As our population ages, career options in healthcare are predicted to expand. Nursing is a resilient and wide-ranging career field with significant opportunities, now and in the future. Here's four reasons why you should consider pursuing a degree and a career in nursing.
(BPT) - As time and technology reshape the workforce, most professionals are not in the position to stick with one career until retirement. Nursing offers relevant, future-focused opportunities for people of all ages and experience levels, from those re-entering the workforce or making a career change, to registered nurses pursuing further education. Below, you’ll find four reasons students are pursuing licensure or a degree in nursing (from RN to BSN and beyond), shared by Dr. Bonnie Stegman of Maryville University.
If you are interested in making a direct impact on the lives of individuals and communities, consider nursing. It’s a rewarding career, according to nurses themselves. Nurses provide personal contact and engagement with patients, which has only become more important in today’s often-hectic healthcare environment. At the same time, nursing is an exciting and expanding field with new areas of focus. You have more options than ever to pursue your interests and work at the cutting edge of healthcare.
2. Wide-ranging opportunities
Nursing often is associated with foundational healthcare settings such as primary care practices, hospitals or nursing homes. However, nursing offers many paths to develop the track that’s right for you. Specialties include areas relevant to our aging population, such as gerontology (focused on elderly patients) and genetics (patients with or at risk of hereditary diseases). You also can specialize in public health, working in nonprofit organizations, community health centers or governmental agencies. And you can build on your experience caring for patients and transition into other areas, serving as an administrator or educator, for example.
The opportunities available within nursing let you pick what best fits your needs and preferences. For example, if family responsibilities mean you need to keep a 9-to-5, Monday-Friday schedule, some primary care or specialty practices can accommodate that. Through telehealth, you can provide patient care and education remotely, potentially creating opportunities across geographic areas and time zones. If you’re open to moving around, you might find work as a traveling nurse to be an interesting — and usually well paid — choice. This flexibility means you can adapt and shift your focus as you move through stages and phases of life.
4. Demand and compensation
Nurses are in high demand nationwide, a trend that shows no sign of slowing. That means you can expect competitive salaries and benefits. You’ll find that employers are getting creative in how they recruit and incentivize new hires. Mercy Children’s Hospital in St. Louis recently tested a seasonal staffing option, where nurses could opt to work a full-time schedule from September to June, then take time off in the summer while retaining their benefits — and a guaranteed job in the fall. Such initiatives represent a valuable offering for anyone with childcare considerations. Other employers are providing financial incentives such as signing bonuses and tuition reimbursement.
Make it happen
Once you decide to pursue your licensure or earn a nursing degree, you have a variety of options. It starts with finding a program that offers a realistic path for your existing schedule and responsibilities.
Online programs typically are designed for flexibility. The online nursing offerings at Maryville University include an RN to BSN program with multiple start dates throughout the year that can be completed 100% online to help students balance work and school. You also can find flexible options in on-campus programs. In addition to programs for full-time and transfer students, Maryville’s on-campus pre-licensure nursing options include a part-time evening and weekend program designed for working adults.
As our population ages, career options in healthcare are predicted to expand. Nursing is a resilient and wide-ranging career field with significant opportunities, now and in the future.
While TV makes it seem as though everyone goes straight from high school into college and only enter the working world after getting a degree, most people actually enter the workforce around the completion of high school, taking whatever early work they can receive with no formal education or training. From there, people work up (if possible), or wind up only making lateral changes as they change jobs (leaving a cashier job at a clothing store for a cashier job at a pet store). Fortunately, there are careers that you can break into without a four-year degree that pay livable wages.
For those interested in criminal justice, there are many paths that can offer a satisfactory living with no degree and are not only police officers or related jobs. Positions such as police dispatch are often given the same city employment titles and benefits as the officers, but with a much safer environment with a more set schedule. Police stations and courts also need clerks and a variety of administrative roles filled.
Though there are highs and lows in the market, real estate prices only go up over the long-term. Because of this, there is a long term need for people familiar with this industry. In addition to general sales, house flipping shows have brought to many people’s attention that there is great money in buying and renovating properties. While the market has changed, house flipping can still be profitable. Neither sales, nor flipping, require a college degree; both can be learned through apprenticeship. Apartment complexes are often seeking roles in managing a large rental environment. You don’t have to own property to work in this field.
Beauty and Wellness
People love to pamper themselves and spend small fortunes to make themselves look better. While many jobs in this industry may require a diploma or certification, those are fairly quick to obtain rather than a BS degree. In addition to selling cosmetics (a system that is already established and often comes with a customer base), careers can include hair, nail and makeup artists, massage therapists, and dietitians. With enough knowledge of the industry, you could even go on to own your own salon or spa.
Completely changing the field, you work in may seem like starting from the beginning, but soft skills (such as customer service) are transferable. Starting new doesn’t mean starting at the bottom.
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Most people are stuck with a career path that has little to do with what they studied or envisioned themselves doing. Years later, they may suddenly find themselves at a crossroads, wondering how they came to their current point in their work life. However, finding a new career is a possibility at any age, and finding one that incorporates what you love is possible for anyone determined to seek a new path.
Start Your Own Business
By starting your own business, you can incorporate your own interests and be your own boss. However, like any business, getting started requires a lot of planning and research. Whether you want to open your own eatery or become an online merchant, the cost of starting your own business is high, but so is the potential reward. Here are several pitfalls to avoid when starting your own business:
Join a Franchise
Sometimes, starting a new business from scratch is not an attractive option. If not, you might want to join an existing franchise instead. Joining a franchise allows people to work in an industry they love with a brand they are passionate about. With the wide variety of industries with franchises, it's not too hard to find a franchise that mirrors your interests. In order to find the right franchise, you need to define what you wish to accomplish with a franchise, and then do market research to identify the available options, your budget and your community. Contacting the franchisor, reviewing their processes and interviewing other franchise owners comes after doing your initial research. Joining a franchise of a brand you love can be a rewarding way to work in an industry you love.
Teach What You Love
At times, teaching and sharing what you love is richly rewarding. Teaching and learning no longer have to be onsite at an expensive physical location. Many learning platforms offer virtual online learning conducted through videos, forums and online communication. Whether you want to teach online yoga or advanced coding, there are online communities available where online classrooms can be set up, and you can get paid for uploading your own educational videos.
If you are starting to doubt yourself and the passion behind your work, perhaps it is time to change your career. The average person changes jobs between five to seven times in their lifetime. With many options available both online and off, there are many opportunities to find a path that leads to a fulfilling job that you love to do.
If you’re looking to change your career but you don’t have a degree, check out this list of high-paying, easy-enter career fields that don’t require a degree!
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