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I am considering pursuing a nursing degree. Will I be able to get a job and how will the ACA affect nurses salaries?

Friday December 7, 2012
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Dear Donna,

I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology. and I am interested in working in a field related to human services. I decided to pursue a nursing degree and I am considering the accelerated track so it will go faster. However, I live in California and new grads are having a hard time finding jobs. Do you think I would have a hard time finding a job? Also, with the Affordable Care Act, will nurses salaries go down? I am certainly not choosing this field for the money. However, with the all the student loans I would have, I would need more than a meager income.

Considering Nursing

Dear Donna replies:

Dear Considering Nursing,

Nursing is still a great profession to get into and is a very broad and diverse field with opportunities in many different settings.

While the hospital job market is tight for new nurses in most parts of the country right now, there are positions available in other settings. Please read “New nurse, new job strategies” (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Strategies). Also, the job market for nurses is cyclical and will further shift over the next few years.

Regarding salary, the rumor that nursing salaries will go down due to the Affordable Care Act is nonsense. In reality, nurses will be leading the way in the future of healthcare (reform is happening with or without any political enactments or retractions) and will be taking on an even bigger role than we've played in the past. It is a very exciting time for nurses and nursing.

The bottom line is that all nurses need to look in new directions for employment and need to learn and utilize new strategies to find those jobs. Follow your heart and things will work out.

You may find this article helpful: “Success strategies for students (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/StrategiesforStudents).

Best wishes,

Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.