According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurse (RN) jobs will experience tremendous growth in the coming years. BLS projections suggest that employment of nurses will increase 16% between 2014 and 2024, for a net gain of more than 439,300 RN jobs.
RN Job Opportunities
As the healthcare industry continues to evolve, nurses are increasingly taking on more administrative and business operations tasks. Healthcare organizations recognize the value that RNs bring to patient care and often involve them in planning, consulting, quality assurance and developing specialized treatment programs. RN jobs include such diverse roles as:
- Telemetry Nurse
- ICU Staff RN
- Hospitalist Service Unit RN
- Healthcare Risk Manager
- Nurse Administrator
- Program Administrator
- Nursing Service Administrator
Employers and Areas of Specialization for RNs
RN jobs can be found in a wide variety of settings, including clinics, hospitals, outpatient facilities, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, mental health facilities, schools, rehabilitation centers and private physician offices. Registered nurses may also work with a specific illness or health condition such as substance abuse and addictions, learning and developmental disabilities, oncology, HIV/AIDS, genetics and cardiovascular conditions. Those specializing in specific populations – such as neonatology, pediatrics and gerontology – provide treatment and preventative care.
Beyond traditional healthcare environments, RN jobs can also be found in schools, corporations and community health organizations. There are even RNs who travel to other countries to provide patient care in locations that are experiencing a shortage of medical workers.
Advanced Practice RNs
While most RNs work on a team in collaboration with other medical staff, some become advanced practice RNs and may work independently. RN jobs in this category include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives. To become an advanced practice nurse, an RN must typically obtain a master’s degree in nursing. Each state has different requirements for these types of roles. Some states allow advanced practice RNs to prescribe medications to patients.
Managerial and Leadership Positions
With experience and advanced education, nurses can transition from clinical RN jobs into managerial and executive positions. These types of roles generally require at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, although many employers prefer candidates with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and prior supervisory experience. RNs interested in administrative careers should have good interpersonal, decision-making and leadership skills. In addition, many colleges and universities hire RNs to teach in nursing degree programs. Positions in higher education usually require at least an MSN degree; some schools prefer candidates to have a doctoral degree.
RN jobs in management, administration and education include:
- Clinical Nurse Manager
- Charge Nurse
- Director of Case Management
- Manager of Ambulatory Services
- Director of Nursing
- Associate Chief Nursing Officer
- Chief Nursing Officer
- Clinical Nurse Educator
- Director of Education
- Professor of Nursing
Education and Training for RN Jobs
Employers will only hire RNs with the proper education, training and licensing, and require a minimum of a nursing diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). Many prefer to hire RNs with a BSN degree to handle a wide variety of healthcare services and more challenging roles. An MSN is the standard credential for higher-level positions in nursing administration and nursing education. Healthcare organizations require all candidates for RN jobs to be graduates of an accredited nursing program and hold licensure, which involves passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
Earn an Advanced Nursing Degree Online From Jacksonville University
To position yourself for the best RN jobs, it pays to have an advanced degree. Jacksonville University offers convenient online degree programs including an RN to BSN as well as an MSN in Nursing Administration and an MSN in Nursing Education. With a flexible eight-week sessions, a 100% online classroom and interactive communication tools, you can earn an advanced degree on your schedule while balancing a full-time job and personal obligations. Ranked one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report, Jacksonville University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its Keigwin School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).