Nursing is the study of caring for individuals, families and communities, with acute and chronic illnesses, across the lifespan. Major foci include disease and illness prevention, as well as enhancing the quality of care provided, in an ever-changing, complex healthcare system.  Studies include human anatomical and physiological processes; human growth and development; leadership; pharmacology; systems theory; quality management; and diet and nutrition.

Sample Occupations

  • Nursing specializes by:
  • Work Setting or Type of Treatment
  • Population
  • Organ or Body System
  • Health Condition
  • Staff Nursing
  • Surgical Nurse
  • Hospice Nurse
  • Neonatal ICU Nurse
  • Community & Public Health
  • Home Health Nurse
  • Health Educator
  • Health Care Analyst
  • Clinical Research Manager
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Midwife
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nurse Educator
  • Patient Relations Director
  • Home Care Director

Types of Employers

  • Healthcare Staffing Agencies
  • Hospitals
  • Long-term Care Facilities
  • Medical Practice Offices
  • Private Households
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Veterans Affairs
  • HMOs/Insurance
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Humanitarian Organizations

Preparing for your career in

Nursing: Volunteer or work part-time in a health care environment, develop strong interpersonal skills by seeking opportunities to work/volunteer with different types of people, shadow nurses in different settings to see which specialties are of interest, take electives in wellness, holistic health, medical ethics, and death and dying, learn to be organized and handle stress well, be willing to work nights, weekends, holidays, and varying shifts, join student organizations and professional associations, research licensure requirements

Nursing Administration: Seek out leadership opportunities in student organizations, develop an understanding of budgeting and planning in a health care setting by following news in the field, consider pursuing an MSN, MHA or MBA for greater advancement opportunities, minor in business or communications, gain experience as a staff nurse to advance, earn advanced degrees to teach, develop skills in clinical supervision, practice relationship-building for collaboration across specialties and disciplines

Independent Practice: Develop flexibility, learn to work autonomously and make decisions independently, be willing to move frequently for a career in travel nursing, gain experience in a hospital or healthcare setting

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.