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Nursing Careers: A Guide

There are many different career options available in nursing, here you will find our nursing career guide. There are several specializations inside each career field. Click the title of the career field for information on specific nursing jobs. Hopefully, this page will help you decide which career path is right for you. Take some time, check it out.

Nursing Careers:

Academics and Research
With the U.S. nursing shortage and the high demand for nurses, academics and research is a crucial part of the nursing field. Both of these sectors employ nurses at the upper-level due to the need for advanced understanding of both nursing theory and practice.


Nursing professionals are in demand in academic settings to train new nurses and act as instructors in nursing courses. They provide instruction on essential clinical nursing skills and make arrangements for practical experiences in actual medical environments. Many nursing professionals working in academics act as the main source for development of knowledge in nursing.


Nursing workers are needed in research settings to conduct innovative clinical research. Individuals seeking to go into nursing research programs commonly study various types of research methods, utilization of research results, and nursing statistics. Nursing professionals working in research settings study many different facets of health care, nursing practices, and medical conditions. They strive to create and employ scientific studies to improve the health care field as a whole.

Required Education

In general, nursing professionals need doctoral training to pursue career opportunities in academics and research. Majority of individuals start their careers in entry-level nursing positions and then pursue advanced academic opportunities after gaining significant experience.

The nursing field is one of the most in-demand sectors of the health care industry. There are a variety of specialties in nursing, including working for the U.S. government. Nursing professionals who work for the government provide care to diverse patient populations.


A wide range of state and federal government facilities employ nursing professionals at varying levels. The most common employers of government nursing professionals include local public health departments, the Department of Defense, Veterans Affairs medical facilities, psychiatric hospitals funded by the state, and both state and federal correctional facilities. Additionally, the Federal Bureau of Investigation hires nursing professionals and in fact, it is in the biggest hiring increase in the history of the organization. Many government organizations require nursing professionals to sign a contract to work for a particular facility for a designated amount of time. Some contracts are as little as two weeks, and others last a year or longer.

Typical Requirements

To work for government organizations, nursing professionals must be a citizen of the United States and pass a thorough background check. The minimum requirement for most government nursing positions is a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Potential employees also typically need previous experience in medical settings. For some specialized positions, individuals must be qualified for security clearance.

Becoming a nurse can lead to a very exciting and rewarding career. For women and men who have a strong desire to serve their country, becoming a nurse in the military can be equally as rewarding. Let’s take a close look at how to become a military nurse.

Becoming a Nurse in the Military

To be a nurse in the military, a person must be in the military. For people who desire to become an active duty nurse, the process is somewhat longer than other types of military nurses.

Most times, to become a military nurse, the military will require a person to already be an actual nurse. Afterwards, the person can then complete the following four courses that will adequately prepare them to become a military nurse:

– Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing
– Critical Care Nursing
– Obstetrical Nursing
– Operating Room Nursing

Each of these courses take about 16 weeks to complete, so essentially, after completing a two-year nursing program, and then the four 16-week courses, a person can then become a military nurse if already admitted into the military.

Private Sector
There are many different nursing careers in healthcare, including those in the private sector. Private healthcare is medical treatment and procedures that are delivered by medical facilities and other organizations that is not funded or governed by the government or state. These entities are run and financed by private groups or individuals, and they typically generate profit.

Nursing Jobs in the Private Sector

Nursing professionals working in the private sector commonly work for medical facilities that are for-profit and many have religious affiliation. Examples of the employers include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and physician offices. These medical facilities usually provide the same type of care and procedures to patients, but they do not always accept those who are uninsured or have an ability to pay.

Benefits of the Private Sector

Since they are privately funded, private healthcare facilities often have the ability to provide more services and treatment options to patients. Patients are also able to choose their preferred hospital and provider. Nursing professionals working in this sector may be exposed to advanced nursing practices and have the ability to assist with more treatment options. Additionally, the private healthcare industry employs a great deal of nursing professionals.

Public Sector
On almost any type of medical team are nurses. These professionals play a key role in the developmental and physical health of a patient. Nurses have the opportunity to work in an assortment of settings, including schools, hospitals, private doctors’ offices, for sporting organizations and much more.

Job Duties

The exact job duties that a nurse carries out depends on his or her educational background as well as the exact type of nurse he or she is. No matter the type of nurse that a person becomes, at least two years of formal education will have to be obtained as well as the appropriate type of licensure.

Furthering Education

If a nurse chooses, it is possible to further one’s education in the field of nursing. There are master’s and doctorate level degrees in this profession, allowing nurses to further their education as far as they like. By continuing one’s education, nurses are able to increase their employment opportunities as well as their income levels.

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Find Your Degree is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.