A career in nursing provides a host of opportunities for intriguing career paths depending on your goals and interests. Finding a nursing niche with a great fit remains important for anyone working in this field. Additionally, choosing a specialty makes sense when beginning a career, but experienced nurses also benefit from this opportunity.
Let’s look more closely at a few potential career paths for your nursing career. Use these insights to make an informed choice on what specialty makes sense for you. In the end, finding something compatible makes it easier to build a rewarding life as a medical professional.
A Certified Nursing Assistant Role Makes Sense for Exploring the Field
If nursing seems interesting, but you are unsure about a full commitment, consider a certified nursing assistant (CNA) role. In most cases, you qualify as a CNA after completing a 6-12 week certification course.
This role provides an opportunity to experience working in the field before deciding to become an LPN or RN. Your duties include assisting doctors and other nurses in a variety of ways. Expect to earn an average annual salary close to $30,000 as a CNA.
Add More Responsibility as an LPN
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) has more responsibility compared to a CNA. This role serves nicely as a stepping stone to potentially becoming an RN. Expect additional educational and certification requirements to qualify as an LPN.
LPNs also have a wider range of duties at a hospital or medical office than nursing assistants. These include checking a patient’s vital signs or even giving medication. The average salary for this role is around $46,000 per year.
Registered Nurses Provide Critical Support to Doctors
The registered nurse (RN) remains the lifeblood of the hospital or medical office. They offer direct support to physicians by taking the lead on providing patient care. Some form of nursing degree combined with passing the rigorous NCLEX exam qualify you for this role.
Naturally, RNs enjoy higher pay (an average annual salary around $74,000) and additional responsibility. These nursing professionals also have the ability to specialize in certain areas within the field. Additionally, earning a Master of Nursing degree positions you for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) designation.
APRNs qualify for the higher-level Nurse Practitioner, Certified Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse-Midwives, or Certified Nurse Anesthetist roles. Each designation offers the opportunity for salaries in the six-figure range and more vital responsibilities. Other areas of specialty for RNs and higher include oncology, ER, medical-surgical, and nurse educator.
If you need help choosing the right nursing niche, connect with the team at CHN Health Care Group. As one of the top medical staffing agencies in Boston, we can help you build a rewarding career as a nurse. Reach out to us as soon as possible!