Nursing Schools in Delaware – DE
Nursing is a dynamic profession that is growing in importance as the scope of their practice continues to increase to include more and more essential medical services. If you aspire to begin a career in this exciting field, you’ll first need to undergo at least two years of education and training.
Your educational requirements will vary depending on the type of certification you hope to achieve. For most nurses, an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or diploma from an accredited nursing program are sufficient. For nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and other advanced practice nurses, a master’s degree or even a doctorate is required. Most nursing schools in Delaware offer a range of programs for students with different skill sets and aspirations.
In Delaware’s nursing school, you’ll learn everything from basic technical skills, like checking vital signs, to a basic understanding of core medical concepts like biology and physiology, to practical skills like communication techniques for addressing the sensitive situations that arise in the course of providing medical care.
You may also want to take courses in a field like gerontology or oncology and apply for specialist certification from organizations like the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Although Delaware doesn’t require nurses to acquire specialized certification, these kinds of credentials can demonstrate to employers that you are a professional, serious about your career, and have invested time and effort in developing exceptional skills. These kinds of qualifications can help you shoot to the top of a rapidly expanding field.
Nursing Jobs in Delaware
Delaware is the second smallest state in the U.S., with a population of just over a million people. However, with almost 450 residents per square mile, it’s also one of the most densely populated. Delaware also has one of the highest concentrations of nurses in the country, with over 10,220 nurses active in the workforce, but it still needs more to meet the growing demand.
Cities like Dover and Wilmington are growing rapidly, putting pressure on the existing medical system. Additionally, 13.7% of Delaware’s population is elderly, and the population is projected to increase, and over 150,000 people have disabilities or chronic health problems. Finally, the demands of healthcare reform are likely to further increase the need for nurses. As a result, the need for nurses in Delaware—already estimated at somewhere between 1300-3000 nurses—is expected to increase significantly in coming years. With the right preparation, you can position yourself to be part of that growth.
Within the overall nursing profession, certain jobs are projected to be in greater demand than others. Although jobs are projected to grow less quickly in hospitals, the high turnover rate of hospital employees means that employment prospects in hospitals will continue to be excellent. Faster growth is projected in doctor’s offices, outpatient clinics, and long-term care facilities, although competition for these jobs is likely to also be greater. Generally, nurses with higher educational credentials will be better positioned to take advantage of these opportunities—so don’t waste any time in finding the school that’s right for you.
Nursing Programs in Delaware
Nursing programs in Delaware are strictly regulated and follow a standardized curriculum designed to teach the skills and information necessary to effectively assist individual patients and promote public health.
Core courses focus on things like clinical judgment, the basic principles of nursing, and essential interventions, while more advanced courses address more specific topics like pharmacology, pathophysiology, and mental health. Most programs also give you the opportunity to specialize in an area, population, or type of health. For example, you could choose to focus on the type of nursing required in operating room medicine, on adolescent health, or on gastrointestinal health issues. These types of specializations are not required, and most nurses are general practitioners, but having expertise in an area you’re interested in can be useful in finding the kinds of jobs you want.
Of course, different nursing jobs have different educational requirements, so you should think seriously about what you want to do and look for programs specifically targeted at your goals. For example, becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) requires less education and training than becoming a registered nurse, while being a nurse practitioner usually requires very advanced education.
Whichever you choose, however, finding the best program for your goals will be a hugely important factor in launching your career off to a great start in cities like Wilmington, Dover, and Newark.
Nursing Salaries in Delaware
Many nurses find their work to be emotionally grueling but rewarding: nursing gives you the opportunity to help people in need every day. But nursing’s rewards aren’t all altruistic: it’s also a financially rewarding profession, offering high salaries, good benefits, and great job prospects far into the future.
In Delaware, an ongoing nursing shortage has put nurses in high demand, so finding employment is unlikely to be a problem for a trained nurse. The average salary for a nurse in Delaware, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $70,770, significantly above the national average, though this figure is likely to depend somewhat on where you are living. Nurses in the Wilmington metropolitan area, for example, make around $70,090, while nurses in the Sussex County region make slightly less, with an average salary of $68,920.
Your place of employment also makes a difference in your salary. Nurses employed by large hospitals like Kent General Hospital in Dover or Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford often receive higher salaries and more comprehensive benefits than those who work for schools, clinics, or nursing homes.
Finally, education and experience are extremely important. Although not required, achieving expertise in a high-demand field like home healthcare and becoming certified by a body like the American Nurses Credentialing Center can significantly increase your earning power and give you the edge in getting the jobs you want.