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What’s the Value of a Nursing Degree?

Higher Education Articles July 18, 2014

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses in the United States is expected to grow about 19% over the next eight years; that’s significantly faster than most other industries. Plus, the average registered nurse makes more than $65,000 per year, or about $31 per hour.

If you’re the type of person who likes to help others and could see yourself in the medical field, then pursuing a degree in nursing could be a great decision. Read on to learn more about the value of a nursing degree in the United States.

Degree Requirements

All registered nurses working in the United States must be licensed, but the good news is that you have numerous options when it comes to pursuing a degree and licensure. Nursing programs can be as short as a couple of years (an associate’s degree), a standard four-year length (bachelor’s degree), or five to six years (master’s degree).

Certainly, the more education you have in the field, the more marketable you’ll be. However, many nurses start off with either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in nursing and then spend years working in the field before going back for a master’s degree. Others are happy with their positions after an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Benefits of a Nursing Degree

The advantages that come along with having a nursing degree from an accredited school are seemingly endless. However, a few of the biggest benefits include:

•Many career options
•Flexibility and demand
•Job security
•Challenge and reward

When you obtain a degree in nursing, you open up plenty of doors for yourself so that you can ultimately find your niche. For instance, reports that, with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, you can work as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse, an operating room nurse, a nursing supervisor, and in many other positions. With a master’s degree, you could even go on to become a chief nursing officer for a hospital, a nurse practitioner, or an advanced practice nurse.

Aside from having lots of options upon graduating, you’ll also be able to enjoy flexibility and job security due to the high demand for nurses across the United States. No matter where you choose to live — be it an urban or rural setting — you’ll have a good chance of finding a job in the field. That’s because no matter where you go, there’s a demand for people with nursing skills. Once you become a nurse, you generally don’t need to worry about being laid off, either.

Finally, there’s simply no overstating just how rewarding a career in nursing can be. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll get to help people who are in need and treat them with compassion. The relationships you’ll build with your patients will remind you every day why you chose your nursing career. Plus, since each patient has a unique story and situation, you’ll never have to worry about being bored or experiencing monotony on the job. Each day will bring new experiences.

Of course, nursing can be a challenging profession; you will experience trying and difficult times throughout your career. However, a sense of challenge is an important aspect of any fulfilling long-term career choice.

As you can see, having a nursing degree can get you very far in life, especially if you’re a compassionate human being who seeks to make the world a better place. Plus, the job security, salary, and projected job growth don’t hurt, either. If you’re interested in learning more about nursing degrees, begin researching accredited colleges and universities that offer reputable and distinguished nursing programs.

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