Purpose of NursingProcess.org

If you've considered entering the healthcare industry as a nurse, you have likely found that it can be difficult to find relevant and easily digestible information online. Rather than using numerous websites for research purposes, NursingProcess.org exists to simplify your search by bringing you access to nursing education and career information that is based on data in your state. Also, to help students aspiring to pursue other healthcare careers, we have included information about other healthcare programs and careers as well. With the information you find here, you can make better choices about your nursing or healthcare education and plan your career path to ensure a smooth transition from school into the workforce.

Bravo to all our Healthcare Workers! In America’s war against the novel coronavirus, we are forever indebted for the tireless efforts offered by our nurses, doctors, and all the other people on the frontline. Risking your lives, working round the clock to treat patients, and living away from your families, you have fought this battle to save valuable lives. Thank You from the Bottom of our Hearts! We will never forget your exhaustion, determination and selfless service. You are our True Heroes!

Latest from Our Blog's (2023)

Why Become a Nurse Practitioner? (21 Great Reasons by an NP)

Many people who decide to pursue a career in healthcare have been drawn to the field for years.

What is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner?

Have you considered an advanced nursing career that specializes in treating mental illness and that promotes mental wellness?

Nurse Practitioner vs. Physician Assistant - Which Career is Better?

If you have an interest in obtaining an advanced degree in the medical field, you may be wondering if becoming a nurse practitioner (NP) or physician assistant (PA) is right for you.

How Long is Nurse Practitioner School? (Nurse Practitioner Length of School)

Being a Nurse Practitioner is a highly sought-after role for both employers and aspiring healthcare professionals.

MSN vs. DNP - Which Degree is Better?

If you are a registered nurse with a desire to advance your education, you may have considered obtaining a master's of science in nursing (MSN) or a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP).

Nurse Practitioner School Requirements - Admission & Prerequisites

If you have been considering advancing your nursing degree and becoming a nurse practitioner, it is essential to understand what the nurse practitioner school requirements are for the various degree programs.

Top 8 Reasons Why You Should Enroll in an RN to BSN Program?

Are you looking to boost your nursing career to the next level? Nearly half of all hospitals and health care settings require new hires to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), while 82.1% express a preference for hiring BSN program graduates.

14 Popular Types of Nurse Practitioner Specialties and Sub-Specialties

Are you looking at nurse practitioner programs and wondering what specialty you should choose? Are you confused about what types of nurse practitioners there are?

How Hard Is Nursing School? (Expert Tips On How To Survive)

Before I became a second career nurse, I already had almost a decade of experience working for a medical device sales company, and often worked alongside other nurses (on the business side).

More from our Blog Section

Why Become a Nurse?

While there are seemingly limitless professions in the healthcare industry, there are numerous reasons why you should consider becoming a nurse.

1. Make a Difference in People’s Lives: If you think back to your most recent interaction with staff at a clinic or hospital, you are more likely to remember the nursing staff than anyone else. That's because nurses are essentially the faces of the industry, and they work hard to ensure they truly make a difference in their patients' lives. Each and every day, nurses across the country save lives or improve their patients' quality of life through intervention and preventative care. This is a career you can feel good about.

2. Most-Trusted Profession: Nursing regularly tops Gallup Poll results as the most ethical and trusted profession in the country, and it has done so for 16 years. In fact, 84% of those polled in the survey ranked nursing ethics and honesty as "high" or "very high, and three of the professions that rank the highest are in the medical field. Nurses truly care for their patients and do their very best to treat them with dignity and respect.

3. Strong Demand for New Nurses: The demand for nurses across the country is very high. In fact, it is so high that many states are experiencing crisis-level nursing shortages that are expected to worsen. Research conducted in the spring of 2018 by Mercer, a global healthcare staffing consultancy firm, and published by CNN showed that these shortages are especially pronounced in rural areas. With this information in mind, you can feel confident that you will be able to find employment immediately after graduation.

4. Great Salary and Benefits: Nursing is one of the several healthcare positions that offers an excellent salary and fantastic benefits. Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses (LPNs/LVNs) earned an average of $55,860 a year in 2022, and registered nurses (RNs) earned roughly $89,010 a year. If you choose to pursue a graduate degree, you could become a nurse practitioner (NP). In 2022, the average salary for this profession was $124,680 a year.

5. Job Stability and Security: Nurses enjoy much higher than average job stability and security. Due to the current shortage, there are numerous employment opportunities in settings like hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and even home health - the area expected to be hit the hardest by the lack of qualified nurses by 2025.

6. Diverse Opportunities: The nursing field is also known for its incredible diversity and numerous opportunities. For example, if you choose to work in a hospital, you might opt to work in trauma or emergency medicine, obstetrics, or even pediatrics. You could work for a specialist in a private practice, or you could even work in home health. Some nurses choose to work in schools, and still others opt to volunteer some of their time to free clinics in their local areas. No matter what setting you prefer - and no matter your ultimate career goals - you will have the opportunity to choose one that suits your preferences as a nurse.

7. Flexible Schedules: Though you have probably been told that nurses often work incredibly long shifts and many, many hours per week, the truth is that your schedule can be quite flexible. Of course, if you work in a hospital or nursing and rehabilitation center, you may find yourself working overnights, weekends, or even holidays - these facilities never close, and nurses are always required. Conversely, working in a clinic or private office allows for more predictability, and many agencies that hire home health nurses will allow you to set your own schedule to a degree.

8. Room for Growth: Imagine for a moment that you start off as a certified nurse assistant (CNA), then move on to nursing by obtaining a certificate or diploma that qualifies you for LPN/LVN licensure. Later, if you decide to take on more responsibility and a larger salary by furthering your education, an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) will allow you to work as an RN. You might also choose a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to enhance your employability, and further down the line, you could return to school again to obtain your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or a nurse practitioner (NP).

9. Keeps You on Your Toes: Finally, if there's one thing that can be said of the nursing profession, it's that no two days are ever the same. There's a certain amount of unpredictability in this profession, and there's always the opportunity to solve a new puzzle, to help a new person, or to save another life. Nursing is an excellent career for you if you are naturally curious, if you perform well under pressure, and if critical thinking is a strong suit.

What Does a Nurse Do?

To put it simply, nurses serve as the main point of contact for patients in hospitals, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, and in many cases, even doctor's offices. Duties for each profession within the nursing field will vary:

1. Certified Nursing Assistant

As a CNA, your duties are centered on helping nurses care for patients and include:

• Delivering food and drinks to patients in their rooms at mealtimes or assisting patients in assembling in a dining area;
• Taking vital signs;
• Checking in on patients frequently to ensure their comfort and progress;
• Observing patients carefully and reporting findings to the nurse;
• Charting patient information, typically via a computerized system;
• Answering call lights; and
• Assisting patients with basic needs including bathing, grooming, and more.

2. Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse

An LPN or LVN assumes more responsibility than a CNA, and while duties will vary from one state and facility to the next, they typically include:

• Taking vital signs;
• Monitoring patients’ recovery following procedures, surgeries, or treatments;
• Changing bandages and providing wound care;
• Giving out medications;
• Reporting information about patients to doctors and RNs;
• Documenting, charting, and recording patient information;
• Inserting and removing catheters and IV drips; and
• Tending to patients’ basic needs by answering call lights, assisting CNAs with bathing and grooming tasks, and more.

3. Registered Nurse

A registered nurse has more responsibilities than an LPN/LVN since their additional education and training allows them to work independently. Responsibilities and duties include:

• Dispensing and administering medications to patients;
• Analyzing and diagnosing test results;
• Directly supervising LPNs/LVNs and CNAs;
• Managing nursing staff;
• Creating or assisting in the creation of detailed care plans for patients;
• Analyzing data provided by CNAs and LPNs/LVNs for presentation to patients’ doctors; and
• Patient care tasks such as IV and catheter insertion or removal, administering injections, caring for wounds, and assisting in in-office or even surgical procedures when required.

4. Nurse Practitioner

A nurse practitioner must have a master’s or doctoral degree and performs a broad range of services under the supervision and review of a licensed physician. These include:

• Independently seeing patients during office calls, in emergency rooms or trauma centers, or at hospitals;
• Ordering labs, x-rays, and other tests to come up with diagnoses for these patients;
• Prescribing medications to patients who need them (with the exception of controlled medications);
• Preparing patients’ medical histories;
• Working very closely with physicians to ensure the best possible patient outcomes;
• Performing minor in-office procedures for patients, such as biopsies and IUD insertion/removal; and
• Creating and communicating detailed care plans for patients.

Quick Nursing Salary Facts – As Per Latest Figures Released by US Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2022

1. Certified Nursing Assistant

A CNA's salary is concurrent with other entry-level healthcare field salaries. They earn an average of $36,220 a year, or roughly $17.41 an hour. CNAs who are only starting their careers may earn as little as $28,030, but those with plenty of experience working in high-demand locations can earn up to $45,940 annually. Over the last five years, CNA salaries have grown by about 26.91% overall.

CNA Salary
Annual $36,220
Hourly $17.41
Monthly $3,020
Salary Range $28,030 - $45,940
Last 5 Years Salary Growth (2017-2022) 26.91%
((Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

2. Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse

Due to their increased responsibilities, an LPN/LVN will earn significantly more than a CNA. The average annual salary for this profession is $55,860, with those at the low end of the scale earning $40,490 a year and those at the upper end earning as much as $72,650. These figures vary based on location, employer, and experience. Between 2017 and 2022, LPN/LVN salaries grew by 22.21%

LPN/LVN Salary
Annual $55,860
Hourly $26.86
Monthly $4,660
Salary Range $40,490 - $72,650
Last 5 Years Salary Growth (2017-2022) 22.21%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. Registered Nurse

Registered nurses across the US earn an average yearly salary of $89,010 - far more than their LVN/LPN counterparts. This is due in part to their education and ability to take on additional responsibility. Less experienced RNs earn as little as $61,250 each year, but those who have a great deal of experience and work in demanding settings can earn up to $129,400 annually. RNs have enjoyed 21.02% overall salary growth over the last five years.

RN Salary
Annual $89,010
Hourly $42.80
Monthly $7,420
Salary Range $61,250 - $129,400
Last 5 Years Salary Growth (2017-2022) 21.02%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

4. NP

Because NPs take on many of the same responsibilities as doctors and often have six to eight years of schooling and education, they earn the highest salary of all nurses at $124,680 a year on average. Those who are just starting out earn about $87,340 a year, but those who have years of experience and an excellent reputation can earn up to $165,240 annually. NP salary growth in the last five years far surpassed that of CNAs, LPNs, and RNs at 16.00%.

NP Salary
Annual $124,680
Hourly $59.94
Monthly $10,390
Salary Range $87,340 - $165,240
Last 5 Years Salary Growth (2017-2022) 16.00%
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Quick Nursing Employment Outlook Facts

1. Certified Nursing Assistant

CNAs are vitally important to patient care in numerous settings, including in hospitals and in long-term care facilities. As more patients age and require medical care in their later years, the demand for CNAs to help provide basic medical and occupational care will climb. Between 2022 and 2032, 56,500 new jobs will be created, representing growth of 4.15%.

Current Employment Number of Certified Nursing Assistants 10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2022-2032)
20222032Growth in NumberGrowth in %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

2. Licensed Practical Nurse or Licensed Vocational Nurse

Currently, there are 655,000 LPNs/LVNs working across the country, and by 2032, that number is expected to climb to 689,900 representing a growth of 5.33%. This growth will be fueled primarily by the increasing average life expectancy due to access to new technologies and medications that will lead to more care for a longer time.

Current EmploymentNumber of Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2022-2032)
20222032Growth in NumberGrowth in %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

3. Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are in the highest demand of all the nursing professions. There are currently almost three million RNs across the country, and by 2032, that number is projected to climb to 3,349,900 - a growth of nearly 5.59%. The IOM’s push for nurses to be educated at the baccalaureate degree or higher is fueling this upward trend, as is research showing how BSN-educated RNs play an integral role in better overall patient outcomes.

Current EmploymentNumber of Registered Nurses10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2022-2032)
20222032Growth in NumberGrowth in %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

4. Nurse Practitioner

Although there are fewer NPs across the country than even LPNs/LVNs at just 323,900 as of today, research is showing that this profession is vital for providing an adequate level of patient care both now and in the future. By 2032, there will be 384,900 nurse practitioners in the country, representing a tremendous growth of 44.54%, with a vast majority of them working in physicians' offices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers.

Current EmploymentNumber of Nurse Practitioners10 Year New Job Growth Projection (2022-2032)
20222032Growth in NumberGrowth in %
(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)