Nursing Jobs and Careers
Discover which type of nursing job and work environment is right for you.
Across the U.S., nursing jobs continue to grow. As New Hampshire’s SentinelSource.com reports, the nursing profession falls among a small group of recession-proof careers, with many organizations adding nursing jobs even in the midst of an economic downturn. If strong nursing job opportunities aren’t enough, nursing offers highly versatile career options, from travel nursing to legal nurse consulting. The fact that nurses can design their careers to suit their individual interests presents a huge advantage to those eager and qualified to enter this highly challenging and rewarding profession.
Entry-Level vs. Advanced Practice Nursing Jobs
Entry-level nursing degree programs typically prepare students for nursing jobs in a variety of hospital and inpatient settings. Students can choose a licensed practical nursing (LPN) program or a registered nursing (RN) degree as a main entry point to the nursing career field. The duration of entry-level nursing degrees ranges from one to four years, depending on whether you pursue a nursing diploma, associate’s degree or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) hold a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)that qualifies them for general patient care and specialized nursing jobs in which they perform many of the same duties as a medical doctor. Categories of advanced practice nursing include:
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
- Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
- Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)
Specialties for Nursing Jobs
Specialized nursing jobs certainly offer choice. Discovering the right nursing specialty for you depends on the direction in which you plan to take your career and, of course, where your passion lies.
As an example, nurses interested in direct patient care might aim for a career in adult nursing, parent-child nursing, pediatric nursing or one of the many other nursing jobs that involve individualized treatment. On the other hand, nurses who want to help promote positive health habits and prevent the spread of disease among communities might specialize in public health nursing. Nursing informatics gives nurses with a penchant for technology another career alternative.
Along with hospitals and physicians’ offices, nurses work in the following environments:
- Outpatient care facilities
- Nursing homes
- Community health centers
- In the case of some specialties, patients’ homes.
Forensics nurses and legal nurse consultants spend a large amount of time investigating cases in research setting, an office or in interviews with the parties involved.