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The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment opportunities for registered nurses are expected to increase faster than the average for all occupations through to 2012. Registered nurses also happen to constitute the largest sector of the healthcare industry, so once you have completed your nursing registration program, you can be sure there will be great demand for your caring skills.

Registered nurses are at the forefront of health promotion and disease prevention working closely with patients, families and others in the healthcare profession. Most nurses in the nursing sector are hospital based providing bedside care including assistance with examinations, administration of drugs and injections, dressing wounds, assistance with minor surgery and records maintenance. Hospital nurses can be assigned to different departments such as maternity, pediatrics, intensive care or surgery, and duties will vary accordingly.

Once qualified, registered nurses have great opportunities to specialize in different areas of healthcare such as midwifery, preventative care and increasingly, home healthcare because of the growth in the elderly population.

There are three main routes to becoming a registered nurse: bachelor of science degree (BSN), associate degree in nursing (ADN) or diploma. A BSN program takes four years to complete at university or college and offers the broadest employment opportunities. The AN route is taken via community or junior college and takes two to three years. Three-year nursing diploma programs are pursued in hospitals, but the number of diploma programs is on the decrease.

So with the excellent forecast for job opportunities and the chance of many different nursing specialties, why not embark on a rewarding career as a registered nurse?

Publish date: February 10, 2011