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5 Best Paying Associates Nursing Jobs and Careers

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There’s no question that earning a nursing degree and entering the nursing field is one of the best options for your future. Earning an Associate of Science in Nursing Degree, also called an AND, qualifies one to become a registered nurse and enter a variety of specialized fields within the nursing industry. Usually, earning an AND takes 2 years. Classes include standard course work combined with hands on experience. After the training, students can take the licensing exam required to become a registered nurse.

While most believe that earning a Bachelor’s Degree is the best way to earn the highest salaries in the nursing field, some studies have found that this isn’t always the case. Those with a standard AND can earn very solid pay sometimes more than those with a Bachelor’s, depending on the employer and the situation. Surveys have recently found that nurses with an AND can earn around $65,698 per year or earn about $32 per hour on average. Of course, pay will vary based on location, employer, and more. Already, more than 2.7 million nurses work in the country and that number is only expected to climb, according to Money.usnews.com.

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There are numerous job options available to those with an AND, and finding the best one for you is important.

Here’s a look at the top paying jobs in the field.

#1 Registered Nurse In Hospital

These nurses work standard shifts in hospitals and may find themselves employed in the ER, maternity ward, or on general wards within a hospital or similar large medical facility. Their job duties consist of standard nursing tasks including taking vital signs, administering medication, and helping doctors manage patients and care.

  • Percentage of RN Workforce: 29.5%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $69,490

RN-Hospital

#2 Outpatient Care Nurse

Outpatient care nurses often work in outpatient care facilities providing routine care for patients following procedures, treatments, and other medical procedures. Job duties often include monitoring or cleaning wounds, checking on the progression of a surgery or other procedure, and more. Dialysis nurses and other specialized nurses also fall into this category and are growing in demand throughout the country. Outpatient clinics are regularly in need of skilled nursing professionals, and as such the salaries for these nursing professionals are among the absolute highest in the industry at the moment.

  • Percentage of RN Workforce: 14.4%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $71,200

Outpatient-Care-Nurse-Salary

#3 Personal Care Nurse

Personal care nurses, or home health nurses, are among the fastest growing types of nurses in the field. These nurses visit patients in their home and provide care for them on a regular basis. In some instances, care may be provided for a full 8 or even 10 hours shift while in other cases the nurse may only stay for a short time per day. Duties will range from helping with daily activities to assisting in physical therapy to total care. As home hospice care increases in popularity, the demand for these nursing professionals is only expected to grow. As a result, it’s one area of the field that is facing a growing demand for nurses, and salaries are expected to rise as a result of that demand.

  • Percentage of RN Workforce: 13.7%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $65,530

Personal-Care-Nurse-Salary

#4 Physician’s Office Nurse

These nurses work within a physician’s office providing routine care to patients. Job duties include taking vital signs and patient histories, initial exams and consultations with patients, administering medications, shots, and vaccinations, and consulting with a physician to determine the best course of treatment for a patient at any given time. It’s a job that is growing in opportunity due to numerous private practices opening up throughout the country, and also offers extra areas of specialized work nurses can often work in pediatric offices, geriatric offices, or other specialized areas of medicine.

  • Percentage of RN Workforce: 7.46%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $62,120

Physician-Office-Nurse-Salary

#5 Nursing Care Facility Nurse

These nursing professionals are tasked with helping provide high levels of care to nursing home patients. Often, work involves caring for the elderly but in some instances special needs patients are younger. Regardless of the patient, job duties include regular care, administering medications, checking vital signs, and assisting any doctors that work within the nursing care facility with their duties. This job is growing in demand tremendously, and those in the field report being very satisfied with their position due to the bonds created between them and certain patients.

  • Percentage of RN Workforce:8.39%
  • Projected Job Growth by 2020: 26%
  • Average Salary: $61,220

Nursing-Care-Facility-NurseReferences:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Associate_of_Science_in_Nursing
  • http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2010/04/30/nursing-salaries/
  • http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=RN&l1=&tm=1
  • http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm
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