While a nursing career might not be the right fit for everyone, there are enough serious benefits that parents wouldn’t be wrong to at least broach the topic when their children reach the age that they begin to ponder what they want to do in life. As long as people get sick, a nurse will have a job. While a nice salary, geographic mobility, and the satisfaction of helping people get well are obvious benefits, there are even more points to consider.
A nurse generally makes good money, but exactly how much? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a nurse in 2015 was $67,000 (about $32 an hour). No matter how you slice it, unless you have an Imelda Marcos-sized shoe obsession, a nurse’s salary should allow the average person to live well and sock a little away for vacations and retirement. And with the increase in online nursing programs, it’s never been easier to get the required education.
A Heavenly Schedule
A nurse is not likely to work a strict 8-5 schedule. In fact, you might be asked to regularly work shifts that are 10 or 12 hours long or longer. But that’s not the whole story! Take the 10-hour shift example. You’ll work four days and be off for three. That’s like having an extra-long weekend each and every week. For anyone who doesn’t look forward to the Monday through Friday grind, this is the career for you.
After World War II, came the largest (by numbers) generation in American history – the Baby Boomers. Those Boomers have begun to reach retirement age and will continue to do so at an ever-increasing rate for the next 18 years or so. Along with advanced age, unfortunately, comes illness and disease. The demand for nurses, which is already healthy, will continue over the next two decades at least. In a world of vanishing job security, this is as close as you’ll ever get to a sure thing.
While taking care of other people is not everyone’s cup of tea, for those who find satisfaction in compassion, nursing could be a dream career. We’ve hit upon only a few of the benefits here. Also keep in mind that the BLS anticipates the field to grow at a 16% annual rate in the near future. Great pay, job security, the chance to live and work almost wherever you please, and, maybe most importantly, the opportunity to make a real difference in someone else’s life.