If you want a versatile career where you can satisfy your need to help people, then hospital nursing might be for you. The demand is on for hospital nurses, as recent research by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and others has shown that hospitals with low nurse staffing levels tend to have higher rates of poor patient outcomes such as pneumonia, shock, cardiac arrest and urinary tract infections.

More new jobs are expected to be created for registered nurses than for any other occupation in the coming decade. This demand can be attributed to an increase in elderly patients as well as a greater awareness of the need for good health. You will establish close personal relationships with patients and their families, a vital component in making that patient feel comfortable. The most fulfilling aspect of your job would be to watch patients become healthy again through a combination of compassion and technology.

Duties of a Hospital Nurse

The hospital nurse cares for patients who may be ill or infirm in the hospital environment. Some nurses directly assist doctors in emergency and surgical situations. Depending on their level of training, nurses may also help diagnose illnesses and develop patient care plans. The duties of a hospital nurse would depend upon the level of education and experience that nurse obtains before landing a job at a hospital. Many hospitals also are teaching institutions, which allows a nurse to work in a variety of settings within that hospital. Upon graduation, the hospital nurse can branch out into any given specialty, such as cardiac care, critical care, case management, OB nursing and more. In most cases, hospitals only will hire nurses who have obtained an RN, LPN/LVN or a higher degree from an accredited institution.

Related Types of Nurses

If you begin a career as a hospital nurse, you have a world of opportunity that can open to you. The hospital environment contains a number of specialty practices where nurses can learn where they feel most comfortable. Nursing professions include nurse assistants, registered nurses, gerontologic nurses, nurse practitioners and more. Each of these specialties has different requirements with regards to education, training, and certification. For instance, a hospital nurse who works in the emergency room may be attracted to a job as a traveling nurse on a cruise ship. A nurse who likes working in a birthing center of a hospital may decide to take more courses to learn how to become a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife). Other nurses who work in a surgery center of a hospital may decide to work as a plastic surgery nurse. The hospital environment provides numerous opportunities for the nurse to try various skills and to learn more about where that nurse can best apply his or her skills.

Hospital Nursing Degrees

Hospital nurses are required to earn an RN, LPN/LVN or a higher degree from an accredited institution.

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Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix — BSN, MSN, and Certificate. The University of Phoenix is the nation's largest online university and currently offers several nursing programs at three different degree levels, based on previous nursing education and experience.

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Kaplan University
Kaplan University — Bachelor's, and Master's Nursing Degrees. Kaplan's School of Nursing offers specializations for nurse administrators and nurse educators.

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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University — BS in Nursing (BSN) and MBA/MS in Nursing. Grand Canyon University offers a unique MBA/MS in nursing degree program that teaches students about the business aspect of healthcare, specifically nursing healthcare. Current nurses who want more business experience will find this may be an ideal fit.

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Liberty University
Liberty University — RN to BSN Degree and MSN Degree. The Department of Nursing at Liberty prepares students for baccalaureate level nursing, putting strong emphasis on Christian ethical standards and viewing nursing as a ministry of caring.

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Walden University
Walden University — M.S. in Nursing (RN Track), M.S in Nursing (BSN Track). Walden offers a wide variety of nursing degrees and certificates that are all accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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