Is Medical/Nursing Services a Good Career Path?

In a recent poll by analytics and advisory company Gallup, nurses were rated as the most trusted professionals among Americans, even more than doctors. This is because of the relationships that they form with patients and their loved ones as they carry out treatment and care plans. Being a nurse entails a specific touch and care that those in need are looking for, making it a great career path for those who feel the passion to serve people.

While the job can be demanding, the profession remains a very fulfilling career for many. Due to the growing needs of populations in the US and all over the world, medical and nursing services continue to grow in demand, making it also a financially fulfilling career path.

After becoming a licensed or registered nurse, advanced practice specializations provide better opportunities, both professionally and financially. The nursing services field encompasses a broad spectrum of healthcare and medical assistance delivered by licensed nurses to patients of varying needs.

What are the Best Medical/Nursing Services Jobs?

The significance of nursing services lies in their role in upholding patient well-being, ensuring comfort, and providing high-quality healthcare. The basic requirement for most of these positions is a registered nurse (RN) license, depending on the state where you aim to practice. The main responsibility of a nurse is to: “provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their families.”

To be an RN, one must undergo an approved nursing program, finish an associate degree in nursing, or get a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), to pursue licensure. After getting experience, RNs can start looking into specialty practices. Here are some of the best medical or nursing services jobs in the market:

Nurse Practitioner

To begin, nurse practitioners (NPs) are nurses who have the authority to diagnose and treat certain medical conditions, prescribe medications, and provide a range of healthcare services to patients of all ages, without the direct supervision of a doctor. They are licensed and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who have obtained the required additional education and clinical training as dictated by state laws.

The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners provides various certifications for those who want to pursue an NP career, which can vary from the Family NP and Adult-Gerontology NP to the Emergency NP certification programs. These certifications are all accredited by the Accreditation Board of Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC), which is the only accrediting body specifically for nursing certification.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is another option for an advanced practice career path for registered nurses. CRNAs are trained and licensed to administer anesthesia, monitor patients’ vital signs, manage pain, and ensure patient safety during surgical or medical interventions. Their difference from anesthesiologists is almost the same as NPs and medical doctors: one is a licensed nurse, and the other is a licensed doctor.

CRNAs are required to have master’s degrees or doctoral degrees in advanced anesthesia. They can work in various settings, such as postanesthesia recovery rooms (PACU), emergency rooms (ERs), outpatient surgery centers, and labor and delivery units. Becoming a CRNA requires passing the board for National Certification Examination for Nurse Anesthetists.

Certified Nurse Midwife

A Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), on the other hand, specializes in providing healthcare services to women. They are trained to provide services that promote healthy pregnancies, safe childbirth experiences, and comprehensive women’s health care. They are licensed to assist with natural childbirth, offer medical interventions if needed, and provide gynecological exams, family planning services, and prenatal care.

CNMs or Certified Midwives (CMS) take graduate-level midwifery programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME). They must also pass a national certification examination administered by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB). They can work in clinics, birthing centers, health departments, or practice privately.

Nurse Manager

On the administrative side, RNs can take on higher and supervisorial roles by becoming nurse managers. After years of relevant experience, nurse managers are assigned to ensure the tracking of nurses in a department, ward, or clinic, which includes scheduling of the nurses, training of new hires, and development and education with regard to new technologies or equipment. They also represent nurses’ needs and welfare in administrative meetings.

Nurse managers are preferred to have extensive nursing experience, along with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Certifications, which may be required depending on the state or the hospital, include the American Organization for Nursing Leadership’s (AONL) Certified Nurse Manager and Leader (CNML). Nurse managers are critical in maintaining the efficiency of hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric institutions, and clinics.

Pediatric Nurse

Certified Pediatric Nurses (CPN) specialize in providing services to children from birth to adolescence. This field requires special training and education, as these formative years are critical to the overall health of a human being. They must also have a different approach to their patients, as these are children who may be scared, angry, or have difficulty conveying their pains or emotions.

To become a CPN, one must pass the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board’s (PNCB) CPN exam. The certification must be renewed annually by finishing fifteen (15) contact hours or PNCB-accepted equivalents. Pediatric nurses are in demand in children’s hospitals, clinics, maternity and children’s wards, and public organizations. They can also practice privately.

Why Choose Medical/Nursing Services as a Career?

Every state or country needs nurses. It is a stable career option that also allows for flexibility and lifelong learning. Specializing in specific nursing services not only shows one’s expertise in a certain area, but also helps further one’s career. While it takes years of education, training, and experience, it also helps guarantee better compensation. These advanced practice careers for RNs make them more in demand with specialty institutions.

What are the Opportunities in Medical/Nursing Services?

Opportunities in the medical/nursing services industry continue to grow, as projected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Moreover, RNs make up the largest occupation in hospitals as of 2019, with over 1.8 million jobs, which is around 30% of total hospital employment. This only shows how much the healthcare industry needs nurses.

How Much Do You Get Paid?

Salary expectations begin with the median annual wage for registered nurses, which is around $77,600 as of 2021. Salary range is from $59,450 up to $120,250, depending on their experience, state, and the institution they are working for.

Nurse practitioners, due to their advanced and specialized nursing skills, can expect a higher annual average salary. Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners can expect an annual average salary of $123,780 as of 2021, with a base salary of $79,870. This can go up as high as $200,540, depending on the demand and specialty.

On the administrative side, nurse managers can expect an average salary of $58,470 annually, and can go as high as $87,591. Other related professions, such as licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earn an average of $48,070 annually.

What is the Future of Medical/Nursing Services Professionals

In the United States, employment for RNs is expected to grow 6% from 2021 to 2031. RNs can also expect more than 200,000 openings to open up for these positions each year over the next decade. This is because of the increasing number of older people in the population. For those specializing in home care, more people, especially older ones, prefer to be treated at home or in residential care facilities. Many families also prefer home births.

Nurse practitioners are projected to have the fastest rate of employment growth of 28% in the next ten years. Being a nurse is also among the fastest-growing occupations in the economy. This means that RNs or aspiring RNs should look into these advanced practices should they aim for better compensation and accreditations.

Advanced Career Growth

Registered nurses have many opportunities for career growth within the medical or nursing services field. The paths for advanced practice registered nurses lead to better compensation, specialized training, and varying levels of demand.

Advanced nursing professions, such as nurse practitioners, anesthetists, midwives, managers, and pediatric nurses all require passing different board exams and programs. Continued education is also very important for accrediting or certifying bodies. As our population grows, the demand for nurses also grows. A stable demand is waiting for those willing to go the extra mile for their career growth.