A bright future for healthcare professionals

A career in healthcare has endless possibilities, allowing the flexibility to choose a specialty that fits individual interests and abilities.

From birth to death, healthcare professionals provide critical support and care to people across their lifespan. A broad range of healthcare specialties are available in the United States. For example, a career in nursing includes opportunities in pediatrics, geriatrics, emergency care, surgical nursing and more. Other nurses work in community settings as forensic nurses, legal nurse consultants, clinical researchers and school nurses. The career outlook for nurses has never been better.

Studies have shown that the nursing shortage is a serious issue in the United States and in many other countries around the world. With global nursing shortages and an ageing population, qualified nurses have their choice of well-paying jobs. There are currently over 100,000 vacant nursing positions in the USA, and that number is predicted to grow.

Undergraduate nursing programmes prepare the beginning generalist professional nurse for practice in a variety of settings. Graduate nursing programmes expand the role of the nurse and prepare them for careers as educators, administrators or as advanced practice nurses. Graduate programmes, such as the Master’s of Nursing (MSN) programme or the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programme at Robert Morris University (RMU), prepare nurse educators and advanced practice nurses respectively.

Nuclear Medicine Technology (NMT) is another healthcare professional opportunity. This profession combines chemistry, physics, mathematics, computer technology and medicine in using radioactivity to diagnose and treat disease. Nuclear Medicine Technology is a unique diagnostic science that provides information about both the structure and function of major organ systems within the body.

It is this ability to characterise and in some instances quantify physiologic function, which separates nuclear medicine from other imaging modalities. For example, at some institutions such as RMU, students in NMT receive additional education in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerised Tomography (CT) modalities, providing them with additional skills that make them uniquely qualified for positions in healthcare systems worldwide.

The healthcare industry is one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing industries. Educational programmes that prepare graduates for healthcare professions provide clinical practice opportunities within healthcare systems that are state of the art. With the appropriate education, graduates are prepared for healthcare professional opportunities in the United States and globally.

Dr Lynn George, PhD, RN Associate Dean and
Dr Lisa Locasto, DNP, RN, Department Head
School of Nursing and Health Sciences
Robert Morris University (USA)