Nursing Career Options Explode as Baby-Boomer Generation Ages
Baby Boomers are turning sixty this year. Of the 3.4 million babies born between 1946 and 1964, 2.8 are still very much alive and projected to live another twenty years -- at least. Baby Boomers currently make up over 26% of the total United States population, and their aging is already making significant impacts throughout the country, but most profoundly in the impact on the nursing profession.
Social Security and Medicare concerns aside, these Baby Boomers are going to need a great deal of medical support. Already, almost 40% of the Baby Boomer population is obese. This condition leads to many medical problems, such as diabetes, as well as advanced aging. With the rise in health concerns for such a large percentage of the population, the demand for health professionals will dramatically increase, and the demand for nurses prepared to provide primary care for this growing aging population is already beginning to explode. In fact, the industry is already showing signs of this increased demand.
Nursing and medical assistants are among the largest fields of growth in the medical field to support the huge Baby Boomer population. Well-educated nursing professionals are sought after and are all but guaranteed strong career opportunities. Nursing programs vary in complexity and requirements, and span from one to six year plans. The nursing field is broad and almost all segments are in increasingly more need of qualified applicants.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Licensed Practical Nurses, or Licenses Vocational Nurses (LVN) complete a single year of training in a state accredited program then sit for the certification exam. LPN certifications are the most readily obtained of the nursing field. Working as an LPN, responsibilities are somewhat limited and practicing LPNs work under the direction and guidance of a registered nurse. Many LPNs obtain the certification and begin immediately working toward a RN or BSN degree in programs specifically designed to do so.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Registered Nurses are considerably more qualified than LPNs due to the required educational background. To become a registered nurse, candidates must complete an Associates degree, which generally requires two or three years of coursework. Registered nurses work in many capacities, including some management. Many registered nurses decide to pursue further education and RN to BSN programs support such a transition.
Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)
Nurses with a Bachelors degree in nursing are in the greatest demand. A BSN degree is considered the entry level of professional nursing practice and is mandatory for new nursing hires in some states and agencies. BSN nurses have the broadest spectrum of nursing career opportunities and options, and often a BSN is the threshold for more prestigious nursing administration or management positions as well. Although some nurses pursue a BSN initially, most prefer to become either a RN or LPN and take advantage of employer tuition reimbursement plans to purse the desired BSN programs.
Online degrees in nursing are the least complicated and most cost effective means for working nurses to obtain their BSN degree. In addition to the ability to make use of employer paid educational benefits online RN to BSN programs allow nurses to start their degree program without delay or worrying about waiting lists, provide the convenience of being able to do course work from work, home, or wherever they have internet access, any time, day, night, or weekends - whenever it works best for their work schedule and family needs. Obviously the ability to earn a BSN degree without needing to stop work, give up a steady paycheck, or schedule their life around traditional campus based class schedules are prime reasons behind the thousands of working nurses busy pursuing their nursing degree online every day.
Advanced Practice Nursing Programs
Even more nursing career opportunities exist for nurses who obtain an M.S. in Nursing Science (MSN degree). The traditional path to obtain a Master's degree in Nursing requires an additional two years of study after after a nurse has obtained a BSN degree. Working nurses who desire to obtain a Masters in Nursing degree have the option of attending traditional campus based programs, participating in a hybrid program that offers a blended mixture of online and campus classes.
Online RN-MSN Degree Programs provide an wonderful option for nurses who currently have their Associate degree in Nursing to complete an accelerated online RN to MSN degree bridge program without interrupting their present job or family responsibilities. Most nursing students are able to complete online RN to MSN programs in as little as 2 to 3 years, which is a significant improvement over needing to first complete their BSN degree (two years) and then start on their Masters degree in Nursing (two more years)!
A Master's in Nursing degree opens the door to virtually unlimited nursing career options and opportunities. Nurses with an MSN degree can choose to work in research, as nurse educators, public health nurses, in the most advanced levels of nursing administration, as Clinical Nurse Specialists, Advanced Practice Nurses, and even practice autonomously as Nurse Practitioners. Thousands of nurses have discovered how convenient it is to obtain their Masters in Nursing degree online through accredited accelerated nursing degree programs.
Doctoral programs in Nursing such as Nursing PhD programs and Doctor of Science in Nursing (DNSc) programs are also available online through accredited nursing schools. Nursing Doctoral programs prepare nurse scholars, policy makers, leaders, and researchers who conduct research that shapes and advances the foundations of nursing practice. Nurse researchers also conduct research on nursing problems, patient outcomes and health policy at the local, state, national, or international level for private healthcare organizations, multinational corporations, academia, non-profit agencies, governments, organizations such as the UN, and world health organizations.
Being a nurse means never running out of options and career opportunities these days. Today's nurses are scientists, patient care managers, researchers, educators, administrators, clinicians, practitioners, well paid consultants, experts, policy setters, chairman of the board, and well... you name it! Online nursing degree programs allow every nurse to pursue their nursing career goals. What's your nursing career dream?