There are lots of reasons why becoming a nurse is a great idea. Which ones motivated you to enter the field?

A nurse places her hand on the back of a patient, gently guiding them.If you’re like most professionals in your field, becoming a nurse was one of the best choices you ever made. As you consider continuing your nursing education and strengthening your skills, take a moment to recall what motivated you in the first place. It may bring back some motivating memories.

Here are a few of the many reasons most nurses chose to enter the field:

There Is a Great Need for Nurses

Due to a growing and aging population, along with a workforce of nurses reaching retirement at high rates, the United States is running out of nurses.* In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nearly 440,000 positions for RNs will become available between 2016 and 2026. And that’s not even counting positions for all other types of nurses. You’re helping to meet that need.

There Is a Wide Range of Nursing Careers

When you chose to be a nurse, you had a lot of possible career paths. You can work as an RN or APRN at a hospital or clinic. You can work in public health. You can be a nurse educator. You can fill leadership roles at hospitals, clinics, and insurance companies. You can even work in informatics, analyzing health data to help find new ways to improve efficiencies and patient outcomes.

The Pay Is Good

Because of the demand for nurses and the valuable skills nurses offer, nursing salaries are quite good. And the further you take your education, the greater your earning potential. For example, the average RN earns nearly $70,000 a year.† Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners earn nearly $105,000 a year, on average.

The Profession Is America’s Most Trusted

According to Gallup, Americans rate nurses as the most honest and ethical of all professionals—and this ranking has held for 15 consecutive years.§ Being trusted is a nice career perk to have.

There Are Many Opportunities for Career Advancement

You probably started your nursing career as an LVN or RN, but that doesn’t have to be where you stop. By gaining experience and earning nursing degrees, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN degree) or a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN degree), you can advance your career, moving into management or educational roles, or becoming a nurse practitioner.

You Can Work Just About Anywhere

As a nurse, you’re employable all over the nation and the world. No matter where you want to live or where you end up moving, you’re likely to find job opportunities that grow along with your experience and education.

You Make Connections in the Healthcare Community

One of the unofficial benefits of being a nurse is knowing all the best doctors, clinics, and hospitals in your community. Perhaps that has already come in handy when you or one of your friends or family members has needed medical care.

You Get to Help People

There’s real satisfaction in helping people. In fact, scientific research has shown that the pleasure-sensing areas of our brains activate when we give to others.** Few careers let you help people as much as being a nurse does.

You Can Be a Leader

The American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nursing have launched an initiative to place 10,000 nurses on governing boards by 2020.†† And that’s just one area where you can be a leader as a nurse. You can also head up public health programs, open your own clinic as a nurse practitioner, or become an educator, among other important leadership roles.

Entering a Nursing Program Is More Possible Than Ever

Thanks to the rise of online education, it’s never been so convenient to enroll in nursing school and earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing. Not only do online nursing programs allow you to study from home and attend classes on a flexible schedule designed to let you continue working full time, many of the best online nursing schools also offer RN to BSN to MSN programs. With an RN to BSN online program or an RN to MSN online program, you can conveniently progress from your RN to a college-level nursing degree.

While there are many online nursing degree programs available as you continue on your education path, you’ll want to make sure you choose one that’s CCNE accredited and offers a high quality of education. Where should you look? A great answer is Walden University, the leading provider of advanced nursing degrees in the U.S.‡‡

In addition to its CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN program and MSN program, Walden also offers a highly regarded online learning environment, partnerships with over 300 leading healthcare employers and associations, and a Master of Science in Nursing teaching faculty that’s 100% doctorally prepared. Simply put, Walden is a great place to earn your bachelor’s or master’s in nursing online.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an RN to BSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree online and a Master of Science in Nursing degree online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


*Grant, Rebecca, The U.S. Is Running Out of Nurses, The Atlantic, on the Internet at www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/02/nursing-shortage/459741.

†Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm.

‡Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners, on the Internet at www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm.

§J. Norman, Americans Rate Healthcare Providers High on Honesty, Ethics, Gallup, on the Internet at http://news.gallup.com/poll/200057/americans-rate-healthcare-providers-high-honesty-ethics.aspx.

**J. Santi, The Secret to Happiness is Helping Others, Time, on the Internet at http://time.com/4070299/secret-to-happiness.

††American Nurses Association, National Coalition Launches Effort to Place 10,000 Nurses on Governing Boards by 2020, on the Internet at www.nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/MediaResources/PressReleases/2014-PR/Effort-to-Place-Nurses-on-Governing-Boards.html.

‡‡Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP codes 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse); 51.3808 (Nursing Science); 51.3818 (Nursing Practice). Includes 2016 preliminary data.

Walden University is accredited by The Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

Walden University’s DNP, MSN, and BSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, D.C. 20036, 1-202-887-6791. CCNE is a national accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate and graduate education programs. For students, accreditation signifies program innovation and continuous self-assessment.

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