Submitted By Katherine Smith
If you’re thinking of a career change, getting a nursing degree can transform your life. What’s more, it doesn’t have to take as long as would think. As a career, nursing is a rewarding option, pays really well and is a profession where demand far exceeds supply.
Economic philosophers like Tai Lopez say that there are three levels of business. Level one businesses make the human race worse. Level two businesses are neutral, neither helping nor hindering our species. Level three businesses benefit humanity. The work of the medical practitioners falls into level three work because the world is far better off with more caring people.
Nursing provides an invaluable service to humanity, and, as a nurse, you will feel good about your contribution to human welfare. Essentially, your job is to ease the suffering of people in distress and help to restore their well-being.
Compensation and Demand
According to Nursejournal.org, the average salary for a nurse ranges from $60,934 to $96,582. Numerous factors determine pay, like level of education, years of experience, and the state you live and work in. However, even those just starting out get paid much more than beginners in other careers. In addition, profit sharing bonuses can be about $19,866 a year.
Considering all these factors, it will actually be quite realistic for you to be making six figures a year within a relatively short time. Moreover, with older nurses retiring, there may be even more opportunity for higher compensation due to a potentially huge shortage of nurses in the future.
What’s more, from a career perspective, things get even better. Nursejournal.org shares some startling facts and statistics about career opportunities for nurses:
“The job outlook for family nurse practitioners is very good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth in demand for FNPs [Family Nurse Practitioners] is 19% by 2020, which is well above the national average. Furthermore, salary growth over that same period of time is believed to be 22%, again above the national average. This is mainly due to the fact that the world of primary health care is changing due to a significant shortage in physicians. In addition, the shortage becomes more acute because of the aging population.”
The fastest route to become a registered nurse (RN) is to enroll in an accelerated nursing program. If you have already completed either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in another discipline, then you will have to take the accelerated baccalaureate in nursing. This can take as little as 11 to 18 months to complete, which includes taking prerequisites. If you’re already a nurse and want to advance in your career, you may want to take the fast-track master’s degree program, which will take an average of 3 years.
What It’s Like
Accelerated programs work as fast as they do because they are designed for older adults rather than young adults. Consequently, you can get credit for prior undergraduate education or work experience.
However, these are not leisurely courses and are only designed for those prepared to commit fully toward their career goal. Classes are often long and intense, sometimes with few or no breaks between sessions. This rapid pace is necessary because the same amount of clinical hours is packed into a shorter time frame, and students learn as much as those in slower-paced traditional, entry level nursing schools.
Since the work requires academic rigor, admission standards are naturally high. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to get through the strict pre-screening process. Administrators only select those students they believe will be able to do well in a fast-paced academic environment. While there is no restriction on working while studying, this is not really encouraged because it will take a tremendous amount of focus and discipline to graduate.
Employment after Graduation
Usually, students who go through an accelerated program tend to be older in years, more mature in attitude, and much more motivated than traditional college students fresh out of high school. These students also tend to have higher academic expectations of themselves than students in a traditional, entry-level nursing program. Consequently, they not only tend to excel in class but appear more eager to get clinical experience.
Employers recognize these attributes and accelerated program graduates are highly prized in the workplace. Past experience with graduates has shown that they are more responsible, possess a higher level of clinical skill, and are quick studies during job training.
Many employers are so impressed by the quality of nurses that come out of accelerated programs that many hospitals may offer tuition repayment to graduates as a strategy to recruit tap-caliber nurses. In addition, state and federal legislators are seeking ways to increase grants and scholarships to candidates willing to enroll in an accelerated nursing program because of the perceived shortage of nurses in the coming decade.