/ Nursing Career

Career Options for Registered Nurses in 2018

Thinking about becoming a registered nurse? There’s never been a better time to enter this field, particularly given the many career opportunities that are currently available to qualified nursing professionals.

Unlike the past, when RNs were mostly confined to a hospital or doctor’s office, today’s registered nurses have a wide range of options from which to choose.

And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RN employment is projected to grow by 15% through 2026, which means even more opportunities will present themselves in the not-so-distant future.

Registered Nurses are Versatile


While all nurses receive the same foundational training, most registered nurses eventually pursue a specific niche or specialty based on their individual strengths, skills and interests.

Some of the many specialty areas where registered nurses thrive include the following:

  • Critical / Urgent Care
  • Non-Profit Community Clinics
  • Labor and Delivery
  • Neonatal Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Oncology
  • Cardiovascular Care
  • Nephrology
  • Psychiatric / Mental Health
  • Hospice / Palliative Care
  • In-Home Care
  • Correctional Facilities

When you see this growing list of specialties, it becomes much clearer why quality nursing professionals are in such high demand.

Additionally, RNs who wish to continue with their medical training also have the option of pursuing more advanced nursing specialties.

Of the more than 100 nursing specialties, many require a graduate education. These may include:

  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Certified Nurse Midwives
  • Nurse Anesthetists

While nurses in these specialty roles technically operate under the supervision of a licensed doctor, they are typically given a high degree of autonomy, including the ability to make diagnoses and prescribe medication without requiring a doctor’s immediate signature or approval.

Registered Nurses Control Their Careers


Given their versatility and increasing demand, registered nurses enjoy the ability to choose their own career paths.

Perhaps more than any other role in the medical field, RNs can typically pick and choose precisely where, when and how they’d like to work.

For instance, some RNs choose only to work part time or per diem while others may choose to work full time or even more.

For nurses who are just starting out, are ambitious and don’t have many obligations in their personal lives, the opportunity to work as many hours as possible can be an attractive option.

For those who have obligations at home, such as young children to care for, the flexibility to work part time or even single shifts can be highly beneficial.

RNs who are further along in their career and are close to retirement but still wish to stay involved in the medical field may decide to work as independent contractors, picking and choosing when and where to work at their discretion.

There are schedules and positions for just about every lifestyle.

Registered nurses also have the option of traveling while furthering their career.

Healthcare facilities all over the country have temporary positions to fill that require highly qualified nursing professionals.

In fact, many staffing firms routinely recruit and place “traveling nurses” into these roles.


As you can see, there is no shortage of job opportunities for registered nurses.

If you are thinking about pursuing a career as an RN, ProMed Certifications can make obtaining your required medical certifications and recertifications quick, easy and affordable.