For many nurses, the major issues they have with their work has nothing to do with the patients, their co-workers or even the pay. Some simply don’t like the idea of shift work, which is similar to retail and other service industries in providing ample hours, but often without a rhyme or reason to the schedule.
Since nursing can be one of the more stressful occupations, any way that nursing jobs can minimize that will benefit nurses themselves. And for many, a cost effective option might be to pursue continuing education courses paid for by their employers.
Many top flight employers, from the military to hospitals, cover the costs of continuing education courses to some extent. For some nursing jobs, training is available through the university tied to the healthcare facility. Others simply cover up to a certain amount of continuing education courses over the course of any given year.
This can be incredibly invaluable for employees. For one, many certifications require that nurses take continuing education courses anyway, in order to retain their licensure by the state. But it also provides a pathway out of shift work. Supervisors and other senior level staff who oversee other nurses generally can get 9-5 jobs because of their seniority.
And if the employer is willing to pay for it, that provides an extra incentive for nurses. Even if only a portion of the required coursework for a post-graduate certificate or an advanced degree is covered, that is still the equivalent of a partial scholarship. And the end result is not just more consistent hours.
There is a distinct stratification in nursing jobs pay based on specialization, with nurses with similar years of experience potentially earning between $10,000 to $20,000 more per year with more advanced degrees. Add that up even over 15 to 20 years, and that’s a difference in career income of $150,000 to $400,000.
So when perusing jobs here or even in your local newspaper, be sure to check for benefits. Retirement accounts and your own health insurance are givens. But if you can find work that pays you to get a better job, that’s even better.