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Nursing: "The Opportunities Have Been Endless"

Resumé writing experts will tell you to limit your resume to one page. For a nurse like Karra, that would be impossible. How could she describe in just one page all she has done as a nurse over the last twenty-eight years:

  • airlifted patients in helicopters
  • trudged through blizzards carrying premature infants born on remote Indian reservations
  • prepared 5000 soldiers for combat in Desert Storm and worked at various hospitals in the Emergency Room, Intensive Care Unit, and Labor & Delivery deparments
  • served as a cruise ship nurse
  • earned three degrees in nursing

"You Can Jump Fences, That's what I like About Nursing."

Karra now works for a large health plan developing methods to improve the delivery of health care to large numbers of patients.

According to Karra, "the security you get with nursing is in its flexibility…that’s what I like about it—you can go from role to role, you can jump those fences."

At 21, Karra was very poor, had a brand new baby, and needed a good job to support her husband while he was in school. She chose nursing as a career because she was seeking stability. She earned her first license as a vocational nurse (LVN) in Washington State and hasn’t stopped since.

"Young people [today] are not given the real story about nursing," says Karra. For example, did you know that:

  • In California, a full time entry level R.N. salary is around $50,000 to $60,000 per year. Some areas of California are so desperate for qualified Registered Nurses that they will offer signing bonuses of $10,000 or more, plus relocation costs.
  • The U.S. military provides free nursing education and advanced clinical training, tremendous leadership opportunities, and (depending on current national policy) can even grant U.S. citizenship to men and women who volunteer.
  • The U.S. government can help you repay your student loans if you choose to work in a location designated "high need."
  • Other nations value the superiority of the American nursing education. They will employ, house and feed new graduates. In addition, they pay them a salary large enough to pay off student loans in about two years.

Karra emphasizes that nursing has really changed over the years, and there are now more opportunities than ever, both in terms of education and employment. Coincidentally, just like Karra’s resume, the list of opportunities in nursing is actually way too long to list in just one story.