If you're one of those adults who are going back to school to take control of your future, a nursing degree may be a great option for you and your family. A nursing degree is a professional degree, which means you have to meet a rigorous set of standards that are mandated not only by the state, but by various licensing boards, too. That means you can be employed in a professional career that offers excellent salary benefits.
A nursing career also offers benefits for families that aren't commonly available with other jobs. As a registered nurse, you can choose from a variety of work environments. Some nurses like to work in a setting like a doctor's office, while other nurses may prefer the excitement of a hospital emergency room. Still other nurses may prefer the variety and interest that home health care provides, with a different setting every day.
One of the best things about a nursing career is the ability to choose a job that often has a very flexible schedule. Registered nurses can work during the day, or if they are night owls, they may prefer to work overnight in a hospital or other 24-hour health care setting. Many nurses prefer to work a traditional Monday through Friday from nine to five, and there are plenty of nursing jobs that work on that schedule.
Nursing degrees are available at the associate, bachelor, and graduate levels. An associate degree culminates in a registered nurse designation, and entails about two years of school. Students in an associate degree program must also complete a practical internship, in which they interact with patients and other healthcare professionals to refine their skills.
At the bachelor level, nursing students participate in a four-year program. This type of degree will also train aspiring nurses in some management and administrative duties, which may lead to higher salaries than registered nurses with two-year degrees. Bachelor degree nursing students are also required to complete practical work with patients and other health care professionals.
Graduate degrees for nurses often focus on administrative and high level managerial nursing jobs. They may also concentrate on training and educational concerns for nurses who wish to become involved in that aspect of hospital management. Nurses who hold graduate degrees are in high demand because of the superior levels of education and knowledge they possess.
Registered nurses will likely continue to be highly sought after, as the population of America continues to age and Baby Boomers begin to require more health care and have higher hospitalization rates. What is becoming more the norm in this profession are those who get a nursing degree online. With the economy today, not working while going to college is not an option many have. At the polar opposite are those who earn an online degree, dedicating their free time to studying while still managing to meet their responsibilities. Perhaps the best of both worlds for busy adults.