Nurses conduct some or all of the following tasks on the job:
These are just a few of the tasks that nurses do at work. Of course your tasks will totally depend on where you gain employment. Not all nurses work in hospitals. There are also options to work in schools, nursing homes and other locations.
You can also choose to specialize in particular nursing departments. These can include child birth, palliative care, children's wards, counseling and more. As you study to become a nurse you will be exposed to options on each career path which will make your decision easier. However the best way to choose a career is to undergo work experience in a hospital or other medical facility. Here you become exposed to all the different specialties so that you can make a wise choice based on your area of interest.
Nurses often work very long hours involving shift work so you must be prepared for this and take it into consideration before embarking on this richly rewarding career path. Although nurses get paid a fairly high salary, nursing is not a career that people choose for money; it is usually chosen due to a passion to turn people's lives around.
Whether you are helping to deliver babies, helping injured people or assisting the ill, nursing careers are highly satisfying and rewarding. No other career offers the opportunity to make such a profound difference upon the lives of people who truly need and appreciate it.
Nursing salaries are often at the center of controversy, with most people believing that they are not high enough. Thankfully improvements are being made to increase nursing salaries which is good news for you if you are considering going into this industry.
Nursing salaries are on the rise, with 2004 seeing a 14% increase in nursing salaries. The average is said to be around the $64,000 mark with 11% of nurses in 2004 earning $75,000 or higher.
Nursing salaries for graduates differ widely between locations but the average is around $40,000 for an entry-level nurse.
The areas with the most nursing jobs available are those in large, major cities. These include Chicago, New York and Los Angeles amongst others. You can also expect higher nursing salaries in bigger cities as well as better employment benefits. Nonetheless it can be very beneficial and rewarding to be a nurse in a rural area. Sometimes you may be the only nurse on staff so you provide an exceptional service to the local community. Often nurses in very small towns achieve almost celebrity like status!
Nurses in larger cities may get paid more but their jobs are often much more stressful. There are a much larger number of patients and a variety of cases that come in. This can lead to very long hours.
Nursing salaries are heavily affected by a number of factors. Because nurses tend to work a lot of overtime their salary can rise significantly on a week per week basis. Night shifts usually pay more than day shifts, sometimes $5 or more extra per hour. Most hospitals impose 12 hour shifts on nurses so night shift workers generally start at around 7.30 pm and finish at 7.30 am. The benefit is a four day weekend and a 36 hour week which is still considered full time.
Nurses can work in a particular ward of the hospital such as the maternity ward, intensive care unit, and children's ward, among others. Nursing salaries generally do not depend upon which ward a nurse is placed in.
Nursing salaries are on the rise and provide a good standard of living for nurses who are one of the most important groups of people in our society. If you are seeking a highly rewarding career in the medical field, then working as a nurse is something for you to consider.