The job prospects for a registered nurse are stronger than ever. As of 2010, registered nurses held over 2.7 million jobs in the United States. RNs are able to find jobs in a wide array of workplaces, including hospitals, physician offices, and schools. However, most registered nurses find employment in general medical and surgical hospitals. Within this percentage, what nursing departments are the most popular and highly paid?
RNs are able to work in various departments, including:
- Obstetric & Gynecological (OB-GYN)
- Surgery and transplantation
With such a wide range of nursing departments available, many RNs looking to increase their professional skills and salaries have pursued certifications in growing specialty areas. For example, a nurse anesthesiologist earns an annual salary almost more than double the mean annual salary the average RN earns nationally. It should be noted however that most nursing departments with substantial salary increases generally require additional nursing certifications or additional graduate studies.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for RNs in America are set to increase by 26 percent between 2010 and 2020, meaning that many hospitals are likely to increase the amount of nursing staff in their departments. In particular, opportunities in the departments of geriatrics, critical-care, neonatal care, and OB-GYN nursing are increasing.
Needs for Geriatric nursing staff have skyrocketed in the last few years. This specialty generally requires working with elderly patients and their families in order to set up long-term care plans for patients. However, it can be highly varied as it can deal with both physical and mental impairments.
Neonatal Nursing & OB-GYN Nursing
With a new baby being born every eight seconds, the population rate is constantly rising. For nurses, this means a promising job increase in fields such as OB-GYN, midwifery and neonatal nursing.
Although these are all separate fields with varied job descriptions, many nurses within these departments tend to work together quite closely. These fields work primarily with women, particularly expectant mothers or current mothers and their children, though this might not be the case for all OB-GYN nurses. Most nurses in these specialties tend to play an important role in the birthing process, post-delivery care, and neonatal care. In particular, neonatal nurses assist parents with creating individual care plans for their new children, particularly newborns with health complications.
Critical-care nursing deals with patients in intensive care units, emergency departments, burn units, and a variety of other settings. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses estimates that there are over 500,000 critical-care nurses in the United States, and they expect that number to rise. Why? Increasingly, hospitalized patients are critically ill and require complex care, which means that hospital nurses may eventually need the knowledge that comes with a critical care specialization.
Whether you are seeking a change in specialization or a salary increase, the job prospects for a registered nurse are promising, especially in these fields.
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