If you are interested in helping others in a stable and growing career environment, then a career in nursing may be the right path for you. Registered nurses (RNs) are in high demand in a variety of specialty positions and environments. Not only is a career in nursing emotionally rewarding, but it is also rewarding financially as well. In this guide, we are going to explore the top nurse salary positions and specialty roles. Before we get into this topic, however, it’s first important to understand the role and typical duties of nursing.
What Does a Nurse Do?
Registered nurses provide patient care, coordinate patient care efforts, educate patients about various health conditions and provide emotional support to patients and their families. Nurses can work in a variety of environments. These environments can include hospitals, home healthcare services, physicians’ offices, nursing care facilities, outpatient clinics, schools, and even the military.
Typical Duties of a Nurse
Physical and Emotional Requirements
Working as a nurse is very physically demanding. Registered nurses spend most of their shift walking, standing, stretching and bending. Nurses also are responsible for lifting patients and transporting them to other areas of the building. Registered nurses are always on their feet.
In addition to the physical nature of the nursing profession, registered nurses also work in a very stressful environment. They are often in situations with patients and families who are in a great deal of distress. In order to handle this extreme working environment, nurses must be very fit physically and emotionally.
Patients require medical hours at all hours of the clock. Nurses usually work shifts that cover 24 hours. This can be on days, nights and weekends. Nurses may also work while being on-call. This means they must show up immediately if their skills are needed. Nurses who work in settings that do not provide 24-hour care, such as offices and schools, typically work regular business hours.
How Do I Become a Nurse?
If a career in nursing sounds good to you, then you may be wondering where to start in order to begin your journey. In order to become a registered nurse, you must choose one of the following career paths:
All nursing programs will educate students in subjects such as biology, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition and behavioral sciences. A Bachelor’s degree program in nursing usually takes around 4 years to complete. BSN programs tend to heavily focus on additional education in subjects such as physical and social sciences. A BSN is essential to work in nursing careers that specialize in research, consulting and teaching.
Associate’s degree and nursing diploma programs generally take 2 to 3 years to complete. In order to work as a registered nurse in a hospital setting, you must complete one of these three programs and then become licensed in order to start working. Registered nurses who complete ADN and nursing diploma programs often continue their education and complete a Bachelor’s or Master’s program in nursing.
Job Outlook for a Nurse?
Registered nurses are in high demand. The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet. A growing population means more patients in need of medical attention. The physical and stressful nature of the profession also leads to a high turnover rate. There is always a need for RNs.
Employment opportunities for nurses are expected to increase by 15% through the year 2026. Besides, there being more patients than ever before with chronic conditions such as arthritis and diabetes, hospitals are under tremendous financial pressure to discharge patients as soon as possible. This has lead to an enormous demand in outpatient nursing careers in settings such as nursing homes and home healthcare.
Top Nurse Salary Jobs
Now that we know that the demand for nurses is extremely high, it’s important to know the top nurse salary jobs. Nurses can work in a variety of settings which may require additional specialized training and skills. The more skills, experience and training an RN has, the higher the salary they are likely to earn. Let’s take a look at a few of the top nurse salary jobs.
Dialysis Registered Nurse
Dialysis RNs make an average annual salary of $100,000. This top nurse salary job typically requires a minimum of a BSN degree. The main responsibility of a dialysis RN is to provide dialysis for patients with kidney problems. They can work in a hospital, dialysis center or another medical facility. Typical duties include monitoring vital signs and educating dialysis patients on what to do while they are at home. The projected job growth for dialysis RNs is 20% by 2020.
Oncology Registered Nurse
Oncology RNs specialize in caring for cancer patients and average’s a nurse salary of $83,000 per year. This top nurse salary job may be in a hospital’s oncology ward or an oncology office. Job duties include monitoring a cancer patient’s condition, administering chemotherapy and assisting oncologists in their duties. Oncology RNs often find themselves providing moral and emotional support to their patients.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) RNs provide care for sick or premature infants. This top nurse salary job provides an annual average salary of $83,000. NICU registered nurses provide specialized care and require extensive training, This top nurse salary job is in high demand and is expected to grow 26% by the year 2020.
A career in nursing can be rewarding emotionally and financially but requires someone who is dedicated and physically fit. There are numerous top nurse salary careers that require various levels of education and training. Nurses can also work in a variety of environments.