It only takes a Bachelors Degree, pays great, and with a growing shortage of workers has unprecedented job security. Registered Nursing is expected to add more than 700,000 positions in the next 10 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Its not for everyone. "Not just anyone can be a nurse, there has to be that desire and the ability to care for people," said Dr. Karen Polvado, Chair of the Wilson School of Nursing at Midwestern State University. For those that do follow the career path, there are many reward; emotional and financial. "Job security is very important in today's economy and I think that is a draw," she said.
In a lecture hall full of more than 100 students, each one has a story of why Nursing is the path they chose. For Nolan Gann, it was a way to still work with people after he lost his job in the economic crisis. "It sounds very promising for the future, that whether I choose to stay here in Wichita Falls or need to move anywhere across the country there will be jobs available- and not just jobs, but career minded excellent jobs," said Gann.
For another student, the draw is about giving back. "When I came to this country, I didn't know what to do, and I was helped by American people," said Jacob Gai. Gai was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. He survived civil war and a trek through the desert, before coming to the United States. "I decided to go into the healthcare field and specialize in nursing so that I can help those who need help," he said.
No matter what the motivation, RN's command a salary of more than $30,000 right out of school. Many people with Bachelors of Science already have the core requirements, and can get a second degree in Nursing in as little as 15 months. Those who elect to get a Masters could work in a specialty and command $80k+, right out of school.