Professionals in the healthcare industry are in high demand and highly valuable to society. These individuals play a pivotal role in providing access to quality health worldwide essential to the promotion and prevention of disease. Globally, there is a shortage of over 4 million professionals, including doctors, nurses, and support staff. The United States is no exception and, with the aging population, will need to hire at least 2 million healthcare workers throughout 2025. Currently, there is a shortage of personnel in all areas of the industry including lab technicians, nurses, and physicians. This is a great opportunity for those looking to pursue a career in this sector of the economy. However, how exactly does one enter the field? The answer depends greatly on the career and its educational requirements.

Becoming a doctor

Becoming a doctor is one of the hardest but most rewarding processes that anyone will endure. The first step in this long journey begins with obtaining an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Although no specific degree is required, most people that look to apply to medical school will pursue a pre-med, biology, or science-related diploma. Afterward, prospective medical students will need to pass the Medical College Administration Test (MCAT) and then apply to medical school. The next step involves completing their training in medical school, followed by passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), which is a three-part exam that students will take while in school and after completing their degree. Future physicians will also need to submit applications for their residency and earn board certifications and state licenses once they complete all educational requirements. The entire process to become a doctor will take at least nine years.

Becoming a nurse

The median salary for a registered nurse (RN) is above 66,000 dollars a year. This is indicative of the demand for individuals properly trained to execute the functions. The field is projected to expand, as a 19 percent growth is expected throughout 2022. Although each state regulates the process for becoming a nurse, the characteristics are typically similar. The first step to becoming a nurse is to complete a state-approved program that provides a degree. These degrees differ and can include nursing certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees. Afterward, a licensing exam called the NCLEX-RN examination is administered by the National Council of State Board of Nursing. Once a prospective nurse obtains the needed certification, they will require a state license. At this point, nurses can look for advanced or specialized training along with work experience to expand the range of possible jobs that require further studies like nurse specialists or practitioners. Students can look for this type of training from accredited online and continuing education degree programs. There are also doctoral degrees in the field, indicating that nursing is one where individual growth is practically unlimited.

Other healthcare-related fields

The medical field is not limited to physicians and doctors. A wide array of professions work in the industry to provide the needed support to all types of organizations. Medical facilities, such as a healthcare center in Old Bridge, NJ, require a range of staff trained in different areas and with unique skill sets. Whether part of a front office staff at a hospital or performing job functions at a private practice, people in this industry contribute to the health and well-being of others. If you are an individual who enjoys working with people, many job opportunities are available as a medical assistant. This career path involves helping verify patient information including taking blood pressure and recording symptoms. Those with a passion for medicine and technology can look toward working with the machinery that helps diagnose and treat patients.