you know all there is to know about nursing?

Well, did you know that a nurse:

  • Works every day with high-tech equipment and cutting-edge technology?
  • Is directly involved with decisions about a patient's care?
  • Has the opportunity to work in both challenging, high pressure as well as relaxing environments?
  • Works in a profession that will always be needed and respected?
  • Makes an above average salary with flexible work schedules and other incentives?
  • Makes a positive difference in people's lives every day?

Nursing is one of the most rewarding and challenging careers you can choose. You will have the opportunity to help people every day while working with the latest technology and best working conditions available. Because of recent shortages in the nursing field the demand for nurses and the current pay scale is higher than ever before. You can earn a competitive salary right after college and many employers offer scholarships, tuition reimbursement and student loan forgiveness plans.

There are dozens of nursing specialties that you can focus on depending on your interests and skills. And there are plenty of opportunities to get the necessary training to move on to other areas of interest as well.

What skills do I need to become a nurse?

Science and math skills are important to becoming a good nurse, so make sure you keep studying for that algebra test. Since you’ll be interacting with people (patients, families and other workers) it’s very important to have good people skills. Working well with others and being able to accept responsibility is a must. The ability to think logically and problem solve is also a key skill of nurses. (Remember what we said about that algebra.) And most importantly, nurses must be caring and compassionate and willing to help everyone that needs them.

A Career in Demand

Maybe the only thing you know about nursing is from what you see on TV or stories you've heard from friends or relatives. What you don't hear about is how rewarding and challenging a career in nursing can be. And best of all, because of a severe shortage of nurses in Pennsylvania, you will find plenty of employment options.

The job market for other professions is at its worst in more than 20 years, but the market for nurses has never been better. Nursing is the largest health care occupation, with more than 1.9 million jobs. Many current nurses are ready to retire or move to other jobs and as the baby boomer population, America’s largest age group, continues to age experts predict there will be a nationwide shortage of 800,000 nurses by 2020.

That means if you get a nursing education you can choose where you want to work instead of having to search for opportunities in an unsteady job market.

Moving On Up

So you don't want to be stuck doing the same thing every day for the next thirty years. Well, not only does nursing offer new and exciting challenges with each new day, there is always the opportunity to grow in your nursing career. Many people in health care management positions began their careers as nurses. Going back to school for more education is always an option since most employers offer education benefits. And when you think you know everything there is to know about nursing, you can even move into the classroom and become a nurse educator.

How much can I make?

Ok, this all sounds great, but how much money can you make being a nurse? It depends on how much education, training and experience you have. The average salary for a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is nearly $27,000. If you stay in school and earn your Registered Nurse (RN) certificate or degree, you could make up to $50,000 or even more with an advanced degree. And as we mentioned before, the health care field offers great benefits, including education reimbursement, flexible work schedules and working as a member of a skilled, professional, health care delivery team.

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