The economic downturn that occurred in 2008 and 2009 had far-reaching effects. Nearly every job market was suddenly faced with the very real possibility of unemployment. Why be a nurse? Here are the three best reasons you may not have heard.
Employment Stability According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hiring outlook for Registered Nurses is expected to grow by 26% through 2020. The growth rate for all occupations for the same period is just 14%. The reason for this sustained job growth is the baby boomer generation, those born in the years immediately after World War II, are now reaching retirement age and will require more medical services. In addition to the baby boomers, the enactment of the Affordable Care Act will suddenly make health care affordable for millions who've been going without health care for so long.
Income and Schedule Flexibility Most Registered Nurses beginning their careers in hospitals make a wage that can actually support a family. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the average salary range for nurses at $64,690 nationally per year or $31.10 per hour. With the opportunity for overtime available, a registered nurse can work just two extra days a month and make an extra $1000. Hospital floor nurses typically work three 12 hour shifts each week, either 7 am-7 pm or 7 pm-7 am, allowing for four days off from work.
Long Term Employment and Different Nursing Disciplines There are tremendous opportunities in nursing once your first year of work is complete. The Discover Nursing website provides a list and description of 104 different nursing specialties. You may choose to stay in the hospital as a floor nurse or move to any number of specialties within the hospital. If you'd like to be away from the hospital setting, there are physician's offices you could work in. If you like to work without direct supervision, you may work as a home health nurse, which allows for even more flexibility. You could even pursue post graduate work by becoming an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner, who directs care under an MD's supervision.
Why be a nurse? With the growth and continued stability of the health care sector, there has never been a better time to consider this career. Becoming a nurse can give you peace of mind for a stable future with flexible schedules and living wages.