Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Resources


Registered Nurses Rank #17 on U.S. News & World Report Best Healthcare Jobs List

U.S. News & World Report ranks jobs annually based on several factors, including median salary, employment rate, and future job prospects. According to U.S. News & World Report, registered nurses rank number 17 on the publication’s list of best healthcare jobs. Additionally, registered nurses occupy the number 22 spot on the list of top 100 jobs overall.

Regardless of your educational background, you may want to consider advancing your education to take advantage of the benefits you can find in a long-term nursing career.

Position Yourself for Possible High-Earning Potential as a Registered Nurse

Image via Flickr by Medill DC

One reason that registered nurses rank well on U.S. News & World Report‘s list lies in the career’s earning potential. According to the publication, nurses earn a median annual salary of $67,490, with the top 75th percentile earning $82,490 or more. The top 10 percent of registered nurses can earn more than $101,000.

Earning potential can vary depending on where you live. Based on U.S. News & World Report‘s findings, some of the top cities for higher nursing salaries include California cities such as San Francisco, Vallejo, and Oakland, although you may be able to find nursing opportunities in other cities and states.

Registered nurses who decide to advance their education may be able to increase their earning potential further. DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice)-prepared NPs (nurse practitioners) can earn around $8,500 more than master’s-prepared NPs, according to the journal Advance for NPs & PAs.

Look Forward to ‘Much Faster’ Career Growth in Nursing

In addition to advanced earning potential, registered nurses can also enjoy plentiful job opportunities. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nursing opportunities will increase by 16 percent between 2014 and 2024, which the BLS called a rate of growth “much faster than average.” While other industries may experience job losses, positions in healthcare may continue to grow, especially for professionals with advanced clinical study.

The BLS also states that nearly 440,000 new jobs will develop for registered nurses between 2014 and 2024. Some of those job opportunities could become concentrated in major cities, but smaller towns and rural areas could also experience increased demand for trained nurses.

Based on the BLS research, the increased demand will occur due to several reasons, including the following:

  • An aging population that may need more medical care
  • Increases in the number of retiring registered nurses
  • Enhanced focus on long-term care facilities and home care
  • Better access to healthcare insurance coverage

In 2015, AMN Healthcare conducted a survey of more than 9,000 nurses. According to the organization’s findings, 44 percent of nurse educators are considering retirement, which could leave few leaders to train new nurses. Nearly 65 percent of registered nurse respondents said that they would retire from their careers within three years, and more than 20 percent expressed the desire to switch from full- to part-time employment.

Each of these statistics could explain the nursing shortage, which the American Nursing Association (ANA) highlights has existed for several years. According to the ANA, nursing shortages can cause short- and long-term consequences for physicians and healthcare facilities, which could create more attractive openings for highly educated nurses today.

Gain Potential Advancement Opportunities to Reduce Stress and Increase Satisfaction

Some nurses experience high levels of job satisfaction, while others report high stress levels and long days at work. Healthcare Source content marketing manager Meghan Doherty described a Medscape study that reveals low levels of job satisfaction among registered nurses. According to Doherty, most of the highest paid nurses who responded to the survey felt satisfied with their compensation, but those who received lower wages reported less satisfaction. However, more registered nurses reported high levels of job satisfaction than licensed private nurses (LPNs).

According to Doherty, job satisfaction may relate to the particular position and role instead of the profession itself. For example, Doherty advised nurses to find jobs that offer the following benefits:

  • Competitive salaries: Registered nurses can research salary statistics in their geographical areas to make sure they earn similar wages to their peers
  • Nurturing environment: Nurses may feel more job satisfaction if they feel as though they are given a voice in management, regardless of the type of workplace
  • Professional development: Nurses may feel more satisfied at work if they can advance their education and experience while at work

The above-mentioned AMN Healthcare survey addressed job satisfaction as well as retirement and other facets of nursing careers. According to AMN Healthcare, nearly 50 percent of registered nurses have contemplated higher education, such as a master’s or doctoral degree program. Additionally, although many of the AMN Healthcare survey respondents felt dissatisfied with their jobs, they overwhelmingly felt satisfied with their career choices.

Consider Advancing Your Education for Greater Nursing Opportunities

The Medscape and AMN Healthcare studies could suggest that advanced education and experience may allow registered nurses to gain more job satisfaction. Registered nurses may want to consider a BSN to DNP program to increase their job prospects and expand their knowledge base.

An online BSN to DNP program like the one at Maryville University offers several benefits for registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees, including the following:

  • Online classes: Registered nurses can continue to work in their current roles while advancing their education
  • Learn faster: Students at Maryville University can complete the BSN to DNP program in as few as 36 months
  • Choose a concentration: Delve more deeply into a specialty that interests you, such as gerontology, pediatrics, mental health, or family nursing
  • Conduct clinical research: Challenge your own hypotheses through advanced clinical research as you work toward your degree

If you are thinking about advancing your career as a registered nurse, visit the Maryville University Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program to learn more about your options for continued education. An online degree program could give you more flexibility while advancing your job prospects and increasing your salary potential.