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PSU Student Nurses Association

A Career in Nursing: A Look at the Facts

  •  The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for registered nurses will grow faster than most other occupations through 2018.
  • Nursing students comprise more than half of all health professions students.
  • Nurses comprise the largest single component of hospital staff, are the primary providers of hospital patient care, and deliver most of the nation’s long-term care.
  •  Most health care services involve some form of care by nurses.
  •  Although 62.2 percent of all employed RNs work in hospitals, many are employed in a wide range of other settings, including private practices, public health agencies, primary care clinics, home health care, and outpatient surgicenters to mention a few
  • Though often working collaboratively, nurses do not simply “assist” physicians and other health care providers. Instead, they practice independently within their own defined scope of practice. Nursing roles range from direct patient care to case management, establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality assurance procedures, and directing complex nursing care systems.
  •  With more than four times as many RNs in the United States as physicians, nursing delivers an extended array of health care services, including primary and preventive care.
  • The average annual earnings of registered nurses employed in nursing was $60,970 in 2007, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clinical Nurses Specialists, Nurse Practitioners, and other nurses prepared in graduate degree programs command much higher salaries.
  • Source: American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN)