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Are You Nursing Degree Material?
There are many reasons to pursue a nursing degree���it can serve as a ticket into a fast-growing field with opportunities for advancement and solid earnings. But it may not be the right career for everyone. Before you get a nursing degree, make sure it suits you.

There's no doubt that nursing can be a great career. It provides an opportunity to make a difference in the community and in people's lives, all while earning a respectable income. Many people are drawn to the field for those reasons, but it's important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of any career before making a firm commitment. Nursing is no exception.

What Makes Nursing Such a Tough Job?
Most nursing jobs require physical stamina. Nurses must often move patients and spend long stretches on their feet. In addition, nursing often requires great attention to detail. Nurses dispensing medication must make sure they are doing it at the proper time and in the right dosage.

Nurses must also be good at dealing with many types of people, many of whom are under tremendous stress. You might have to tend to patients and their families dealing with trauma or mortal illness. Doctors you assist endure stressful days of long surgeries, making them less amicable than they may otherwise be.

Okay, But What Are The Benefits of a Nursing Degree?
Sure, nursing is tough���but the tough jobs often reap the greatest rewards. Median annual earnings of nurses were more than $52,000 in 2004. And the 10 percent highest paid nurses earned more than $70,000. During an economic phase wherein wages are declining, those numbers are pretty reassuring.

Also, nursing is not the sort of job that is easily outsourced, so while innumerable service-sector jobs are being shipped overseas, nursing jobs will never be exported to India or China. That said, many health facilities are recruiting nurses from developing countries to fill the tremendous need for nurses here.

Do I Need a Master���s Degree in Nursing?
There are also compelling reasons to get a master's degree in nursing. A master's degree in nursing can give you the credentials and skills needed to advance in the field of nursing. A bachelor's degree will prepare you to take on the role of registered nurse or nurse practitioner. A master's degree in nursing may also qualify you for positions such as head nurse or nursing consultant. If you'd like to enjoy a career with greater responsibility and commitments, a master's degree in nursing is a great career move for you.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics
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