Between the well-established nursing shortage and the demands of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare institutions across the country are searching to fill positions in order to optimize patient care.
As a result, there is always a need for more training and education for nurses to move up the ladder, gain more responsibilities, have a more significant impact and ultimately earn more.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of registered nurses (RN) is projected to grow 9% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Approximately 194,500 openings for nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings will result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force (or retire).
As healthcare professionals invent new and better ways to treat illness, patients will need more treatments, meaning the industry will need more people to help supervise them.
Critical Areas for Nurses
Many possibilities exist for working with specific patient groups. The following list includes some examples of high-demand nursing roles for nurses with a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree:
- Addiction Nurses care for patients who need help to overcome addictions to alcohol, drugs and other substances.
- Cardiovascular Nurses care for patients who have heart disease or heart conditions and people who have had heart surgery.
- Critical Care Nurses work in intensive care units in hospitals, providing care to patients with serious, complex and acute illnesses and injuries that need close monitoring and treatment.
- Genetics Nurses provide screening, counseling and treatment for patients with genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis.
- Neonatal Nurses take care of newborn babies who encounter health issues.
- Nephrology Nurses care for patients with kidney-related health issues stemming from diabetes, high blood pressure, substance abuse or other causes.
- Public Health Nurses promote public health by educating people on warning signs and symptoms of disease or managing chronic health conditions. They may also run health screenings, immunization clinics, blood drives or other community outreach programs.
- Rehabilitation Nurses care for patients who have disabilities or chronic illnesses.
- Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs) are a type of advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). They provide direct patient care in one of many nursing specialties, such as psychiatric-mental health or pediatrics. CNSs also provide indirect care by working with other nurses and medical staff to improve the patients’ quality of care. They often serve in leadership roles and may educate and advise other nursing staff. CNSs also may conduct research and may advocate for certain policies.
- Oncology Nurses provide emotional support while administering chemotherapy and radiation.
- Hospice/Palliative Care Nurses care for terminally ill patients to ensure that death is dignified and comfortable. The goal of hospice is not to cure but to support with proper pain management and supplemental care from the healthcare team, clerics and others that are important to the patient.
For those who want to work on the administrative side of healthcare, some opportunities do not require a registered nurse to work directly with patients. Still, those in these roles must still have an active registered nurse license. For example, they may work as nurse educators, healthcare consultants or hospital administrators.
Training and Education
To become a registered nurse, individuals must have specific degree requirements or certifications that represent their expertise in nursing.
Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate degree in nursing or a diploma from an approved nursing program. In order to start working, they must have a registered nurse license, obtained through passing an exam called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
For those who aim to be a CNS, a master’s degree in nursing is required, and a doctoral degree is required for those who conduct research. Most administrative and APRN positions require a master’s degree in nursing or a doctoral degree.
Prepare for Success With an RN to BSN Degree
One way to continue to become the nurse your community needs is to further your career in nursing and earn your BSN degree. Those who enroll in the RN to BSN online program at Youngstown State University will create a strong foundation for their desire to transform healthcare.
In as few as 10 months, students will be ready to move forward with their nursing careers. They’ll have a solid grasp on areas like evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning — both of which drive a culture of safety to better serve patients, colleagues and the environment.
All students will learn to sharpen their practical and analytical skills, broaden their understanding of best practices and take on more responsibilities as a leader in a hospital or healthcare organization.
Graduates from YSU’s program will be able to evaluate and document patient information, focus on community health, develop leadership skills within the RN role, comprehend intervention techniques and be proactive regarding disease prevention.
Learn more about Youngstown State University’s online RN to BSN program.