What Is Nursing?

Nurses play an essential role in the healthcare industry, because they are primarily focused on patient care.

They work in a variety of specialties to help people improve their health, and to prevent and heal illnesses and injuries.

Thinking about getting into a career in Nursing? If you’re looking for a Healthcare career that will allow you to have a real impact on your patients’ lives, Nursing could be the right field for you.

If you answered yes to these questions, you might enjoy a career in Nursing. You can take a look at our Nursing homepage, or just head straight over to our ranking of the Best Online BSN Degrees.

Types of Nursing Careers

As a nurse, your work could be patient-facing, educational, research-oriented, or managerial. The kind of work that you do will depend on the educational path you choose.

And you’ll have plenty of choices! There are more than 100 different specializations in Nursing, many of which can be sorted into these five main categories:

  • Staff Nurses provide patient care in hospitals.
  • Advanced Practice Nurses often work as primary care providers or gain advanced training in their area of specialization.
  • Nurse Managers are leaders and administrators who manage other nurses.
  • Nursing Researchers conduct research to improve health outcomes and shape policy.
  • Nursing Educators teach and train the next generation of nurses.

Benefits of a Career in Nursing

Many nurses work long hours on their feet, and some spend a lot of time with very sick patients. Specializations like trauma nursing deal with emergency situations, and work environments like labor and delivery units can be an emotional roller coaster.

Despite the drawbacks, though, nurses tend to report an incredibly high level of career satisfaction. In fact, a 2017 survey of registered nurses found that a whopping 83 percent are satisfied with their career choice.

And what’s more, 66 percent of registered nurses say that they would recommend a career in Nursing to others.

The reasons that nurses are so happy with their careers are probably as varied as the individual nurses themselves. But a few major items in the “plus” column for a nursing career are the opportunities for learning and advancement throughout your career, flexibility in choosing a specialty that suits you, and higher-than-average salaries.

The Future of Nursing

With the aging baby boomer generation’s increasing need for health services, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts significant growth in Healthcare employment across the board. And because half of all nurses currently working in the United States are over the age of 50, a lot of nurses will retire during the next decade.

When you take into account the increased demand and the shrinking workforce, it’s clear that there will be a huge need for nurses in the coming years. Demand for advanced practice nurses in particular is going to rise by more than 30 percent in the next decade, according to the BLS!

Along with increased demand, new technology and changing healthcare policy will bring big changes in Nursing.

For example, technology is already creating new roles in Nursing. For example, informatics nurses combine skills in information technology and traditional nursing. And genetics nurses help patients understand genetic risks and treat patients with conditions that run in their families.