The healthcare industry seems like a natural fit for many people. It has a wide variety of career paths and opportunities, it’s constantly growing, and it allows you to make an impact on people’s lives.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in healthcare are anticipated to experience a 13% increase between 2021 and 2031, which is considerably higher than the average growth rate for all occupations. This surge is predicted to lead to roughly 2 million fresh job opportunities during the decade.
Along with these new positions, chances of employment will also rise as a result of the need to replace workers who leave their roles permanently. An average of 1.9 million employment openings per year are expected to arise from growth and replacement demands.
If you’re considering switching to healthcare, read on to learn how to successfully transition into a new job or profession.
Choosing a Healthcare Career
Selecting the right healthcare career is a big decision. There are many different types of careers in health care, and they can be broken down into two main categories: clinical and non-clinical.
Clinical careers involve direct patient care, including doctors (MDs), nurses (RNs), nurse practitioners (NPs), and physician assistants (PAs).
Non-clinical careers include administration positions such as human resources directors or quality assurance specialists, research roles such as statisticians or epidemiologists, information technology roles like programmers or data analysts, public health jobs like epidemiology coordinator, and education roles such as professors at universities.
Understanding the Path to a Healthcare Career
The first step to becoming a healthcare professional is understanding the different types of careers and how to pursue them. If you’re interested in nursing or medicine, there are many paths available for you to take.
If you want to become a nurse practitioner (NP), it may be possible for you to earn your Bachelor’s degree online through an online accelerated BSN nursing program. An online accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program offers several benefits, including flexibility, convenience, and faster completion time.
BSN programs from universities like Rockhurst University are 100% online, with only a one-time 10-day campus residency. This means students can complete coursework at their own pace and according to their schedule, allowing them to balance their studies with work or family responsibilities.
Moreover, the accelerated nature of the program, such as that of Rockhurst University, allows students to complete their degree in a shorter time frame (just 16 months) than traditional programs, which can lead to earlier entry into the workforce and increased earning potential.
Getting Your Foot in the Door with an Entry-Level Job
If you’re looking to get your foot in the door with an entry-level job, there are a couple of ways to go about it. The first is through healthcare staffing agencies. These companies hire people as medical assistants and in other positions that require minimal training or education. They’re often entry-level jobs that pay well and allow you to gain experience in your field before moving up to more specialized roles.
The second option is through hospitals themselves. While they may not be hiring nurses right now due to staffing shortages, many hospitals do still have positions open for physician assistants (PAs) or nurse practitioners (NPs).
These two types of professionals provide much of the same services as their licensed counterparts without requiring them. PAs work under doctors’ supervision and use their expertise in medicine. NPs function similarly, except they can also prescribe medication independently from doctors’ orders if necessary.
Clinical Advisor reports that according to the 2023 Best Health Care Jobs list released by U.S. News & World Report, Nurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Associates/Assistants (PAs) maintain their positions as the top two occupations, respectively.
On the 2023 Best Jobs list overall, NPs and PAs rank second and fourth, respectively. The US News report reveals that the median salary for NPs and PAs is $120,680 and $121,530, respectively.
Increasing Your Opportunities for Growth within Your Hospital or Clinic
As you advance in your career, there are many options for advancement. The first step is to determine what you want from your career and then select a path that will help you achieve those goals.
There are three main paths for growth within hospitals or clinics:
- Promotion from within the organization (i.e., becoming a manager).
- A lateral move into another department or specialty area of healthcare (i.e., becoming an orthopedic surgeon).
- A vertical move into another hospital or clinic (i.e., taking on more responsibilities as an administrator).
Building Your Network and Advancing Your Career as a Nurse
According to Health Tech Zone, establishing connections and networking are vital for progressing your nursing career. Nursing workshops and conferences provide opportunities for meeting fellow nurses, acquiring knowledge about novel healthcare practices and trends, and obtaining continuing education credits. It is important to stay alert for such events in your area.
In addition, engaging with nursing-focused virtual communities, like social media groups or forums, presents opportunities for networking with other nurses worldwide. Participating in healthcare facilities or community events as a volunteer is also worth considering, as it presents a chance to establish connections with healthcare professionals and give back to the community at the same time.
If you’re ready to make the switch to healthcare, we hope this article has helped you understand how it can be done. Healthcare is a booming industry with plenty of opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds and skill sets.
The key is to identify what kind of role suits your interests and strengths before pursuing an education or certification program – then follow through on that decision.
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