If you are interested in making a difference by helping others, you may want to consider becoming a nurse. Today, health care remains one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. and nursing continually ranks as one of the top careers in health care.
To qualify for an entry-level position in nursing, you typically need a 2-year associate's degree. Nursing associate's degrees are offered both through online education programs as well as traditional campus-based colleges and universities. Working nurses can also take advantage of tuition reimbursement benefits by enrolling in an RN-to-BSN program, enabling you to earn your bachelor's degree after you've gotten that first entry-level appointment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities should continue to abound for aspiring nurses into the future, making nursing a very attractive career field.
- Length of program: Registered Nurse (RN) to bachelor's in nursing (BSN) program takes 1 to 2 years; a master's in nursing (MSN) takes 18 months to 2 years
- Career paths: BSNs can pursue school nurse, pediatric nursing, surgical nursing, acute care nursing. MSN's can become nurse managers, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetist
- Typical courses you will take: advanced nutrition, clinical primary health care, contemporary issues in nursing
- Salary: As per BLS, in May 2014, the nursing professionals earned a median annual salary of $69,790.
Experience Pays with Online Education
If you have at least an RN designation, you can take nursing courses online. By getting your bachelor's or master's degree in nursing, it's possible to significantly increase your salary. Additionally, BSNs and MSN's learn the most up-to-date medical techniques and have more access to positions in well-equipped, high-tech hospitals.
Online and Hands-On Learning Together
Much of your coursework in both the BSN and MSN degrees can be done online, but you will have to complete practical courses as well. Some programs require you to travel to their teaching facility once a term for intensive education. Other programs allow students to arrange a clinical internship in their local area.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses, May 2014 Wages