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Career Benefits of Registered Nurse
Without any doubt, in the twenty-first century, the profession of the nurse is one of the most desirable ones. Recent technological development and new medical approaches have positively influenced the growth of nursing career. Moreover, political authorities have promised that in a few years, job opportunities and working conditions for registered nurses (RNs) will be significantly improved. However, until the modern days, scientists could not clearly define career responsibilities of a register nurse.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, in the USA there were about 2,737,000 registered nurses employed (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). It is generally known that half of them work in hospitals. Statistically, registered nurses are mostly employed in different clinics of physicians and offices, home health care and temporary help agencies, as well as religious organizations, social service agencies, inpatient and outpatient departments. According to the definition, a registered nurse (RN) is responsible for the treatment of patients and providing emotional support. Moreover, RNs educate patients, their families, and public about medical conditions and facilities, disease prevention, and effective treatment. It is known that registered nursing specialties consist of addiction, critical care, geriatrics, oncology, neonatology, or pediatrics. Additionally, some registered nurses can have two specialties. A registered nurse should have expert mode of thinking, in order to evaluate situations and provide immediate care. Furthermore, these nurses should always be emotionally stable and patient, since difficult situations may occur. The work schedule of registered nurses may include working in evening, holidays, and weekends. In this case, registered nurses usually work on rotating shifts. However, the disadvantages of this profession relate to risk factors, such as exposure to communicable diseases and possible injuries that can occur in case of patients lifting and moving (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010).
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a registered nurse was $67,930 in 2012, which comes out to an average hourly income of $32.66. However, it is known that the salaries differ from state to state and from one geographical region to another. For instance, the number one state for the highest salary is California, with an average of $94,120, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska and Oregon with salaries of $84,750, $83,370, $80,970 and $78,530, accordingly. These numbers indicate that the registered nurses earn the highest average salaries in the Northeast and West regions of the country. Only ten percent of all the registered nurses are included in the highest-paid salaries of more than $94,720 and only half of all the registered nurses showed salaries from $53,670 to $78,700 per year. The lowest paying state for registered nurses is the territory of Puerto Rico, with an average reported salary of $32,930 per year.
There are also differences in salaries, based on the type of institution that a registered nurse works in. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than half of all the registered nurses were working in general hospitals in 2012. Their average salaries were calculated at about $69,490 per year. On the other hand, the registered nurses who were working in a substance abuse facilities made an average of $66,210 annually. The lowest paid registered nurses whose salaries sometimes would fall below the national average were employed by a physicians office or home care service.
The job market for future registered nurses is expected to boom by the year 2020 due to the expansion of the health care industry. There is an expected 22% growth in the number of registered nurses between 2008 and 2018, which represents double of the increase rate of any other job opportunities. Such a positive future prediction may lead to a rapid promotion of some nurses into higher positions and may encourage some individuals to pursue a masters degree, in order to get a better paid job position, such as a nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife or nurse anesthetist. Also, the increased number of baby boomers will lead to a higher demand in the community care facilities and nursing homes, consequently, increasing the number of nurses needed to work there. The higher than average rate of employment in the field of nursing is due in part to the fact that the rate of retirement is also above average. The average age of retirement in the nursing field is 59 years which contributes to the increase of job openings. There is only a 1% unemployment rate among the registered nurse population, which is way below the national average (Benner, 2001).
All in all, modern medical system is constantly growing at a fast pace. Human reality indicates that fully-fledged medical approaches and numerous breakthroughs of the medical equipment have positively influenced the enrollment of the registered nurses. This fact can be amplified by the individual priorities and conditions of life, which have a considerable impact on the future career. Thus, the person should deeply examine his/her personal knowledge, availability of free time to obtain appropriate education, financial support, and family relations, in order to gain the desirable profession. The career of a registered nurse is a perfect opportunity for individuals who enjoy helping the people in need of medical care because one receives pleasure from performing the job along with great pay and necessary benefits.