Why I Chose a Career in Health Care
For the past several years, many individuals have found themselves graduating from college but having difficulty finding a job. And in states whose economies have experienced a downturn because they are tied to the price of oil, it is even worse than ever.
A career in a health care profession is one that offers job stability and satisfaction. The stability is tied primarily to the aging of America’s baby boomers and their health care needs, and the satisfaction is centered around making a difference in people’s lives, but also the diversity of upward mobility.
A career in nursing can be very diverse. The location of our work can range from the bedside, a clinic and even your car should you choose to travel from home to home providing home health care or hospice care. Other nurses serve as case managers and assist individuals in navigating the vast health care system in order to meet their needs. Others may choose to work in public health as public health nurses dealing with everything from communicable-disease outbreaks to participating with other health care professionals in making sure that pregnant women receive prenatal care.
Recently, many nurses have chosen to pursue additional education to become an advanced practice nurse (APN). An APN is a registered nurse who has additional education and training in a specialty area. Certified nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, certified nurse-midwives and certified nurse specialists are examples of advanced practice nurses. These nurses have a master’s degree in nursing, or a doctorate degree and board certification in their chosen specialty. Although some oversight is required by physicians, especially in regards to writing prescriptions for certain medications, advanced practice nurses function autonomously. Due to their advanced degrees and their responsibilities, these nurses are highly compensated.
For me personally, my master’s degree in nursing served as a foundation to move into the health policy and health insurance industry. Although a less common path for nurses, there are nurses who hold or have held top-level positions within the federal government, and a nurse currently serves as the CEO of a large, five-state insurance company in the Midwest. Although these types of positions have taken us away from direct patient care, we are impacting populations of people by the policy decisions we make on a daily basis. And, most importantly, as nurses we have never forgotten who is most important in every decision we make—the PATIENT.
If you would like to discuss a career in nursing, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.