Careers in Nursing

What will I do on the job?

Nursing student

As a nurse, your responsibilities will vary depending on where you choose to work. Hospital staff nurses care for a group of patients and often supervise others. They assess the needs and problems of their clients, diagnose nursing problems, and plan, implement and evaluate nursing care. The job requires technical, critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Nurses interact with clients and their families, as well as other members of the health care team.

Your exact job activities will vary from day to day, depending on the type and condition of the clients under your care. However, each day will call for careful observation, decision-making and problem solving. Providing nursing care is both challenging and rewarding.

What skills will I use on the job?

PCC’s program is designed to develop a variety of skills. As a nurse, you will make physical assessments, administer medication, use sterile techniques and manage intravenous therapy. Technical skills will vary with changing health care technology. You will also use problem-solving skills such as assessing, analyzing, planning, intervening and evaluating. Interpersonal skills like communicating, counseling, teaching and supervising will be needed.

How much can I earn?

Approximate annual salaries in the Portland area:

  • Starting: $35,000 – $40,000
  • Experienced: $40,000 – $65,000

Salaries vary, depending on the employer and work location. The ongoing nursing shortage should cause average salaries to increase as employers compete for skilled professionals.

Who will hire me?

There are hundreds of nursing employers in the Portland area: major medical centers, community hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, rehabilitation centers, emergency departments, intensive care units, schools, home health care agencies, birthing centers, physicians’ offices, clinics and health departments.

You will be able to work just about anywhere your imagination takes you. Nurses are found in cities, rural areas, overseas, in the armed forces, at home, in institutions and industry.