Nursing Jobs From CNA to Advanced Nurses

Nursing is the largest occupation within the health field, with nurses employed in almost every area of medicine. They provide a wide variety of patient-focussed health services in hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, hospices, long term care facilities and home health services, making it one of the most varied career paths in medicine.

Formal training is required for nursing positions, so if you’re hoping to enter the nursing profession you will need to qualify as a CNA, LPN/LVN, Registered Nurse (RN), or higher. A minimum of an NCLEX-approved diploma or associate degree in nursing is required if you wish to become licensed as a RN, but you can also qualify to be a CNA or LPN/LVN by completing a one or two year entry level training course at a technical or vocational school, or at a community college, followed by passing a certification test.

Most Common Job Titles and Descriptions

  • CNA

    Certified Nurse Assistants help provide basic nursing care for hospital patients and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. They work in nursing and residential care facilities and in hospitals. To be a certified nursing assistant, an individual must complete a state nursing-board approved education program and pass the state’s competency exam.
  • LPNs and LVNs

    In most states, the difference between LPNs and LVNs is in the name only; both hold practical nursing degrees. They both provide routine care, assist doctors, communicate with patients and their families and keep observational records of patient health. They are employed both within traditional areas of medicine and in wider industries, often finding employment in areas outside medicine entirely as educators or consultants. They are also widely hired in areas supplemental to medicine, including medical billing and coding, patient care call centers, insurance consulting and patient transportation.
  • Registered Nurses

    RNs hold professional nursing degrees, which require longer training and more courses to complete. RNs collaborate with physicians, promote patient health, communicate with patients and their families and supervise junior team members, providing a more specialized level of care than LPN and LVNs.

    Registered Nurses increase patient understanding and independence by educating patients and family members on procedures, conditions, medications and treatments, resolve patient problems, document their care and ensure that the highest quality of care standards are achieved. RNs have higher earning potential than LPNs and LVNs, and are able to do more specialized work. They have more educational opportunities and career options, and the demand for RNs is expected to grow by 19% between 2012-2022.
  • Advanced Practice Nurses

    A wide variety of advanced nurse positions are available to experienced and specialized nurses. Some of these positions require extensive experience, graduate and sometimes doctorate degrees, and additional specializations or licensure. More common advanced nursing positions include Nurse Practitioners (NP), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), Certified-nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), or Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM). Advanced nurses manage other less-qualified nurses and carry out more complex patient care. They are often employed within more advanced areas of medicine. Advanced nursing positions often have substantial salary increases over lower level nursing positions.

Salary Statistics and Growth

  • CNA - $24,400 per year, $11.73 per hour
  • LPN/LVN- $41,540 per year, $19.97 per hour
  • RN - $64,470 per year, $31.48 per hour
  • Advanced Nurses - $96,460 per year, $46.37 per hour

*2012 salary statistics from bls.gov

The range of earning potential for nurses increases as they advance through their careers and gain more experience, training and qualifications. As nursing is an area where growth and development is encouraged and employment opportunities are diverse, nurses have many options for long term career progression. The more educated and specialized a nurse becomes, the greater their earning potential will be.

Job Field Growth or Decline

Registered Nursing is a fast growing sector, with employment of RNs expected to grow 19% between 2012 and 2022. This growth is due to various factors, including increased population, the increased healthcare demands of longer living, more active generations and the increasing incidence of diseases like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Advanced nursing degrees are growing at an even faster rate of 31% while CNA and LPN/LVNs are growing between 21%-25%.

Best States for Nursing Jobs

  • Florida
    Florida has a large aging population, and it’s popularity as a retirement location means that there are plenty of opportunities for healthcare providers.
  • California
    Nursing salaries in California went up after the introduction of a statewide Nurse Education initiative. This resulted in a 78.7% increase in enrolment in nursing programs. Despite this, California has a shortage of approximately 800,000 nurses. However it’s worth noting that many of these shortages are local, and there is still heavy competition for jobs in more popular areas.
  • Hawaii
    Like Florida, Hawaii is a haven for retirees and has plenty of employment opportunities for nurses. Average salaries are considerably lower than in California, but the standard of living in the areas where nurses are needed is often higher, and nurses in specialized roles command higher salaries.
  • Texas
    With lower house prices and higher pay rates, Texas is a popular choices for nurses. Rural areas are often in high demand, but there are also diverse employment opportunities for nurses in larger cities such as Houston and Austin.

Find more great cities for nurses here.

Job Certifications, Training, Education Requirements

Certification/License Length of Education Median Salary (2012 stats) Hourly Wage *Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)
CNA – certificate 6-12 wks $24,400/yr $11.73/hr 21%
LPN – certificate 12-18 mos $41,540/yr $19.97/hr 25%
RN: Degrees, licensing vary
ADN/ASN
BSN
MSN, APN*
NP, DNP
PhD

2 yrs
2 to 5 yrs
6 yrs
7 to 8 yrs
8 yrs

$65,470/yr+

$96,460/yr

$31.48/hr+

$46.37/hr

19%

31%

Length of education = time required beyond a typical high school diploma

*APN- Advanced Practice Nurse Degrees. Faster than average job growth.

Where Can I Go From Here?

Nurses are employed in a variety of professional fields, both in medicine and in related industries such as insurance, medical logistics, home health care, nursing and health education, the drug industry and in a variety of corporate enterprises.

Top 10-20 US Employers in This Field

This list comes from toprntobsn.com.

  1. Schneck Medical Center – Seymour, Indiana
  2. Johns Hopkins Hospital – Baltimore, Maryland
  3. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
  4. Baptist Medical Center – Jacksonville, Florida
  5. West Virginia University Hospitals – Morgantown, West Virginia
  6. Houston Methodist Hospital – Houston, Texas
  7. Children’s Medical Center of Dallas – Dallas, Texas
  8. Rhode Island Hospital – Providence, Rhode Island
  9. Massachusetts General Hospital – Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Minnesota
  11. Hackensack University Medical Center – Hackensack, New Jersey
  12. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center – Los Angeles, California
  13. Baylor University Medical Center – Dallas, Texas
  14. Winchester Hospital – Winchester, Massachusetts
  15. Cleveland Clinic – Cleveland, Ohio
  16. Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Chicago, Illinois
  17. Mercy Medical Center – Baltimore, Maryland
  18. Seattle Children’s Hospital – Seattle, Washington
  19. Lowell General Hospital – Lowell, Massachusetts
  20. Vanderbilt University Hospital – Nashville, Tennessee
  21. Sources:

By Staff Writer, SimplyJobs