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As most of the developed world continues to deal with a nursing shortage, now is the best for one to start building their career in the field of nursing. In addition to a low rate of unemployment that stems from nurses being in consistently high demand, a career in nursing also offers the advantage of providing a wide range job options and specialties. With that said, below are the top 10 most in demand nursing positions. Any aspiring healthcare professional may want to review these roles when deciding on a career path:
1. Family Nurse Practitioner
Family nurse practitioners (FNP) are usually tasked with more challenging responsibilities than a typical registered nurse because this role serves as the main substitute/assistant for the acting physician. As such, an FNP must obtain a master’s degree in order to prove their ability to step in for primary care physicians when necessary. Fortunately, it’s possible to enroll in an online FNP program to begin the process of becoming an FNP while still pursuing a career.
2. Registered Nurse
According to BLS estimates, the shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S. is expected to reach an employee deficit of about 1.2 million by 2022. Furthermore, the schooling required can be finished in just 2-4 years, so it’s one of the most common entry points in the medical field.
3. Licensed Practical Nurse
Someone with a Practical Nursing Diploma can become a licensed practical nurse (LNP) without additional certifications. The job description involves performing more hands-on tasks with patients under the guidance of a doctor or registered nurse. With a quick path to entry and a low level of responsibility and a large number of openings available, the LNP position is a great route for new nurses to take.
4. Travel Nurse
Travel nurses will need a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN), but in exchange of lengthy academic efforts you’ll have the freedom to move around frequently. If you do not have any existing locational obligations and you may want to explore before settling down. Becoming a travel nurse is a great way to lead an adventurous lifestyle!
5. Nurse Practitioner
There are a number of different types of nurse practitioners and although each position carries its own educational requirements, you’ll need at least a graduate degree to get started. This field isn’t currently as in demand as some of those mentioned above, with roughly 95,000 current job openings, that figure is expected to increase significantly within the next five years.
6. Medical-Surgical Nurse
To become a Medical-Surgical Nurse you’ll need a bachelors or associates degree in nursing, as well as a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) certification. There are about 40,000 job openings in this field currently, so it easily falls within the top 10 most in demand positions in nursing.
7. ICU Registered Nurse
Although this position will require additional training and certification due to the complexity and sensitivity of the tasks involved, it is one of the more in demand sectors with almost 70,000 job openings as of 2017. In this role, expect there to be a high level of responsibility since you’ll be dealing with patients in the Intensive Care Unit, which may be one of the reasons why it’s been difficult for healthcare providers to fill this position.
8. Operating Room Nurse
Similar to an ICU nurse, an operating room nurse (OR) has to provide delicate care in a high risk medical environment. You’ll need an associates or bachelor’s degree along with CNOR certification and a few years of nursing experience to be qualified for this position.
9. Nurse Case Manager
Nurse case managers aren’t directly involved in patient care as much as other types of nurses, as the job is more focused on carrying out strategies for long-term patient care. While this is considered a nursing job, it’s more of a clerical position that revolves around scheduling, researching, and coordination.
10. Home Health Nurse
If you’d rather work outside of a hospital, becoming a home health nurse (HHN) is an ideal option because you’ll be visiting with patients outside of an office or hospital. As an HHN you’ll often be helping patients who have some sort of developmental or mobility issue that prevents them from seeking traditional healthcare in a facility.
Keeping Career Options Open
As a nurse you’ll have the option of not only relocating (due to the fact that nursing jobs are available almost everywhere), you’ll also have the option of switching specialties and positions after you’ve obtained enough experience and the right credentials. Plus, nursing experience allows you to be become an appealing candidate for future roles in healthcare, so even if you later decide in life to become a doctor or a surgeon, a degree in nursing and practical experience will always help you advance your healthcare career.