Neonatal Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Neonatal nursing is a nursing sub-specialty.  Neonatal nurses work with infants born with a variety of problems such as premature birth, surgical complications, heart malformations, birth defects and infection.  Although the neonatal period is the first month after birth, these nurses often care for children up to age 2 who have long-term medical issues. According to the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), about 40,000 infants with low birth weights are born each year.  Thanks to many medical advances, the survival rate for these babies is 10 times higher than it was 15 years ago.  As a result, the demand for neonatal nurses is robust.  In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports demand for registered nurses overall will jump 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, a rate higher than average. The average salary of a neonatal nurse if $66,000, reports. Paths to Increase Neonatal Nurse Salary Neonatal nurses are registered nurses (RNs).  Nursing Education indicates that they can advance their careers through three levels: Level 1 nurses care for infants born healthy and with short hospital stays. Level 2 nurses take care of babies who were born prematurely or who are ill. Level 3 nurses work in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where babies need specialized care and equipment such as ventilators. Candidates for neonatal nursing positions prepare for this career by earning an associate’s (two-year) degree or a bachelor’s (four-year) degree in nursing.  They must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, more commonly cited as NCLEX-RN. Neonatal nursing also requires passing a secondary certification exam in order to be hired as a clinical nurse.  Offered through the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, it is available only after […]
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Nurse Administrator Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Nurse administrators are individuals who enjoy the challenges of leadership and the elevated compensation that accompanies them.  GraduateNursingEDU says that these nurses work in a number of healthcare settings to design, manage, and then facilitate the delivery of patient care.  In some situations, they’re responsible for negotiating contracts and managing interdisciplinary support services.  They’re experienced registered nurses (RNs) working at a managerial level. These professionals might also establish a budget and maintain its compliance.  They often recommend policy and necessary structural changes and oversee that they occur.  In short, they’re nursing leaders. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2012 median yearly pay of medical and health service managers such as nurse administrators was $88,580. This contrasts with $65,470 for RNs in general. The BLS job outlook for RNs includes a projected 2012-2022 growth rate of 19 percent.  As nursing jobs increase due to the overall graying of the U.S. population, the need for nurse administrators will also grow. Paths to Increase Nurse Administrator Salary In order to become a nurse administrator, a candidate must be an RN with several years’ experience.  Obtaining the RN credential requires completing a two-year associate program in nursing, a four-year bachelor’s degree in that field, or a three-year hospital nursing program.  Candidates must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN. A supervisory RN with administrative abilities can advance to nurse administrator with at least a bachelor’s degree.  Most earn a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing or health services administration, according to Jacksonville University. Some nurses opt to increase their compensation through completing certification programs.  Two examples of designations are Certified in Executive Nursing Practice (CENP) and Certified Nurse Manager and […]
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Psychiatric Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Psychiatric nursing is a specialty within the nursing field.  These professionals are sometimes called mental health nurses.  They work in a range of settings with communities, individuals, families and groups. The demand for these nurses, particularly those who work as advanced practice nurses, is expanding.  The University of Mississippi Medical Center indicates that the need for family psychiatric nursing is growing, particularly in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, correctional facilities and nursing homes.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the demand for registered nurses (RNs) should increase 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, a rate that is higher than average for U.S. job growth. RNs who are psychiatric nurses earn an average of $27.89 an hour, which calculates to $58,011 annually, according to PayScale.  Those who are psychiatric nurse practitioners earn an average of $89,634. Paths to Increase Psychiatric Nurse Salary The path to this subspecialty begins with becoming an RN.  Prospective nurses accomplish this through two-year programs that award associate’s degrees in nursing, three-year programs that result in a diploma in nursing or four-year college programs that award a bachelor’s degree.  Graduates of any of these programs can take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), the American Psychiatric Nurses Association states. Most psychiatric nurses further their careers by becoming advanced practice nurses.  Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (PMH-APRNs) provide primary care services such as prescribing medication and administering psychotherapy.  Many are in private practice. Healthcare professionals often refer to these advanced practice nurses as psychiatric nurse practitioners (NPs).  Scrubs ranks the average salary of these NPs as number 3 of the 10 highest-paying nursing specialties.  Another path to advancement is through working in a […]
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Acute Care Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Acute care is a nursing specialty.  Nurses in it generally work with patients for only a short time.  Typical duties might include treatment after surgery or for a chronic illness. An acute care nurse is a registered nurse (RN).  Just as the demand for RNs is robust, so is the number of acute care nursing vacancies.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of jobs for RNs will increase 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than average. In 2012, the median pay for RNs was $65,470 per year.  Specialties generally pay more.  For advanced practice specialty nurses like acute care nurse practitioners, annual compensation averages $91,450, according to Nurse Journal. Acute care nurses are highly skilled and in demand.  Rasmussen College points out that they need to learn something new each day and must solve conflicts with time management.  Job needs change continually due to new developments in health care. Paths to Increase Acute Care Nurse Salary The starting point of an acute care nursing career is the RN credential.  Candidates must complete one of several types of nursing programs and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (RCLEX-RN) to be eligible for licensing in the state where they want to work. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses indicates that because of a nurse shortage, many hospitals now offer acute care orientation and internship programs.  By taking positions in acute care subspecialty areas such as oncology, cardiac care, or geriatrics, nurses can advance their careers.  A majority of these positions require acute care nurse practitioners.  This advanced practice designation requires prior experience and at least a master’s degree in nursing. Acute care nurses can also […]
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Family Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Family nursing is a specialty that encompasses many responsibilities. These nurses meet family health needs through medical assessments, guidance, teaching, counseling, and direct care. They treat family members of all ages. Often they implement interventions to improve the health of both a family member and the family unit. All family nurses are registered nurses (RNs). The demand for RNs is strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the outlook for this profession includes 19 percent growth – faster than average – between 2012 and 2022. The median RN salary in 2012 was $65,470. Nurses in specialties typically have a higher average salary. Most family nurses are RNs who have become family nurse practitioners (NPs), or advanced practice nurses. Johnson & Johnson reports that these NPs earn an average salary of up to $85,000 a year. BLS quotes 2012 median compensation for a U.S. NP as $96,460. According to Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences, many hard-to-fill family NP positions top a salary with lucrative bonuses and benefits. Paths to Increase Family Nursing Salary The first step to a family nursing career is becoming an RN. Candidates complete a two- or four-year academic program or three years of hospital-based training. They must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, or NCLEX-RN, for licensing in each state. A majority of family nurses advance their careers by becoming family nurse practitioners. Family NPs often assume duties typically performed by a doctor, including writing prescriptions and ordering laboratory tests. They are often part of a team that’s less focused on patient-centered treatment than on taking care of the entire family, Nursing Theory explains. Becoming a family NP requires […]
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ER Nurse Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview ER nursing is a subspecialty.  What sets it apart from most other areas of nursing is the fact that most emergency patients arrive without a diagnosis and sometimes without even an indication of the problem.  ER nurses must work quickly during exams and be comfortable using advanced equipment to monitor and treat patients.  While a majority work in hospital emergency departments, some are employed by urgent care facilities.  Military nurses might be deployed to areas of armed conflict. ER nurses are registered nurses (RNs).  Demand for all types of RNs is expected to grow 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, or faster than average for U.S. occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  The median yearly compensation for an RN is $65,470, according to BLS.  However, the yearly compensation for ER nurses ranges from $45,152 to $89,393, PayScale reports. Paths to Increase ER Nurse Salary The road to becoming an ER nurse begins with earning an RN designation.  Initial steps include earning an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, according to the Campaign for Nursing’s Future.  Graduates who pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) are eligible to begin work as RNs. A new nurse is most likely to an ER nursing job at a facility that has a formal internship or orientation program aimed at non-ER nurses who want to enter that specialty, the Emergency Nurses Association indicates.  An important career step is earning the Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN) credential.  Eligibility to take this exam requires two years of experience in emergency nursing. Certifications are also available for flight emergency nursing (CFRN), pediatric emergency nursing (CPEN) and critical […]
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Pediatric Nurse Salary and Career Opportunites

Salary Overview Pediatric nursing is like most nursing specialties in that demand is high and expected to grow. Nurses skilled in this specialty will become more needed in coming years. As the population of the US ages, more nurses could specialize in geriatric specialties, pulling from the pool of available nurses away from the youngest of patients, according to Medscape. High demand will likely lead to career advancement and pay increases for RNs who can deliver great care to kids. Paths to Increase Pediatric Nurse Salary Pediatric nurses can specialize in an area of pediatric care to take their career to the next level. One avenue is pediatric oncology nursing which involves performing tests, administering medications, and communicating to doctors and parents. Many employers seek RNs with Certified Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurse (CPHON) certification. Caring for young cancer patients is not for everyone but serves as an example that specialization helps with career advancement. Entering into management can also increase career prospects. Charge nurses and unit managers step into leadership of staff to advance a team’s skill and efficiency. Those who have a passion for pediatric nursing but also want to guide and mentor other RNs are a perfect fit for this role. Additional education can open opportunities to become a pediatric nurse practitioner. This position requires a master’s degree and extra certification, but salary can be as much as 50% higher than that of a pediatric RN. Additional education and job role changes aren’t ideal for everyone, so many choose to enter into per diem or travel nursing. These roles require the same skills that pediatric nurses already have, but employ them in a fashion that typically pays more. Related Specialties RNs currently in pediatric nursing have options to use their […]
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Nursing Informatics Salary and Career Opportunities

Salary Overview Nursing informatics is a specialty area of nursing.  It combines knowledge of nursing, communications, and information science in order to convey and manage data.  Many informatics nurses make direct use of their clinical backgrounds, as well as informatics knowledge and organizational skills.  Applied jobs tend to have an emphasis on the technical areas of development and systems evaluation.  Some nurses function as experts in assessing organizational needs. Informatics nurses are registered nurses (RNs.) The demand for RNs will increase 19% between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Their median yearly pay in 2012 was $65,470. Opportunities for jobs in nursing informatics are exploding, thanks to use of electronic medical records and the general growth of information technology.  The Advance Healthcare Network for Nurses reports that as many as 70,000 health informatics specialists will be required within the next few years.  ExploreHEALTHCareers states that in 2014, the average annual salary for a nurse informaticist was $100,717. Paths to Increase Nurse Informatics Salary The path to the career ladder for someone in nurse informatics starts with becoming an RN.  This requires earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing or completing a three-year nursing program that is usually hospital-based.  Candidates must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, usually referred to as NCLEX-RN. Most RNs enter informatics through on-the-job training and already have several years’ nursing experience.  Those who obtain a master’s or doctorate or complete other post-graduate work in nursing information or a field like information management can advance to the level of an informatics nurse specialist (INS), the University of Maryland School of Nursing reports. Informatics nurses with graduate degrees can easily become nursing […]
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Nurse CE and CEU : Continuing Education for RNs 

Becoming a nursing professional (whether it’s an RN, or an advanced nurse practitioner) requires a strong educational foundation. Nurses earn a bachelor’s or advanced degree and pass the required certification exams before seeing their first patient. But once you’ve put on your scrubs and entered the working world, the learning doesn’t stop. In fact most states require nurses to complete continuing education every two to three years in order to keep their licenses and special certifications current and active. This continuing education – sometimes referred to as CEs or CEUs – are designed so that nurses can keep their patient care skills fresh, stay on top of any industry changes, and learn about new nursing techniques and practices. (more…)
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Nursing Careers : Tapping Into Endless Opportunities

To become a nurse means you must have a genuine interest in the wellness of others, and it is a career that you have to give time and attention to people, said Nyuma Harrison, nursing careers services specialist at the John Hopkins School of Nursing in Baltimore. “It’s a people business. Sometimes, the customer isn’t always right, but it’s about how you meet their needs, how you take the time to educate him/her and how you make them feel,” she says. Nursing jobs, no matter what level, involve being hands-on health professionals who have an opportunity to help someone feel better. They can promote good health habits, prevent disease and teach better living for longer lives. They can lend an understanding ear and a shoulder to cry on when a devastating illness threatens the strength of a family. Nurses also are advocates of health in their towns and communities. The field of nursing is booming, and there will be nursing jobs available for the foreseeable future. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the demand for registered nurses in the United States will climb by 19 percent by 2022; 25 percent for licensed practical nurses; and 31 percent for nurse practitioners. The big need for more nurses comes from the millions of aging Baby Boomers and the surge of more people in the health care system due to the Affordable Care Act. (more…)
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