Choosing what to study in college is one of the most significant decisions you will make. Your major will determine which career options you have after you graduate, or what graduate studies you are eligible to pursue.
If you are thinking about pursuing a medical career, there are many good reasons to study nursing that you should consider. They may prompt you to join the more than 75,000 individuals who earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing each year.
1. Make a positive impact on the profession.
Nursing is a historical profession that has continued to evolve over the centuries. Some of the most influential nurses have made significant contributions that improved medical care for patients. Like the famous nurses alive today, your nursing studies can prepare you to enter the health care field, impact patient care, and contribute to the medical community.
2. Access potential for advancement.
You can earn your credentials to work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) with one or two years of post-secondary studies. This way, you can gain practical experience working as a nurse. Workplace experience can be an effective way of confirming your interest in nursing before you complete a degree.
If you decide to continue your studies, you can continue your studies and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing to become a registered nurse. Once you have a nursing degree, you also can complete graduate studies to become a nurse anesthesiologist, nurse-midwife, or nurse practitioner.
3. Take opportunities to specialize.
There are dozens of specialization areas that nurses can consider. You may be interested in working with elderly patients, or you may opt to concentrate on pediatric audiology. Audiologists can determine if a patient has suffered hearing loss and work with the patient to prevent additional hearing loss. Pediatric audiologists may also prescribe hearing aids for children or help them learn ways to communicate effectively. Pediatric audiology nurses work with a pediatric audiologist to provide optimal patient care. These nurses may prepare patients for tests to check their hearing and assist the pediatric audiologist.
4. Make a difference.
Nurses provide direct patient care in medical offices, hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. Some nurses opt to provide standard care in traditional settings. In contrast, others work with groundbreaking clinical trials that can change patient treatment and improve medical care for patients. Nurses can ease a patient’s treatment process by making them comfortable and addressing their physical and emotional needs. They are often the first to recognize a change in a patient’s condition, and their direct care can save lives.
5. You’ll have high professional wages.
Nurses earn substantial salaries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2019, the median annual salary for LPNs and LVNS working in the United States was $47,480. Registered nurses took home median annual incomes of $73,300 in the same year, per the BLS. Those who opted to pursue graduate studies earned higher salaries. Nurse anesthesiologists earned the most, with the BLS reporting their median annual income was $174,790 in 2019, while nurse midwives took home $105,030, and nurse practitioners earned $109,820. Salaries are affected by work location and experience. Nurses in California and New York typically earn higher salaries, while those in Alabama, Iowa, and Mississippi earned less than the median annual salaries reported by the BLS.
6. You’ll have many job prospects.
Nurses can work anywhere. You will not be limited to living and working in a large city if you opt to pursue nursing. You will still have strong job prospects at medical offices, clinics, hospitals, and schools if you want to live in a rural area. Nurses work in every state, and there are even opportunities for nurses to work overseas.
The demand for nurses remains strong, and graduates can anticipate ongoing growth in this field for years. The BLS reported that opportunities for LPNs and LVNS are expected to increase by 11% between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also reported RNs should see job growth of 12% during the same period, while nurse anesthesiologists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners would see demand grow by 26% between 2018 and 2028.