Becoming a Registered Nurse

There are a lot of different motivations for going into one career or another, but there are a few key questions that you can ask yourself: How soon can I start working in my chosen field? Can I make enough to support my family? And most importantly – will I love what I do?
1. Graduate in Less Time

Unlike nurses who get their bachelor’s degree and earn a BSN, you can qualify to be a nurse in just two short years. You’ll earn an associate’s degree instead and will be on your way to earning an income and enjoying a satisfying career that much sooner. Another benefit of earning an associate’s degree is that you have a little bit more flexibility in your class schedule, which is important if you have a family to take care of or are working another job through school. If you were to get a bachelor’s degree but could only go part time, it could take you upwards of eight years to earn a diploma. If you’re just getting started on your education now, that probably seems pretty daunting. However, even if you can only go part time through your entire associate’s degree, you’ll still graduate in the same amount of time as someone who went full time to a traditional four-year school. With the rising number of people attending school as a nontraditional student, this benefit is especially important. This also means you’ll graduate with less student debt and begin earning money to pay back your loans that much sooner.

2. Earn a Comfortable Income

If you become a nurse, you could earn an average of $64,690 a year. Even nurses in the lowest 10 percent of earners still bring in more than $44,000 annually. And if you are a skilled nurse and stay in the industry long enough to get adequate experience, you could become one of the top 10 percent who earn more than $95,000 a year. That means you could eventually earn more than some health practitioners who have been to graduate school! The average salary for all health diagnosing and treating practitioners, which includes physicians, surgeons, pharmacists, chiropractors, and physical therapists, is $71,490, but there are few occupations within this industry that don’t require a bachelor’s degree at the very least. And even if you start at the very bottom of the income ladder, you’ll still earn more than the average salary across all occupations of $33,840.

3. Do What You Love

Some people work hard to secure a high paying job as a stock broker, corporate executive, or doctor, and some of these people genuinely love their profession, but others struggled through school doing something they hated just to make sure they’d be financially stable. Can you imagine going to four, six, or even ten years of school studying economics, business, or medicine when you couldn’t stand the subject? People who become nurses tend to do so because they are compassionate, interested in helping people, and have a genuine love of subjects like biology, anatomy and physiology, and pharmacology. All the money in the world doesn’t make a difference if you hate your job – and you spend nearly a third of your professional years at work – so why waste your time in a career that you can’t stand? By becoming a nurse, you will have the benefit of both loving your job AND earning enough to live comfortably.

Sources:

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm#tab-5

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#29-0000

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