Career Options for Nursing Degree Holders

Career Options for Nursing Degree Holders

The facts are in and it's good news for those who are thinking about getting their nursing degree and becoming a registered nurse. Among all occupations, nursing will provide the second-largest number of new jobs through 2014, based on a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Registered nurses not only treat and educate patients, they also provide emotional support and advice to patients' families. Those with nursing degrees are also responsible for recording patients' medical histories and symptoms, as well as administering medications, performing various diagnostic tests, and assisting with rehabilitation and patient follow-up. However, within the field of heath care there are a number of highly specialized kinds of nurses.

Nursing Career Options

After obtaining a high school diploma (a traditional or online high school will do) and your nursing degree you can specialize in a number of key nursing areas. Here's just a sample of the kinds of specialized nursing careers available.

  • Rehabilitation Nurses focus their attention on caring for patients facing both temporary and permanent disabilities.
  • Transplant Nurses are responsible for caring for transplant recipients and monitoring them for organ rejection, in addition to caring for living donors.
  • Holistic Nurses focus on alternative therapies, including acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy and biofeedback, which are designed to treat both a patient's spiritual and mental health in addition to their physical body.

Getting Your Nursing Degree

No matter what area of nursing you're most interested in pursing, it all starts with having the right degree. There are three primary paths to getting your nursing degree: You can participate in a diploma program at a hospital; you can get either your associate's degree in nursing (two-to-three years); or you can get your bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN) (four years). Upon completion of your degree you will also be required to take a national licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-RN before becoming a registered nurse.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Registered Nurses

Featured Programs

Online RN to BSN Obtaining your bachelor's in nursing (BSN) has been made much more possible with the Internet. Online RN to BSN programs allow you to work at home, when you have time.