With 2.6 million jobs and counting, the career path of the registered nurse (RN) can take a whole host of paths in the medical field. With hiring opportunities in hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, labs, clinics, specialty care facilities, and more, becoming an RN can be as rewarding as the nurse or student themselves dictates. However, with loads of different careers from licensed practical nurse to nurse practitioner available and in demand, which is the best for you?
To help those considering a move into the world of the registered nurse, we have gathered the below 25 reasons to become an RN. They include many statistics, figures, and even words of wisdom from registered nurses themselves on the subject. So whether you’re looking for an anecdote or just some serious salary information, they are all contained below.
Statistical Reasons to Become an RN
Get the numbers and statistics on becoming an RN below.
- Job Opportunities
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to be excellent. This means that demand for nurses is expected to rise higher than the average for other jobs. There are also loads of other stats on the career such as educational qualifications, salary, and job prospects here.
According to bls.gov, the mean annual wage for a registered nurse is currently $66,530 per year. This figure is for a full-time staff nurse. But it doesn’t include bonuses such as health insurance, retirement plan, and others.
- Experience Counts
As with any other job, the more years of experience a registered nurse has, the better the pay.
- Many Paths, Many Pays
Because an RN works in many fields, check out this salary report from Indeed. They currently list the average salary for an RN as $71,000. Scrolling down can tell you the pay for many other specialties in registered nursing from RN LVN Nurse ($50,000) to RN Operating Room ($80,000).
- State of Salary
While the above may seem promising, average salary for an RN often has a lot to do with which state the nurse receives their license to practice in. This salary chart gives potential RNs the opportunity to get an idea of salary by state from Alabama to Wyoming.
- Job Security
The economy may rise and fall due to all sorts of external and internal factors, but nursing is one of the few career paths that is little effected. According to this report by the “Missoulian,” actual registered nurses report that they are not worried about downturns in the economy. And even if they do lose their jobs, they are confident in their ability to find another one.
- Satisfaction Almost Guaranteed
How many other jobs can have 83 percent of people reported as being satisfied? According to Medscape, that was the number of registered nurses who reported being everything from very to a little satisfied with their profession. Click the article to get the entire report, as well as corresponding figures.
- Two Years to Spare?
With many career paths taking four to six and even eight years of schooling, costs in total tuition and in wages lost while studying can add up to far more than previously thought. With one of the most common paths to becoming a nurse being the associate’s degree, it can take only two years to get a degree in nursing, along with being qualified to take the national nurse exam.
- But Wait, There’s More!
If you are already an LPN (licensed practical nurse), you already have the foundation to turn your current credentials into an RN license. This article puts the time at one and half years to become an RN, but this can be lessened if applicable courses have been taken and can transfer over.
Rhetoric Reasons to Become an RN
Numbers can be great, but sometimes words can best put why a career is fulfilling, with the below emphasizing registered nurses.
- Signing Bonuses
How many other jobs will give you a bonus just for getting hired? Some employers are so desperate for qualified nurses, they can hand out thousands of dollars in bonuses up front just for committing to a job. In fact, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps offers $25,000 for nurses who pass their test.
- Shift Happens
Sean Dent is a nurse and checks in with Scrubs Mag to write all about why he is a nurse. Out of the many reasons given, he focuses on the variety of shifts a nurse enjoys. With only imagination and choice being limits, shift work is one of the most fulfilling elements of being a nurse for him.
- Flexibility Factor
While many jobs force candidates into a nine to five work week, registered nurses are exempted from this. There are many hours in which they can choose to work including evenings, nights, weekends, and even the traditional work load. All Business even reports that many RNs choose to work part time.
- Goals Matter
The blogger known only as alsal41 describes why they became a nurse here. At the age of 47, they completed their life’s desire and write all about it. A history of their fondness of the medical field and why it matters now is also shared.
- Inspiration is All Around
Nurse Ratched’s Place is one of the top nursing blogs in all the web. In this entry, Mother Jones shares why she is a nurse. Old idols and inspiration for new, younger nurses are all included.
- Repeat History
In order to learn how nurses make a difference, stop here to see how they did it in the past. Working Nurse includes the history of nursing, including the RN, in this entry. Florence Nightingale, the Civil War, and even the very first nursing student are all taught.
- Love What You Do
Angela Brook shares mental happiness with today’s nurses on her blog. In this entry, she shares why she loves her career for Nurses Week. Some of the many reasons include the patients, families, satisfaction, and team she gets to work with.
One of the many misconceptions on nursing is that they are just there to follow doctor’s orders. Stephanie Winters, a nursing student, shares why an RN license is an important stepping stone to furthering a degree and the cause of healthcare. Her future plans for combining a nursing career and MBA are also shared.
- Why I’m a Nurse
Anyone can write about why being a nurse is great, but Kim Kuebler goes a step further here. In this video for YouTube, she discusses why she is a nurse in person. Opportunities and achievements she has accomplished are shared.
Other Reasons to Become an RN
Get the best of the rest in other reasons to become an RN below.
- You Can Only Go Up
The RN license is a stepping stone to many other nursing professions such as nurse practitioner and advanced practice nurse. The “Statesman” reports on which type of nurses can actually earn more than their M.D. counterparts. Long story short: a salary well into the six figure range is offered.
- Top Ten Not Just for Letterman
So which of the nursing careers are the best paying? Check out this article from Nursing Link to see which and how much. Although extra nursing credentials are often required, the RN is a must for entering into advanced practice.
- Work Abroad
While opportunities to study abroad can be limited and costly, this is not true for the travel nurse. They work on a contract basis and can be sent across the country and globe. It is also an excellent way for recent graduates to decide where and what field they would like to practice in.
- Equal Opportunity Abound
Although nursing may have started out as a womanly profession, the term “male nurse” is now becoming less and less common. “The Chicago Tribune” reports on the trend of men entering the nursing profession and which they are most likely to enter into.
- Above and Beyond
If you are looking for a way to volunteer and really put your nursing skills where they are needed, there are many opportunities for you. Service Leader includes an in-depth student paper on the subject. Sections include letting the nursing process work for you, values, volunteer protections, and even a section on volunteering abroad.
- Best Nurse Ever
So what makes a nurse stand out in today’s times? Braden at the Emergency Room Blog shares the secret to what truly makes a nurse great. Actual experiences and patient quotes are shared.
- Nurse Quotes
Because every job has its own inside jokes and lingo, stop here. Life Tips shares quotes just for and by nurses. Everything from the hilarious to the inspirational is shared.
And the above 25 reasons to become an RN are just a stepping stone. Everyone from those considering a career path in nursing to students to nurses looking to move up can all find unique reasons of their own to become an RN.