How to Become a Nurse

What To Do Now? Nurse Career Training

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Are you a caring and careful individual? Are you interested in the intricacies of the human body and in ways to help people who are physically suffering? The demand for nurses is always high, and is expected to increase dramatically in certain populations such as the elderly. Nurses work with people of all ages and backgrounds and in all settings. From neo-natal units to pediatric wards, from diabetic clinics to geriatric facilities, nurses minister to the physical needs of others, providing treatment and educating patients how to take better care of themselves. Nurses work in schools, nursing homes, hospitals, specialty clinics, and outpatient practices.

Career Skills: Nursing

A good nurse needs to be detail-oriented, patient and compassionate, and a good listener. He or she must be able to keep track of treatments for a variety of patients, and to communicate to patients how important their treatments are. They need to be accurate as they write reports, track records, and administer medicines. Nurses must have a wide knowledge of the human body and its systems, as well as the treatments and side effects of various illnesses. Effective nurses have the career skills to work well with others, especially on a team with other medical professionals, including physicians and physician's assistants. A nurse who treats a patient with dignity and respect will always be gratefully remembered.

Improve Your Skills and Retrain as a Nurse

You can enter a career in nursing and improve your skills through three educational paths--a diploma, an associate's degree, or a bachelor's degree depending on what nursing level you plan to pursue. Online nursing training programs can be one way to gain the knowledge base you need to begin this career. Good supervision and experience in the field are paramount to a nursing education. As health care evolves, so will nursing, but a good "beside manner" will always be a key component. Learn how online nursing training programs can get you moving in the right direction.

Career Outlook

  • Popular specializations: Ambulatory care, critical care, trauma, transport, holistic, home health care, hospice, infusion, radiology, transplant, oncology, gynecology
  • Additional specializations: Addictions, intellectual and developmental disabilities, genetics, HIV/AIDS, wound care, ostomy and continence, nephrology, forensic
  • Recommended degrees: bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), associate's degree in nursing (ADN), diploma
  • Advance practice nursing specialties: clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse-midwives
  • Typical personality strengths: caring, sympathetic, detail oriented, responsible, emotionally stable
  • Advancement: nursing specialties, RN degree, marketing, consulting, policy development, teaching, research
  • Projected largest employers: nursing care facilities, outpatient facilities, home health care
  • Registered nurses employed in 2012: 2,711,500
  • Projected growth for Registered nurses through 2012-22: 19%
  • Nursing Assistants and Orderlies employed in 2012: 1,534,400
  • Median Annual Salary: In May 2013, registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $68,910 with top 10% making more than $96,320.
  • Top Paying States: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon
  • States with Highest Employment: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nursing Assistants and Orderlies
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Registered Nurses, May 2013 Wages