Embarking on a nursing career is a remarkable choice to pursue. Nursing goes beyond just a job; it’s a calling that allows you to bring purpose and fulfillment to the lives of those you care for.
In this article, we highlight the top reasons that may encourage you to pursue health care in the U.S. We hope that you will be inspired by the abundant benefits and opportunities that this profession can provide you.
You Are Needed: An Overview of the U.S. Nursing Field
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently over 3 million registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S., with the industry of General Medical and Surgical Hospitals alone employing the most with 1,724,510 RNs.¹ Additionally, this field also holds substantial financial rewards as nurses earn an estimated mean annual wage of $89,010.
However, the story doesn’t end here. The U.S. is still struggling with a persistent nursing shortage, making RNs a valuable commodity. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also predict a 6 percent growth in RN employment from 2021 to 2031, resulting in approximately 203,200 annual job openings.
These openings are not just numbers but opportunities waiting to be seized, arising from the need to replace retiring nurses and those transitioning to different careers.²
Moreover, the U.S. provides an exciting healthcare environment. Nurses get to work in modern hospitals, team up with experienced healthcare experts, and care for a variety of patients. In the U.S., nursing encourages you to keep learning and growing. You can improve your skills and move up in your career, which means you can focus on certain areas of nursing or even take on leadership roles.
5 Reasons Why You Should Be a U.S. Nurse
If you’re considering applying for a nursing job in the U.S., let us convince you why that will be a good idea. Here is a list of benefits you may want to consider.
1. You’ll get competitive benefits, salary, and security.
The demand for nurses is high across the country, making it a promising choice for you and your loved ones. Healthcare facilities and hospitals actively seek qualified nurses to join their teams, and they offer generous compensation packages.
Of course, the specifics of your salary and benefits can differ depending on the state you choose to work in and its cost of living. Here are some of the top-paying states for nurses, taking into account the local living expenses, according to Nurse.org:
- California, with an average RN salary of $113,240
- Nevada, with an average RN salary of $88,380
- Massachusetts, with an average RN salary of $93,160
- Washington, with an average RN salary of $86,170
- Oregon, with an average RN salary of $92,960 ³
Let’s not forget about the potential benefits you may receive from your employer. They may include the following:
- Paid Sick Leave
- Employee Wellness Programs
- Paid Holiday Leave
- Retirement Benefits
- Life Insurance
- Tuition Reimbursement
2. There are multiple ways to become a U.S. nurse.
You can enter the nursing workforce in various ways. You can choose whichever of the following degrees or educational methods you are most comfortable to take.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Many employers prefer nurses with a four-year BSN degree. After graduating, you can immediately take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and become a registered nurse.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
If you’re looking for a quicker route, becoming an LPN is an option. This program typically takes just one year to complete and includes extensive clinical training, totaling up to 750 hours. Additionally, LPNs have the flexibility to work in various healthcare settings
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
You also have the option of pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). This one takes two years to complete, covering both your prerequisite coursework and clinical training.
There are bridge programs for LPN and ADN graduates looking to become BSN-prepared nurses. These nursing programs consider your existing skills and previous education, making it easier to continue your education while you work. Some of these programs are accessible online for added convenience.
For instance, consider the ADN-to-MSN Bridge Program, which allows ADN-educated nurses to bypass the BSN degree and get their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) directly. Programs like this allow you to complete the educational requirements for advanced nursing roles or pursue a degree in nursing administration.
Related Reading: 7 Steps to Work in the U.S. as a Foreign Educated Nurse
3. Compact Licensure lets you find work in other states easily.
If you wish to experience the beauty of various states in the U.S. as you work as a nurse, getting an Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) can help you get another job in another state quicker and easier.
Here’s how it works; states that participate in this compact allow nurses to hold a single nursing license from their home state, which grants them the privilege to practice in other states within the compact. This convenient arrangement was first established in 2000 and has since expanded to encompass 25 states.
It was then followed by the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC) in 2018. It incorporated additional standards not present in the original agreement.
Some of the eNLC states you can potentially work at are as follows:
- Texas ⁴
4. You can choose an area and setting that interests you.
As a nurse, you can choose to work in any area that interests you. Some of them may include cardiovascular surgery, mental health, and dialysis. You can explore various areas to help you broaden your knowledge and expertise, but make sure you accomplish the training programs required by your facility, to be qualified and excel in your chosen specialty.
Switching specialties from time to time can also help you manage the possibility of burnout. In this case, do thorough research on the next area you want to work in to make sure that you will thrive in it. You can also get hands-on experience or shadow a nurse you know who works in that field to make sure you are making the right decision.
When it comes to nursing settings, there’s a multitude of options to consider. You can become a school nurse, a correctional nurse, a public health nurse, or even a forensic nurse. Beyond direct patient care, the nursing profession offers diverse avenues. Choose the one that aligns best with your education, experience, and skills to make the most of your career
Related Reading: Cross Training Nurses 101: Everything You Need to Know
5. You can bring your family with you.
You don’t have to be alone in pursuing your nursing career in the U.S. You can bring your family with you! The first step is achieving permanent residency for yourself. Once you’ve accomplished this, you can start working on obtaining citizenship for your loved ones.
Take into account the cost of living in your state of employment and other factors that could impact your life together in the U.S. Look for nearby job opportunities for your spouse or other family members who can work. If you have children, research the best local schools, tuition fees, and available scholarships.
When applying for your family’s U.S. citizenship, ensure you fill out the correct form. There are preference categories that determine which group your family members fall into. While the process may require some patience, it’s an exciting step towards building a life together in the U.S.
You deserve the best. Become a nurse in the U.S.!
There are many reasons why nurses should pursue a career in the U.S. and one of them is that the U.S. healthcare facilities need your expertise. Become a part of them and pursue your nursing career with the best benefits and pay in your chosen state.
PRS GLOBAL CAN HELP YOU BECOME A U.S. NURSE
You’ll undergo premium processing with our team’s help and even get a Green Card sponsorship. Don’t worry about the costs! We’ll cover the cost of your legal filings and requirements or offer you reimbursements if you have already acquired the necessary documents for your license. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
1 “Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2022.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Updated 25 Apr. 2023, www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm.
2 “Occupational Outlook Handbook – Registered Nurses.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Updated 8 Sept. 2022, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm#tab-6.
3 “Highest Paying States for Nurses (Adjusted for Cost of Living).” Nurse.Org, 17 Nov. 2020, nurse.org/articles/50-state-salaries-ranked-with-cost-of-living/.
4 Gaines, Kathleen. “Compact Nursing States List 2023.” Nurse.Org, 25 Jul. 2023, nurse.org/articles/enhanced-compact-multi-state-license-eNLC/.