The nursing shortage in the United States is an unfortunate well-known fact. However, this ongoing shortage also means many nurse jobs are in-demand careers, particularly within hospital settings.
5 In-Demand Careers Within Hospital Settings
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare continues to be among the top employment industries, with numerous healthcare positions projected to continue to grow faster or much faster than in other industries. Demand for registered nurses has the highest projection of all healthcare positions between now and 2020, with an anticipated growth rate of over 710,000 positions.
Several nursing professionals and professors of nursing reported at NurseZone.com that many of the in-demand nurse careers at this time are in the areas of critical care, operating rooms, emergency departments, intensive care units, hematology and oncology, research, and nurse educators.
While nurses engaged in research typically don’t work within a hospital setting, they provide a valuable service toward improving healthcare and medical services. Nurse educators, in addition to teaching in colleges and universities, also teach in hospital-based schools and mobile simulation labs.
Here are five of the most in-demand nurse career positions available within hospital settings, with average annual earnings (as of May 2011) included from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (it is important to note the actual earnings for a specific position may vary depending on the hospital itself, as well as its geographical location):
•Certified Dialysis Nurse: The primary responsibility for a certified dialysis nurse is to care for people with kidney disease whose bodies don’t eliminate their waste products properly, and who instead require dialysis machines to perform that function for them. This is one of the fastest growing in-demand nurse specialties because there aren’t enough certified dialysis nurses to meet the demand.
- oCertified dialysis nurses must be registered nurses, fulfill 2,000 hours of caring for dialysis and nephrology patients within a 2-year period, and pass an official certification test. They must also complete 15 hours of continuing education credits in nephrology. Certified dialysis nurses earn about $63,500 annually.
•Nurse Case Manger: A nurse case manager goes a step above the usual nursing tasks.
His or her primary responsibilities include monitoring patients’ progress, evaluating patients’ care, and at times making recommendations for alternative treatments. Nurse case managers advocate for patients, as well as promote cost-effective care procedures for their respective hospitals. Nurse case managers typically follow either an RN-to-BSN, or RN-to-MSN track in nurse case management, and earn about $68,000 annually.
•Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse: A Pediatric Endocrinology Nurse serves in the compassionate position of caring for children with endocrine system disorders and diseases. Pediatric endocrinology nurses also provide education to children and their parents about avoiding diseases, managing endocrine-related problems, and addressing issues such as physical growth, sexual development, obesity, and diabetes. A pediatric endocrinology nurse must have a registered nurse license and at least two years of nursing experience, and typically earns about $81,000 annually.
•Certified Nurse Midwife: A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) not only assists in delivering babies during home births, but also does provide healthcare information and services to female patients in offices and hospital settings.
- oCertified nurse midwives provide gynecological exams, and prenatal and postnatal care, as well as discuss family planning strategies with patients. The preferred qualification for a certified nurse midwife is a master’s degree, specifically a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). A certified nurse midwife can expect to earn about $84,000 annually.
•Nurse Anesthetist: Nurse Anesthetists work, in conjunction with surgeons and anesthesiologists, to administer and maintain anesthesia medications. This highly specialized nurse position requires a current registered nurse license, critical care experience, successful completion of a 2-year anesthesia education program, and certification from the National Board on Certification and Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). A nurse anesthetist enjoys one of the highest salaries for nurse specialists, at $135,000 annually.
Opportunity to Advance Nursing Careers
Any nurse who wants to advance his or her career for one of the five noted in-demand nurse jobs should embrace the challenge and the reward, as well as consider the additional earning power such a move forward can offer.
According to the 2010 BLS statistics, the average annual pay rate for a registered nurse was nearly $65,000, while the top 10 percent of nurse professionals in specialized, in-demand nurse jobs earned over $95,000 annually.