Many countries face shortages of nurses, which may make nursing job placement a little easier. Nurses have numerous different types of job opportunities, from working directly with patients to overseeing a staff of other nurses. Although many jobs require at least an associate’s degree in nursing, there are still plenty of options for licensed practical nurses (LPNs).
In most cases, nursing job placement opportunities depend on a nurse’s level of education. Despite the nursing shortage, most hospitals are only hiring registered nurses (RNs) — rather than LPNs — because RNs have a wider scope of practice, meaning they are legally permitted to perform a wider variety of patient care tasks. Some facilities hire LPNs to perform roles previously delegated to nurse’s aides, such as measuring vital signs and assisting patients with hygiene practices. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities often hire more LPNs, with just a few RNs to oversee each floor.
Even RNs who only hold an associate’s degree in nursing may find nursing job placement a challenge, as more facilities are starting to require that their nurses complete four years of training rather than two. Those with an associate’s degree may have an easier time finding a position if they are working towards their bachelor’s degree at the time of application. In some cases, the medical facility will cover the cost of tuition if the nurse agrees to continue working for them for a certain number of years after obtaining the degree.
Nurses with advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree, can often find nursing job placement opportunities in management levels. Some positions include overseeing an entire floor of nurses, delegating the patient load throughout the available staff, and ensuring continuity of care for patients by communicating with other medical staff. They may also work as clinical study coordinators, working directly with medical researchers to learn more about a disease or manage studies regarding new medications.
Signing up with a nursing job placement agency can help nurses find positions without doing all the research on their own. Some agencies are nationwide and accept new clients through online signups. Nurses can search for positions by entering their desired geographical location and often apply online through the site. Local agencies often have good working relationships with area hospitals and medical facilities, and may make it easier to find and obtain positions. Home health care agencies hire nurses to assist patients in their own environments, and often hire a wide variety of nurses with different education backgrounds.