Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Saving Lives Is a Growth Industry

/PRNewswire/ -- Amazing medical advancements are made almost every year and Americans are more health-conscious than they've ever been before. As a result, people are living longer lives. While that is unarguably a good thing, the combination of an aging population and new medical discoveries has created a huge demand for healthcare professionals. Healthcare credentials at any level -- from one-year Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) certifications to eight-year Medical Doctor (MD) professional degrees -- can now provide good pay, excellent benefits, and real job security for decades to come.

Registered Nurse and Healthcare Support Careers Expanding Fast

While healthcare careers are growing across the board, two areas are expanding faster than others: nursing and healthcare support. And like many of the quickest-growing occupations, students can often enter these fields with just one or two years of post-secondary education.

Of all the nursing certifications, Registered Nurses are the most in-demand. RNs perform the bulk of day-to-day nursing duties, from evaluating patients to providing front-line care. To become an RN, a student must earn -- at minimum -- an associate's degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Those who plan to elevate their careers into administration or advanced nursing practice often acquire their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, but that is not required. An associate's is enough to become an RN.

Healthcare support careers, such as medical billing and medical assisting, are growing even faster; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 48% increase in healthcare support jobs through 2016. The basic certification for medical billing and coding can be earned in one year, but a two-year associate's program prepares one to become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), which usually leads to better jobs. Medical assistants typically earn an Associate of Science (AS) in Medical Assisting.

Healthcare Education Promises a Great Return on Investment

The U.S. is using strong healthcare job growth as a cornerstone of its recovery from the current economic recession. Degree and certificate programs in fields like nursing, medical billing and medical assisting allow students to enter the most rapidly expanding careers of the next decade. Every day, more students are discovering good pay, excellent benefits, and real job security in the healthcare profession -- where saving lives is a growth industry!

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