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Nursing: One of the hottest jobs in America

Written by NS StaffJuly 20, 2011

How would you like a new career that gives you flexible working hours, on-the-job variety, personal fulfillment, job security, opportunities for advancement and travel, great salary and benefits, and the chance to make a real difference in the lives of patients?

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With just 1-2 years of study at nursing school, you can get your certification or associate's degree as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) or RN (registered nurse). You'll join one of the fastest growing and most respected professions in the country - in 6 of the past 7 years, nursing has topped an "honesty and ethical standards" poll.

With the current group of caregivers heading towards retirement, and a greater demand for health services to care for the aging population, experts forecast a shortage of more than 800,000 full-time nurses in America by the year 2020.

Hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions are offering excellent benefits and working conditions to prospective nurses, including:

Flexible hours: Nurses are needed around the clock, so there are many shifts available, letting them work around other commitments. Some nurses work only 3-4 days per week.

Excellent salary and bonus: Salaries vary depending on experience, location, and specialization, but RNs can earn more than $74,000/year. In addition, many hospitals now offer signing bonuses to attract and hold on to trained caregivers.

Continuing education: After earning an associate's degree and securing a post with a hospital, many LPNs and RNs take advantage of subsidized studies to get a bachelor's degree and increase their marketability.

In addition to these hiring incentives, most nurses note on-the-job satisfaction as a huge asset. This comes from:

Making a difference: Nurses are responsible for helping patients cope with illness and injury, promoting health, and preventing disease. They go home each day knowing they have positively impacted the lives of others.

Variety: There are numerous fields of medicine in which nurses can be involved, so their job is never dull. Specialized areas include: ambulatory care, emergency or trauma, critical care, long-term care, or rehabilitation, among many others.

Global opportunities: Nurses are in demand all over the world. You could choose to work virtually anywhere after getting your degree.

See a list of schools/colleges offering nursing programs

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Nursing: One of the hottest jobs in America