It’s hard to deny that health care can be an attractive industry in which to work. As long as there are people around, there will be those who are in need of assistance when it comes to caring for their body. And with health care roles often paying competitive salaries, entering the field can not only be a great way to help others, but to help yourself with good pay, job security, and a variety of job options and career paths.

If you’re thinking about health care as a possible educational option to enhance your ability to enter the field, what about a degree in nursing? And with a huge state like California offering numerous options for educational institutions, as well as job opportunities into which to enter once you graduate, “The Golden State” could make for a great location in which to pursue your nursing degree. With Los Angeles being the second most populous city in the nation, it could provide you with numerous educational and career opportunities.

What’s the Deal with Nursing?

So what sorts of roles and duties are there within the field of nursing? Well, a typical job description could depend greatly upon where you are inside the industry.

Someone with a certification or associate’s degree in nursing might take on the role of a nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse. If this is the case, then you might focus more on support roles, handling more of the menial, yet still critical aspects of patient care such as dressing wounds, monitoring vital signs, providing bedside services, and taking lab samples. Otherwise, taking a step up to the level of registered nurse, could have you doing more in-depth analysis, and developing patient care plans, working with patient families, administering medications, giving shots, and monitoring and gauging patient progress.

You may be thinking that you’re more interested in the administrative side of things though. If so, you might find that expanding your educational background through master’s degree work focused on health care management, integrative health care, or health administration could have you running an entire department — scheduling, training, hiring, and administering the daily roles of multiple employees in a health care provider environment.

Finding a Good Nursing Program

Just knowing that nursing is a role in which you can help others and make a decent paycheck might not be enough to make a decision that can affect your educational and future career decision though. And it’s important that when you choose a school, degree or program, that you select the one that will benefit you most not only in your current situation but in your future as well. While there are certainly nursing degree options in and around the Los Angeles metropolitan area and region of southern California, there could be other potential online programs state or nationwide that could provide you with the education you need.

Selecting an online program just because of its convenience now and not because of its quality might hurt your future job opportunities. On the other hand, choosing a campus-based program that will put you hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt, when you could have substantially reduced the financial burden with an online program of comparable quality, might not make for the best of decisions either.

Career Futures in Nursing

Making such decisions can be tough; that’s why it’s important to carefully consider and research the options available to you so that you’re well informed about the various nursing education paths you can take. Therefore, our site provides you with some additional resources to help you choose from hundreds of accredited schools and certification programs. You can sort the over 500 such options by degree, location, type of school (online or campus-based), or just learn more about the field of nursing and the education required for the work by stopping in at our Nursing Resource Guide.

Hitting a Hot Career in Health Care

If you’re thinking about exploring the nursing field in California, you will be pleased to know that the health care job market appears reasonably healthy. According to the May 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates put out by the Bureau of labor Statistic, California ranks as the number one state in employment level for registered nurses, with a mean annual wage of $90,860, as well as the second highest state in employment level for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, with a mean annual wage of $51,130.

For a look at national numbers, in their Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the job growth outlook for registered nurses at 26 percent for 2010-20, which is faster than average compared to other jobs, and 22 percent for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, which is also faster than average compared to other jobs.

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. May 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. [Online] Last Modified on March 29, 2012. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm (visited September 06,2012).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm (visited September 06, 2012).