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Nurses continue to face healthy career outlook by Idowu Olabode : January 11, 2016, 07:05:09 PM
Continued demand has contributed to job security and good salaries for nurses. Prospects are especially good for registered nurses who receive additional education and enter a nursing specialty field.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations. The 2014 median pay was $66,640 annually, for registered nurses.

Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice along with emotional support to patients and their families. In every workday, are always new challenges and opportunities to help improve patients' health.

"Nurses need to have passion for helping people and tons of empathy and patience. Nurses have to learn how to think on their feet and make critical decisions based on the facts available to them," said Kathy Quan, RN, BSN, PHN.

"They need to have good organizational and time management skills, and be able to communicate well."

Quan said that skilled intermittent home health care is emerging as one of the fastest growing fields for nurses, therapists and social workers.

Patient education is a huge key to controlling skyrocketing costs. Helping patients become responsible for their own outcomes while preventing complications of chronic disease can be accomplished in one-on-one situations that the home environment provides.

Three of the most financially rewarding careers for nurses are Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioners.

In 2014, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses or APRNs, earned a median annual salary of $102,670.

Employment for each of these groups is projected to grow 31 percent from 2014 and 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.

A master's degree is required for all of these nursing specialties. They must also be licensed registered nurses in their state and pass a national certification exam.

APRNs coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty health care. They work in physicians' offices, hospitals, schools, and clinics. Nurse midwives also work in birthing centers. Some APRNs may treat patients in their patients' homes.

"Nursing is the most diverse profession on the planet. It will literally take you anywhere you want to go. The variety of specialties, work settings, schedules, and opportunities are beyond that of any other profession I know of. Plus there is a growing need for nurses in every segment of health care. Nurses are independent health care professionals who practice under their own license," said Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP.

"Only about half of all nurses work in hospitals. The remainder have their own healthcare businesses, work in nurse-run clinics, the legal arena, on cruise ships, in home care, for the government, in the public health sector, in the military and so much more."

Cardillo said that not all nurses work with sick people. Many specialize in wellness and prevention. Nursing offers terrific opportunity for career advancement in every level of management, education, business, and clinical practice. She said that there is literally something for everyone in this profession.

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