Nursing in a Hospital Setting

Health care is a booming industry with a plethora of available job opportunities. All across the USA there is a shortage of health care professionals, especially nurses. Nursing at a basic level is one who cares for and treats ill patients, helping them recover and hopefully maintain a long, healthy life. The work of being a nurse is quite vast and the jobs that are available to hospital nurses are almost endless.

Working in a Hospital

Hospitals are defined as health care institutions that employee specialized staff and contain specialized equipment. They are usually funded by public sectors, organizations both for and non-profit or health insurance companies. They staff teams of professionals including doctors, nurses and surgeons that diagnose and treat patients during their stay at the facility. In this section of NursingJobFinder we profile:

General Hospital Nursing Divisions, Education Requirements and Salaries

Nursing is the most diverse of all the health care professions. There are major divisions within the hospital nursing field as well as hundreds of nursing specialties. The major hospital divisions include:

  • General – a general nurse works with a wide variety of patients with a wide variety of problems.
  • Pediatric Nursing – this nurse focuses on working with children patients
  • Geriatric Nursing – the focus of this nurse is elderly or older adult patients
  • Psychiatric Nursing – works with patients who have mental health problems

To work at the basic level in any of the major nursing divisions, special education is required. The lowest level of certification you can attain is to be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) also known as licensed vocational nurses (LVN), depending on the state.

To achieve this level of certification you must pass a state issued board exam for the state you wish to work in. Pass the exam usually requires 9 – 12 months of school. The expected yearly salary for a LPN or LVN is approximately $30,000 to $45,000.

The next level of certification at the general level is to become a registered nurse or RN. A RN is one that has obtained a degree in nursing such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and then passes the national RN exam. This should take approximately four years to complete with both classroom courses and hands on practice in the hospital. The average salary for a RN is $50,000 – $70,000 annually.

The most advanced generalist nurse is referred to as a clinical nurse leader (CNL). A CNL is a RN that has also obtained a Master’s Degree in the Science of Nursing, which requires another two years of education after becoming an RN. A CNL can earn anywhere from $70,000 – $100,000 a year.

Advanced Practice and Nursing Specialties

Once you have become an RN and are working in one of the general fields you can choose to go into an advanced practice or become specialized.

An advanced practice nurse (APN) is a nurse with advanced didactic and clinical education. There are four main areas for APN Hospital Jobs: nurse anesthetist, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner.

All nursing specialties will all require an advanced certificate in the area of the specific specialty. There are literally hundreds of specialties to choose from. Here are some of the most popular hospital nurse job specialties: critical care nurse, emergency care nurse, neonatal nurse, ICU nurse, surgical nurse, oncology nurse, operating room nurse, orthopedic nurse, certified nurse midwife and nursing management. Again, these are just some of the many options available for nursing jobs in hospitals.

The specialty type of nursing that you choose will determine what type of certificate you need as well what your salary might be. Most specialized nurses in hospitals will earn anywhere from $65,000 to $100,000 annually. But no matter what type of nurse you are at any level, salaries may vary depending on which state you work in and the resources of the facility. Also, nurses should expect to earn a yearly salary increase as they gain more experience.


Learn More: Working as a Surgical Nurse