My Career Speech


I.  Introduction:  Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be in the medical profession.  In the eighth grade, we had an essay on what we wanted to be when we grew up.  I wrote mine on being a nurse.  As I got older, I looked into other medical professions, but I always ended back up at the career of a registered nurse.  This career has stuck with me through my teenage years and now my early twenties.  I’ve never been afraid of the sight of blood, and as unusual as it may sound, human anatomy interests me.  I sometimes watch those shows on TLC where they perform operations.  I feel like I am a caring and compassionate person.  Nothing would make me happier than to combine that with my interest in medicine and help those in need.  Thesis:  Today, I would like to tell you about the career of a registered nurse.  Mapping:  The first thing I will talk about is the educational requirements needed.  Then, I’ll tell you about the job outlook and the nature of the work.  Finally, I will tell you about the salary and benefits that a registered nurse can earn.


II.  Body


            1) Educational Requirements


A)    There are three paths that you can take to registered nursing.  The associate of science in nursing is offered by community and junior colleges, like here at Darton, and generally take 2-3 years to complete.  The Bachelor of Science degree is offered by colleges and universities and usually take 4-5 years to complete.  The last is a diploma program that lasts 2-3 years and is offered by hospitals.  Graduates from any of these programs will qualify for entry-level positions.


B)     An article in the “Occupational Outlook Handbook” says that many A.D.N and Diploma-educated nurses enter bachelor’s programs.  This is to prepare for a broader scope of nursing practice.  In fact, a BSN is required for most administrative positions.


C)    After completing the program that you chose, you will receive your degree.  But, don’t celebrate just yet.  All of that hard work and studying was to prepare you for the state-licensing exam.  You must take and pass this exam in order to obtain your state license to practice as a registered nurse.  Also, you must renew that license every two years. 


Transition:  Once you have completed school and have your state license, you are ready to get into the job market.


            2) Job Outlook


A)     Right now, prospects for registered nurses are real good.  There has been a nation wide shortage of registered nurses, which should help to broaden the number of prospects for new graduates.


B)     According to an article I found at, the number of older people needing care is projected to grow rapidly, causing an increase in the need for registered nurses.  Also, there will be more job openings resulting from the need to replace experienced registered nurses that leave the occupation due to age and increasing need for health care themselves.


C)     The article at also says that getting a job at a hospital will be harder than obtaining a job at a physician’s office or clinic.  However, the prospects in southwest Georgia are slightly different.  Here in Albany, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital has a need for a large number of nurses and there are always hospitals advertising in the Albany Herald for registered nurses.


Transition:  When choosing whether to take a position in a hospital or a physician’s office or even a teaching position, you should take into consideration the type of work you will be performing in that position.


            3) Nature of the Work


A)     The largest number of nurses work in hospitals.  These nurses provide bedside care for patients, carry out the attending physician’s orders, and even supervise the LPN’s and aides.  Generally, you will be assigned to a specific department, like pediatrics, ER, surgery, ICU or you may rotate between departments.  My hope is to work in either pediatrics or the NICU.


B)     There are so many different jobs for registered nurses.  There are positions in physician’s offices, nursing homes, and even occupational health nurses for on the work-site care.  You can choose to be a private duty nurse.  These nurses care for those that need constant attention and care.  You would work directly for families either on your own or through a nursing or temporary agency. 


C)     You could also work as a public health nurse in government or private agencies, schools, or any other community setting.  As a PHN you would arrange for immunizations, blood pressure testing and other screenings.  You would also act as a teacher, instructing families and other groups in disease prevention, childcare, nutrition, and general health education.


D)     Communication skills are extremely important for a registered nurse.  There will be constant contact with people, both well and ill.  Patient’s and their families look to you for information, and you will need to be able to give it.  Also, you will need to communicate well with the doctors.  If you do not speak well or get your point across clearly, it could turn out to be life threatening.


Transition:  The type of work you will perform in these positions plays a major role in what kind of salary you will earn and what benefits, if any, you will receive.



4) Salary and benefits


A)     The salary of a nurse can range from $27 K per year to $67 K per year, with an average of about $41,500 per year.  For those that work in hospitals, the average earnings are about $33 k.  For those working in specialty fields, the pay can be much better.  For example, a nurse anesthetist has an average of $66 K per year.


B)     For those that don’t mind working the third shift, you can expect to have better earnings than someone working a first shift.  No one likes to work third shift, so it is an in demand position.  Personally, I wouldn’t mind, although the schedule change would take some getting used to.


C)     Most employers offer flexible hours, childcare, bonuses, and benefits.  For example, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital offers an educational benefit for those interested in the nursing field.  They also provide medical benefits, paid vacation, the Family Tree day care, as well as flexibility with your work schedule.


Transition:  The career of a registered nurse has many different fields and opportunities, as well as a wide range of salaries.


III.  Conclusion:  For me, the amount I would make per year has never factored into my reasons for wanting to be a registered nurse.  Neither did the wide range of job opportunities.  This is something I have always wanted and always felt passionately about.  It will be a rewarding career that I will never get tired of or bored with.  And now that I have finally made it to the first step, getting my degree, I feel like I am finally living out my dream.

















Career Browser, copyright 2002,, May 31, 2002,,1462,10-084,00.html


Occupational Outlook Handbook; 2002-2003 edition; June 2, 2002;