Nursing is a career that offers incredible personal satisfaction and consistent job growth. People generally go into a nursing career because they know the job is a good match for their goals and capabilities. But the field also offers a job security seen in few other fields.
A recent 25 Best Jobs of 2020 report by U.S. News and World Report rated some of the top jobs in the United States and three nursing jobs made the list. Although many nurses know how valuable their skills are in the job market, seeing three distinct nursing paths represented shows the breadth of the nursing industry.
Of the three nursing positions, a job as a nurse anesthetist came in at number 21 based in part on the high salary (an average of $167,950) and the high demand for nurses in this specialty. Nurse anesthetists also may see a 17 percent increase in employment openings between now and 2028.
Registered nurses come in at number 13 on the list. This career will see an estimated 12 percent increase in jobs by 2028, with nearly 372,000 possible job openings. The sheer number of job openings reflects a need for RNs across the country. RNs will be able to find opportunities in all areas, with rural nurses in particular need. Those in gerontological nursing are also in increasing demand to meet the growing senior population as Baby Boomers reach milestone birthdays over 65.
Nurse practitioners (NPs) will also be in high demand over the next decade, says U.S. News. Nurse practitioners can expect incredibly robust job growth in the next eight years, with a 28 percent jump predicted. That amounts to just over 53,000 estimated additional job openings. Nurse practitioners are needed across the nursing spectrum, and their salary reflects the additional demand and educational preparation required for this role. NPs command an average annual salary of $107,030, landing this career on another list of jobs paying more than $100,000 per year.
With three diverse nursing positions making the top 25 job list for the year, a nursing career path offers job security, excellent salaries, career growth, and personal satisfaction. The three positions on the list all require different academic paths and responsibilities, meaning that the nursing industry has a place for those who are devoted to caring for others and helping to improve the health of the public and who may not take the same steps to get there.
Across the board, nurses can take pride in the recognition of an industry in demand. Nurses save lives, educate patients and families, support their healthcare teams, encourage community health, and provide a village for other nurses. Seeing so much potential for job growth is exciting and reaffirming for those in the nursing industry.
Of all the professions available, nursing offers one of the most flexible and diverse set of opportunities to people with similar training. One of the reasons so many people stay in nursing the because they are able to stretch their professional skills and try new roles. With additional training or certification, a nurse can move into a specific cardiac specialty or try something as broad as travel nursing.
Even with so many options, nurses can easily get into a job rut. There are a few ways to tell if you’ve reached a point where you feel like you’re stagnating. If any of these signs feel familiar, it’s time to take a step back to reassess what you’re doing in your current role. You might be able to change things up by talking to your supervisor about taking on new responsibility or it might just be time to seek out something else.
How can you tell if you’re in a job rut?
1. Are you happy to go to work?
You don’t have to leap out of bed ready to get right to work with a smile on your face. It’s not that kind of happy. But if you genuinely dread going to work or, worse, if you are feeling real physical symptoms from job stress, it’s time to reconsider what you’re doing. Your job shouldn’t give you headaches, stomach aches, feelings of panic, or an overall sense of hopelessness.
2. Do you feel challenged?
If work feels like you’re just biding your time, then your time is probably best spent in some other role. Your job should offer you enough new tasks or put you in different roles so you’re learning new skills. Whether it is a new technology at your organization or a new management skill, adding to your skill set is important for your overall job growth. If you aren’t getting that, you’re missing out and also hurting your long-term job prospects.
3. Do you feel your skills are being used well?
If you have expertise, it should be highlighted and used to your and your organization’s advantage. Your skills should help every professional around you do a better job and do it more efficiently and safely. You might have to point it out and find ways to make sure your expertise is used to its full advantage, but don’t let it stagnate.
4. Are you satisfied with your work environment?
Working with people isn’t always easy, but it can bring about life changing results. If your work environment feels toxic, whether from a bullying situation or from management that doesn’t support nurses, then it’s time to move on. And, of course, if you don’t feel safe in your environment, that’s a red flag that it’s time to move on immediately.
5. Are you always reading job boards?
Everyone looks, but if you’re looking and thinking how much a new job would improve your life, you might be right. If you want a bigger salary or better benefits and you can get that somewhere else, it’s time to polish up that resume.
Honest job dissatisfaction shouldn’t be ignored. If your current role is holding you back, eating away at your spirit, or preventing you from learning new skills, then it’s time to reassess and consider moving on. You shouldn’t be stuck in a job rut.
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