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Nursing Schools, Online Degrees and Programs

Nursing Programs and Career Potential

Nursing is one of the broadest fields in healthcare. Working alongside doctors and other healthcare workers, nurses help patients recover and administer a variety of tests. There are registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nursing aids within the field, as well as many specialized positions. Physician assistants need some of the highest levels of nursing specialization, including medical school instruction. With baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) starting to retire, they are expected to soon require more care than any other population segment. Consequently, nursing is an industry that is expected to grow rapidly well into the future.

Pursuing a Nursing Career

Training programs can take two years to over four years to complete. Programs are offered at many community colleges, universities, and vocational schools. The nursing population is expected to surpass 20 percent (substantially faster than others) in the decade between 2008 and 2018. Competition for jobs is likely to remain intense in certain urban parts of the country, and new nurses can expect to find the majority of new positions in the outpatient sector. A relatively recent trend is that of ""traveling nurses,"" those who contract with agencies for varying lengths of time. It is an attractive niche for many. An even faster growing sector is that of home health aid. Many home-bound patients are members of the elder population. The median salary for nurses in May 2008 was $65,130, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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