The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that registered nurses constitute the largest health care occupation. There are an estimated 2.6 million jobs for registered nurses in the U.S. alone.
In 2008, the bureau reported the median annual wage of registered nurses was $62,450.
Cecilia Capuzzi Simon wrote about Rich Van Rensselaer for the New York Times. Rensselaer was 45 when, after caring for his terminally ill mother, he decided to earn a master's degree in clinical nursing leadership. He used to own a boutique liquor store and coffee shop. Quite a big difference in job environments.
Simon writes: "Nursing is one of the most popular and accepting professions for career changers, due in part to a shortage that’s gone on for decades. Nearly 40 percent of students studying to become registered nurses are over age 30, and candidates who already have four-year degrees, like Mr. Van Rensselaer, are highly prized."
EducationThere are three primary ways to go about becoming a nurse. From the BSL:
There are three typical educational paths to registered nursing—a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing (ADN), and a diploma. BSN programs, offered by colleges and universities, take about 4 years to complete. ADN programs, offered by community and junior colleges, take about 2 to 3 years to complete. Diploma programs, administered in hospitals, last about 3 years."