Bypass navigation bar Search Home

Nursing Career Overview

​​​​​​

What is the difference between CNA, LVN and RN?

Certified nursing aide/assistant (CNAs) provide basic patient care under direction of nursing staff, perform duties such as feed, bathe, dress, groom or movie patients, change linens, and documents observations of patient behavior, complaints, or physical symptoms to nurses.

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) care for patients under the direction of doctors and registered nurses, taking vital signs, giving injections and dressing wounds, assisting with personal hygiene, collecting lab samples and monitoring medication or treatment.

Registered nurses (RNs) administer medication, perform diagnostic tests, operate medical machinery, develop and carry out health-care plans and educate patients and the public.

Most nursing jobs are hands-on medical work that helps to diagnose and treat patients; there are exceptions.

CNAs

 
$9.53

entry-level hourly wage for nursing assistants (CNAs) *
 
$13.45

experienced hourly wage for nursing assistants (CNAs) *
 
3 mos.

min. length of time for training
 
+28%

projected job growth through 2026 *

This career requires at least a(n):

Nursing Assistant Workforce Certificate

LVNs

 
$18.50

entry-level hourly wage for vocational nurses (LVNs) *
 
$25.97

experienced hourly wage for vocational nurses (LVNs) *
 
12 mos.

min. length of time for training
 
+29%

projected job growth through 2026 *

This career requires at least a(n):

Vocational Nursing Level II Certificate

RNs

 
$26.60

entry-level hourly wage for registered nurses (RNs) *
 
$38.45

experienced hourly wage for registered nurses (RNs) *
 
16-24 mos.

min. length of time for training
 
+26%

projected job growth through 2026 *

This career requires at least a(n):

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

*SOURCE: Texas Workforce Commission and JobsEQ

Job Opportunities for Nurses

About three out of five nursing jobs are in hospitals, with either inpatient or outpatient departments, but there are many opportunities also available to nurses in any of the following:

  • Clinics
  • Doctors’ offices
  • Home health care
  • Nursing care facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Schools, from elementary to university level
  • Surgery centers
  • Industrial settings
  • Public health care agencies
  • Retirement communities
  • Emergency medical centers

Most nursing assistants generally receive training on-site and work in clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities.

Nationwide nursing shortage unsures high employability, especially for those with multiple specialities or certifications. Advanced career opportunities for nurses with additional education include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified registered nurse anesthetists and certified mid-wives.

Job openings are expected to increase in outpatient facilities such as same-day surgery, rehabilitation and chemotherapy. With baby boomers becoming senior citizens, nursing care for older people is also a huge area of growth in job expansion.

Projected Job Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health-related occupations will add the most new jobs to the economy – nearly one-third of the total increase – through 2022. Fourteen of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs listed by America’s Career Infonet are in health care occupations. Job growth in the health care industry reflects the medical needs of a larger older population and more insured people in the U.S. stemming from health care reform.

 
Nearly 1/3

of all new jobs through 2022 will be health-related

View Current Openings

You can search current job openings in your area on Indeed.com.

Indeed.com

Students at the colleges of DCCCD can take advantage of additional career services.

NACE Link

DCCCD’s Health Careers Resource Center offers a special site just for health care students and graduates called HELIX.

HELIX

Skills Required and Working Conditions

Nurses must be physically able to care for sick patients. This involves lifting, moving, bathing and transferring patients into and out of bed. Nurses are exposed to patients with infectious diseases.

Because nurses deal with the public, a neat, well-groomed appearance and a courteous, pleasant demeanor are needed. Nurses must be good at putting patients at ease, listening to patients and explaining physician instructions. Conscientiousness and respect for the confidential nature of medical information are required.

House and conditions vary widely but may include 24-hour or night shifts, weekends and holidays. Part-time and shift work widely available.

Other job demands include:

  • Emotional stability and calm decision-making under pressure
  • The ability to work accurately and safely under stress and time constraints, read and record numbers accurately, perform repetitive tasks, concentrate in distracting situations, and make subjective evaluations and decisions where mistakes may have a high impact on patient care
  • The ability to adapt to changing environments
  • The ability to prioritize tasks
  • Effective communication in written and spoken English in order to transmit information to members of the health care team
  • The ability to make a correct judgment in seeking supervisory help and consultation in a timely manner
  • Positive personality attributes that include integrity, responsibility and tolerance
  • The ability to work independently as well as with others
  • A professional image
​​​​