Making up the highest workforce in the healthcare industry at over 15% are nurses. There are about 2.5 million of them nationwide and are expected to grow by 25% annually.

Education and Training required

Nurses fall either as a licensed practice nurse (LPN) or licensed vocation nurses (LVN) which require a one year post secondary vocational course, or as registered nurse (RN) which require a 4-year baccalaureate degree in college, a nursing diploma from accredited nursing schools or 3-year associate’s degree in nursing (ADN).  Either jobs require licensing from the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or for Registered Nurse license (NCLEX-RN).

Registered Nurse: Getting the Job

Hospitals are always in great demand for nurses as most move on to other hospitals that pay better, offer supervisory positions or go into advance specialization studies.  This leaves most entry level nursing jobs in constant vacancy.  The shortage has become so acute over the last decade that all hospitals now employ a large percentage of Indian, Mexican, Filipino, and Czech nurses in their staff.

Registered Nurse Working Conditions

Intellectual aptitude is basic but nursing careers often require an ocean of understanding, patience and tolerance for abuse from their patients. If you are naturally a caring person, this is not a problem. The nursing shortage can cause stressful hours in overtime work.  But it gets more demanding when you’re dealing with seriously ill patients.

Registered Nurse Salary and Benefits

The annual income for a nurse falls from $45,000 to $65,000 on average while the top 10% can command a high of $75,000.  If you posses a masteral degree specializing in pediatrics, anesthesiology or oncology, you’re more in demand and can expect to a starting pay of at least $60,000 upwards.