In the United States, there are almost three million people working as registered nurses. To kick off National Nurses Week, Jackie Roberts spoke to local nurses about what it takes to succeed in the field.
We’ve all heard it takes a special kind of person to become a nurse, but it’s not just about who you are. It’s also about how hard you’ll work to get there.
Kayla Knickerbocker loves her job but, she admits, it’s not an easy one. She says knowing she’s making a difference keeps her going.
Kayla Knickerbocker, Registered Nurse, says, “Patients come in and they’re very, very sick and they stay with us for a month or so; maybe longer, maybe less. They go to rehab and they come back walking in and that’s just the most rewarding thing ever.”
But, stepping into this important role doesn’t happen overnight. The Borough of Labor Statistics says there are typically three paths to become a nurse. A Bachelor of Science Degree in nursing, an Associate’s Degree in nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program.
One student, Stacey Thompson, tells us nursing is a field with opportunity for growth both in education and careers. “I just love what I do and my faith is very strong and I know that God has called me to be a nurse.”
After 20 years working as an LPN, Thompson will be crossing the stage this weekend with a BSN from Mercyhurst University. She says, “My mom always taught me, ‘don’t settle’. So, I decided that… in order to do the things that I really want to do I had to go higher in my education.”
And data tells us this field is projected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026 making more room for the people who say caring for others is what they’re meant to do.
Knickerbocker says, “Right now, I just love what I’m doing and I think that’s so important to love your job.”
The Borough of Labor Statistics also says nationally the median salary for an RN is around $70,000.
All major universities in the are offer nursing programs.