June 7, 2011 | Suzanne Shaffer | Leave a comment If you are looking for a career that has a high percentage of employment after graduation (84%) and has one of the lowest unemployment rates (2%), nursing could be your ticket to job security and further career advancement. Numbering over 4 million, nurses make up the nation’s largest health care profession. Following are six reasons why it makes sense to get a nursing degree, and get it online: Nurses are in demand Nurses are currently in high demand now, and will be even more in demand by 2020. The Health Resources and Services Administration has projected a shortfall of 800,000 nurses by 2020. Employers in some parts of the country and in certain settings report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of nurses, primarily because of an aging workforce and a lack of younger workers to fill positions. To attract and retain qualified nurses, hospitals are offering signing bonuses, family-friendly work schedules, or subsidized training. In addition, all four advanced practice specialtiesâ€”clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, nurse-midwives, and nurse anesthetistsâ€”will be in high demand, particularly in medically underserved areas such as inner cities and rural areas. Nurses can choose where they want to work There are numerous opportunities for those with nursing degrees. You can work in hospitals, schools, government agencies, home healthcare facilities, physicians offices and even outpatient care facilities. You can even work as a traveling nurse, giving you the flexibility to take an assignment close to home or thousands of miles away. Nurses have numerous opportunities for advancement Nurses can add additional training to their degrees and advance into management, or even change specialities, such as trauma nursing or neonatal care. Many times the hospitals will pay for additional training and once training is completed, a promotion and increase in pay follows. Nursing enables you to easily relocate Since nurses are in high demand and nursing skills can be applied almost anywhere, you can live where you want and still find employment. If you face relocation due to family responsibilities, your spouse is transferred, or you need to move due to rising costs where you are living, you can always find a job as a nurse in any healthcare facility located throughout the country. Nursing pays well According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wages of registered nurses were $62,450 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between $51,640 and $76, 570. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,410 and the highest 10 percent earned more than $92,240. Many employers offer flexible work schedules, child care, educational benefits, and bonuses. Online nursing degrees offer various levels of study Online degree programs offer convenience and accessibility, especially if you are currently employed full time and need to work the classes around your schedule. You can pursue a degree plan in the three general types of nursing: registered nurses (RNs), license practical nurses (LPNs), and advanced practice nurses (which include numerous types of advanced degrees in healthcare education). If you already have a Bachelor of Science or Arts degree in another field, you may want to consider numerous academic programs specially geared toward college graduates. These programs are called post-baccalaureate, second degree or accelerated degrees. Post-baccalaureate programs (BA to BSN, or BS to BSN) recognize your previous education and build on it, without repeating it. There are many online programs available for professionals wanting to switch careers and pursue nursing. Get free information about online nursing degrees, this site can provide you with additional information and connect you with accredited programs offering nursing specialties.