Nursing Employment Figures
Registered nurses represent the largest number of healthcare providers in the United States. There are 2.5 million nurses and over 50 percent of them work in the hospital setting. The educational preparation for a career in nursing may include a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree, or a diploma from a dedicated nursing program. There is an increasing demand for nurses in the US and over a 500,000 new nursing positions are expected to be created by the year 2015.
Registered nurses (RN’s) work with both patients and the general public in an effort to educate people about treatment paths for medical conditions. Nurses treat patients, perform and analyze diagnostic tests, and administer medications. Nurses also perform record keeping responsibilities and work with patient rehabilitation. Very importantly, nurses provide emotional support to patients and their families.
Nurses are essentially on the “front lines” of medicine. They may be responsible for reviewing and explaining issues concerning post-operative recovery, dietetics, and for helping patients to understand their responsibilities regarding recovery from illness and also how to maintain wellness. Many nurses operate in a public health capacity in an effort to education the public concerning the signs and symptoms regarding disease processes. Other efforts include working at immunization clinics, physical therapy centers, blood drives, and the operation of important medical equipment for diagnostic, analytic, and treatment purposes.
Nurses provide an important role in monitoring and administering medications including the checking of dosages. Other nurses may be charged with administering intravenous (IV) fluids including pharmacological agents and blood. Nurses may also oversee and manage nursing aids. Nurses with advanced certifications may have the power to prescribe medications.
Specialization in nursing takes several directions. Many nurses perform perioperative procedures for work in operating rooms and act as assistants to surgeons. Other nurses manage long term cases of illness involving the careful monitoring of lifestyle, medications, and follow-up visits. Nursing specialties can be quite specific to a particular demographic, organ, or disease type. There are several major categories of nursing specialties. They include perioperative nurses, rehabilitation nurses, long-term care nurses, ambulatory care nurses, emergency nurses, hospice care nurses, infusion nurses, home health care nurses, transport nurses, critical care nurses, palliative care nurses, radiology nurses, perianesthesia nurses, mental healthcare nurses, transplant nurses, and more. The income for nurses ranges from approximately $40,000 to over $80,000.