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Consider A Nursing Career

Nursing is a job that is in demand.

Consider A Nursing Career

Nurses today are highly respected and valued members of the health care team. Registered nurses (RNs) work in collaboration with physicians, therapists, and members of other health care disciplines. Registered nurses work in a variety of settings.

Hospital nurses
Hospital nurses observe patients and carry out medical treatments. They use computerized equipment to monitor patients’ vital signs and record observations and other medical data in patients’ charts. Nurses may write and manage patient care plans. They explain to patients how to continue treatment after they go home.

Office nurses
Office nurses prepare patients for exams and check vital signs. They assist doctors with exams when requested. They draw blood and give injections. Office nurses may also perform routine lab tests and office work.

Public health nurses
Public health nurses work in community settings to provide health care and first aid. They give shots and screenings such as blood pressure tests. Public health nurses develop and provide health education programs on topics such as nutrition and child care. In addition, they refer patients to community agencies and other health care providers

Nursing care facility nurses
Nursing care facility nurses manage the health care of residents. They write care plans and supervise licensed practical nurses (LPNs).

Home health nurses
Home health nurses provide prescribed nursing care to patients in their own homes. They also instruct patients and their families how to perform necessary procedures.

Additional specialties
Registered nurses can also specialize in:

  • Addiction nursing
  • Cardiovascular nursing
  • Critical care nursing
  • Neonatology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Genetics
  • School nursing

With additional education, registered nurses can also work as nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives.

Nursing is also a job that is in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the highest occupations for new job growth between 2018 and 2028; expected to grow at 12%.

Much faster than average employment growth is expected for registered nurses in Hawaii and nationally through 2028. The demand for nurses is going to be very strong. The aging population contributes to some of this demand. New federal health care laws also means that more people will have access to health care. Patients are released from hospitals to rehabilitation centers and nursing homes. As a result, rapid growth is expected in home health care and nursing homes. At nursing homes, job growth is expected in units that provide specialized care such as long-term rehabilitation for stroke and head injury patients or treat Alzheimer’s patients.

Many procedures which once were performed only in hospitals are being performed in doctors' offices and in outpatient care centers. Employment is expected to grow faster than average in these places as health care in general expands.

Job prospects are best for those with a bachelor's degree in nursing. Job openings will also occur as people retire from this occupation.

Employment Employment Change
2016 2026 Number Percent
National 2,955,200 3,393,200 438,100 14.8

Employment Employment Change
2016 2026 Number Percent
State 11,550 13,090 1,530 13.3

Three out of five nurses work in hospitals. Major employers are hospitals, doctors' offices, home health care services, nursing homes, and other personal care facilities.

There are around 29,029 licensed RNs in this very large-sized occupation in Hawaii. Nationally, around 11% are men.

Work Activities
Nurses typically do the following

  • Observe patients. Monitor vital signs using computerized equipment.
  • Record patients' medical information, vital signs, and progress.
  • Write and manage care plans for patients.
  • Discuss cases with doctors and other medical staff.
  • Deliver infants and provide prenatal care under doctor's supervision.
  • Evaluate tests to assess patient's condition.
  • Monitor patient care.
  • Supervise licensed practical nurses and aides.
  • Prepare patients and assist with exams.
  • Observe nurses and visit patients. Make sure proper nursing care is provided.
  • Give patients treatments and medications.
  • Provide health care, first aid, and shots in schools, clinics, and community agencies.
  • Visit patients' home and work to identify health or safety problems.
  • Develop health programs. Teach the public about topics such as health education, disease prevention, child care, and nutrition.
  • Prepare rooms, sterile instruments, equipment, and supplies. Hand items to surgeons.
  • Prescribe or recommend medications and treatments.

Skills and Abilities
Registered nurses need to be able to


  • Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
  • Understand spoken information.
  • Listen to others and ask questions.
  • Understand written information.
  • Read and understand work-related materials.

Reason and Problem Solve

  • Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
  • Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
  • Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
  • Analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Understand new information or materials.
  • Recognize the nature of a problem.
  • Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
  • Remember information.

Manage Oneself, People, Time, and Things

  • Check how well one is learning or doing something.
  • Manage the time of self and others.
  • Go back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information without becoming confused.

Work with People

  • Be aware of others’ reactions and understand the possible causes.
  • Look for ways to help people.
  • Change behavior in relation to others’ actions.
  • Teach others how to do something.
  • Use several methods to learn or teach new things.
  • Persuade others to approach things differently.

Wages vary by employer. For example, hospital nurses tend to earn more than nurses in doctors' offices. Full-time registered nurses generally receive benefits. Typical benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, and health insurance. Many employers also offer child care, education benefits, and bonuses.

Location Pay
Hawaii Hourly
Honolulu Hourly
United States Hourly

To work as a registered nurse, you typically need to:

  • have a high school diploma or equivalent;
  • graduate from a nursing program;
  • complete supervised clinical work experience; and
  • have a license.

Education after high school
There are three training options for registered nurses. One, you can earn an associate degree in nursing (AND). Community and two-year colleges offer these two-year programs. Two, you can earn a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN). Colleges and universities offer these four-year programs. Three, you can earn a diploma. Hospitals offer these two to three year programs.

In general, graduates of any of the three types of programs qualify for entry-level positions. However, you must also pass national and state exams. Nurses who have a bachelor's degree have more options for jobs.

As a nursing student, you study anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. Near the end of training you complete a supervised work experience in a hospital. During your clinical work experience you work in several hospital departments, such as surgery, emergency, and pediatrics.

Some branches of the military offer training in nursing specialties to people who are already licensed as a registered nurse. Training lasts 14 to 27 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.

Advancement Opportunities
Registered nurses who have a bachelor's degree have more chances for advancement. Some career paths are open only to nurses with BSN degrees or even advanced degrees.

With experience, registered nurses can advance to assistant head nurse or head nurse. From there, they can advance to higher levels of management. However, many management-level nursing jobs require a graduate degree in nursing or health administration.

Within patient care, nurses can advance to nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, or nurse anesthetist. These specialties require one or two years of graduate school, usually leading to a master's degree.

Some nurses move into the business side of health care. For example, they may manage a home health care service. Others teach at colleges or universities.


Posted: August 5, 2020 @ 2:19 PM HST

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