by: Marcus Peterson
By all available indications, job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to rise during the next few years. Although most still work in hospitals (inpatient and outpatient departments), others are engaged in the offices of physicians, nursing care facilities, home health care services, employment services, government agencies and outpatient care centers. The rest mostly join social assistance agencies and educational services, both in public and private sectors.
Job opportunities in hospitals are expected to grow at a comparatively slower rate than in most other sectors, as the number of inpatients is not likely to go up in a big way. However, rapid growth is likely in outpatient facilities. As more state-of-the-art procedures are now being performed in physicians' offices and outpatient care centers, employment is likely to grow faster in these places. In the nursing care facilities sector, the number of jobs is set to grow faster because of the rise in the number of elderly, many of whom need long-term care.
A rise in employment is also expected in specialized long-term rehabilitation units for stroke and head-injury patients, and Alzheimer's victims. More jobs are likely to be available in home health care also, because of the increase in the number of older persons with functional disabilities and consumersÃ¯Â¿Â½ preference for treatment at home.
As more and more vistas open up for nurses, they need to be flexible. For those who have advanced education and training, opportunities are great.
Compensation packages for nurses depend on various factors like location, type of nursing, training and education. Annual starting salaries for entry-level staff nurses are usually between $30,000 and $45,000. Apart from that, they receive additional pay for evening, night and weekend shifts. Nurses also often receive benefits like health insurance, pension plans, vacation, holiday pay, college tuition reimbursement, child care and flexible scheduling.
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