Nursing is a major that typically falls into the Health Professions category.
There are 1,172 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in nursing, 1,233 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 1,519 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 693 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.
Who Is Getting a Nursing Degree?
Nursing is the second most popular college major in the country. In 2017, roughly 144,700 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the field. The major attracts more women than men. About 87.2% of the recent graduates in this field are female.
At the countrywide level, the racial distribution of nursing majors is as follows:
- Asian: 6.3%
- Black or African American: 9.2%
- Hispanic or Latino: 12.2%
- White: 63.2%
- Non-Resident Alien: 0.7%
- Other Races: 8.4%
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in nursing. About 0.7% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending nursing majors to the U.S. are South Korea, Canada and China.
What Will You Learn as a Nursing Major?
An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to nursing to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Nursing Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
Skills for Nursing Majors
Nursing majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:
Abilities for Nursing Majors
As you progress with your nursing degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
What Can You Do With a Nursing Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with nursing:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Nursing Instructors and Professors||24%||$73,490|
|Acute Care Nurses||14.8%||$71,730|
|Clinical Nurse Specialists||14.8%||$71,730|
|Critical Care Nurses||14.8%||$71,730|
|Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses||14.8%||$71,730|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||20.5%||$99,730|
Nursing Major Salary
Nursing majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $81,000 to $114,000. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.
The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.
Amount of Education Required for Nursing Major Jobs
Some careers associated with nursing require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much education do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to nursing have obtained the following education levels.
|Level of Education||Percentage of Workers|
|Less Than a High School Diploma||0%|
|High School Diploma or Equivalent||0%|
|Some College Courses||1.7%|
|Associate's Degree or Equivalent||17.9%|
|First Professional Degree||2%|
Online Nursing Programs
There are 1,233 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in nursing, with 521 of them offering at least some courses online.
Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.
Getting your degree online is not easy and includes watching and listening to hours of lectures, participating in group charts, submitting papers by the appropriate deadline and taking tests. Some online programs will also feature internships or in-person clinical hours.
Is a Nursing Major Worth It?
The median salary for a nursing grad is $107,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 175% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,360,200 after 20 years!
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