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Top 10 Nursing Careers on the Rise

By Kristin Royce

These days, opportunities in nursing have increased and become much more varied.

Along with this is the continued demand for more qualified nurses as the health care field is becoming more complex with specialized fields expanding and the large population of retiring nurses leaving the workplace.

Nurses are now able to find careers that can be more rewarding and specialized outside of the hospital setup.

For anyone who has a desire to help to others, has a keen interest in high quality medicine, or who is into the exploration of new places and people, here are the top 10 nursing careers rise.

Travel Nursing

Currently, there are many towns and cities in the country and the world that are in desperate need of qualified nurses. In response to the growing nursing shortage, the travel nurse industry has quickly become a lucrative career for qualified nurses.

Travel nursing is an exciting career where nurses travel to work temporary short-term positions in different locations and in various capacities. The role offers higher pay than typical stationary positions, professional growth and development, and personal adventure.

Depending on the circumstances, compensation can range from $24 to $42 per hour. Nurses with an RN nursing degree will have the easiest time qualifying for travel nursing positions across the United States as the degree requires a national board exam. LPN's will need to check licensing requirements for each state and apply for temporary licenses when needed.

Military Nursing

Here you will be working with the military forces both at home and overseas. When you work in the Armed Services, opportunities for further education, travel, and career enhancement will be available to you. Your pay can be up to $45,000 annually, and you may be able to receive a loan to repay your nursing school fees.

Forensic Nursing

Forensic nurses work with law enforcement to collect evidence at crime and accident scenes. They are trained to identify injuries and/or death and their causes, preserve and document the chain of custody, and refer victims for appropriate follow-up care.

As a forensic nurse, you can pursue a wide array of exciting nursing career opportunities, including positions in medical examiners' offices, law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, and specialized hospital units. Salaries start around $35 per hour and can go up to $100 per hour.

This career is gaining popularity as online forensic nursing certification programs become more accessible for busy nurses who do not have time for traditional classroom training.

Legal Nurse Consultant

Certified legal nurse consultants typically work with private attorneys and corporate lawyers. LNCs not wanting to work in the court system find work outside the courtroom in hospitals and clinics, insurance companies, and government agencies. Many are hired to help provide quality assurance at pharmaceutical firms and chemical companies.

Jobs in the profession are on the rise as more and more companies introduce medications and devices that are federally approved, reviewed, or contested in the courtroom or by government agencies.

Like forensic nursing, a legal nurse consultant certification can be gained through online nursing degree programs making it a very attractive opportunity for working nurses.

Surgical Nursing

Surgical nurses give assistance to doctors when there are serious surgical procedures to be done such as organ transplants and neurosurgery. You will also be getting patients prepared for surgery and giving assistance during surgery.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is beneficial to move forward in this profession, and RN-to-BSN programs are offered at many colleges and universities.

Salaries in this profession can exceed $80,000 per year.

Certified RN Anesthetist (CRNA)

A nurse anesthetist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) is trained to provide the same anesthesia services as an anesthesiologist (MD). This role is exceptionally rewarding for many nurses as you are responsible for the patient's well-being before, during and after the treatment that required anesthesia.

CRNAs are one of the highest paid nursing positions with a reported average annual salary of approximately $165,000.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is beneficial to explore this profession.

Nurse Practitioner

Becoming a nurse practitioner is a great career path. Quality nursing care is in serious demand, and the pay is exceptional. A nurse practitioner serves as primary and specialty care providers, providing a blend of nursing and health care services to patients and families.

The most common specialty areas for nurse practitioners are family practice, adult practice, women's health, pediatrics, acute care, and geriatrics. There are also a variety of other specialties that nurse practitioners can choose, including neonatology and mental health.

Nurse practitioners have completed advanced educational degrees beyond a Bachelor Degree. Typically, a nurse practitioner will complete either a Master's Degree or a Doctorate Degree. This advanced and specialized training allows the nurse practitioner to administer many different types of health care services to patients.

Clinical Nurse Specialist

CNSs are uniquely prepared to assume the role of case manager-one who organizes and coordinates services and resources, and who works to control costs. This makes CNSs central players in the growth of managed care, and they serve to manage the complexities and interdependencies of different parts of health care practice.

Clinical nurse specialists are clinical experts in the diagnosis and treatment of illness. They are advanced practice nurses with training and experience to take on the role of case manager in their area of specialty.

This profession is a great next step for RNs to further explore a specific area of interest and become an leader in the treatment and advanced care for it.

Clinical nurse specialists earn an average salary of close to $80,000 annually.

Staff Nurse

A staff nurse has a very important role in the health care industry. He or she must be able to make decisions based on scientific knowledge, health care procedures and standardized care plants. As a staff nurse becomes more advanced, they move on to client cases that are more complex in nature.

The median expected salary for a typical staff nurse in the United States is $62,089 and the role requires an RN certification at minimum.

Flight Nurse

A flight nurse is involved in both emergency and non-emergency transportation of patients. Inter-facility transport and "scene calls" are also a part of this career. Salaries for this intense career are generally over $60,000 a year.

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