Nurse Job Satisfaction Propels Nursing to the Top of the Best Jobs List

US News '100 Best Jobs' names nurse and nurse practitioner careers as two of the nation’s best jobs 

By Megan Murdock Krischke, contributor US News Best Jobs Nursing

The Gallup poll continually ranks nurses as the most trusted professionals. And recently, US News 100 Best Jobs list named working as a registered nurse (RN) number six out of the country’s 100 best jobs, and a nurse practitioner (NP) career ranked as number four. 

What could be better than being respected for doing a job you love?

Given the variety of environments in which nurses can work and types of nursing jobs available to RN professionals, it’s not surprising that nurse job satisfaction is so prevalent. RNs can opt for traditional direct-care roles in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities and primary care, or work in home health, private business, community health, patient education, care coordination and a number of nontraditional roles.

RNs consistently find a high level of nurse job satisfaction. They can also expect to have job security going forward, as the Affordable Care Act is making it possible for more Americans to receive health care services and the baby boomer generation’s need for care continues to increase. 

In fact, US News reported that the 19.4 percent employment growth expected between 2012 and 2022 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics--coupled with an unemployment rate of just 2.6 percent--helped RNs secure their ranking on the magazine’s list as one of the country’s best jobs.

This increased need for nurses is also increasing the demand for travel nurses in a variety of specialties. 

A case of travel nursing leading to greater career options

Jennifer McCaffrey, RN, MSN, FNP, family nurse practitioner in Courtland, N.Y., at a federally qualified health center, provides care to an underserved rural population. Her favorite aspects of nursing are the variety of choices it offers along with the opportunity to care for people.  She also credits American Mobile travel nursing with helping advance her career.

“Nursing can have some challenging hours, but I’ve also made that work for me,” she remarked. “At times I have worked evening shifts so that my children didn’t have to be in childcare.”

“One of the best things about the career is that as an RN you have a lot of career options and there is also a lot you can do with the more advanced degrees such as nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and doctor of nursing practice,” she added. “You can work in research, pharmaceutical, or health information technology, to name a few of the less-mainstream career paths. I have had the opportunity to work in three different countries!”

McCaffrey did several stints as a travel nurse between 1996 and 2002, when she worked in maternity nursing. It was also during this time that she pursued her advanced degree. 

“Traveling was a great way to experience living in places that I would consider moving to permanently and to do that for a reasonable cost. The travel nurse agency covers the cost of housing. What a great way to live in Manhattan and San Diego,” she reflected. “For me, traveling was a great way to see the country, visit friends and experience new things in a super economical way.”

“Beyond the fun, being a travel nurse was good for my career,” she continued. “Traveling validates your skills and increases your confidence level. I had amazing opportunities for additional training. On one of my assignments, the facility paid for my training as a neonatal resuscitation instructor. I worked in prestigious hospitals as well as a military hospital--which has helped me understand my clients who are in the military.”

“I’ve also never had any trouble getting hired,” she added.

When McCaffrey traveled with American Mobile, she appreciated the fact that her recruiter and the support team made all aspects travel nursing easy--from phone interviews, to getting work lined up to getting paychecks and benefits.

“I signed up, and from there everything was seamless,” she stated. 

In addition to opportunities to work in some of the nation’s top ranked hospitals, travel nurses receive competitive pay and benefits, the ability to take time off between assignments, free housing or a housing stipend, and new professional and personal experiences. They can even take pets and family with them on assignments.  

McCaffrey encourages other nurses to reach for new opportunities such as travel nursing and use the experience to create a career that fits their desires and goals.

“As a nurse, options are always there for me; there is never a question of options, it is just which one to take,” she concluded.

Check out travel nurse job opportunities with American Mobile today.

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