The health care sector has one of the best outlooks in the entire US economy. There’s strong demand for health care professionals, largely because of the rapidly aging population as more Americans approach and reach retirement age, and the demand is only forecasted to increase. More Americans are also accessing health care services, since services are more widely available and there’s increasing interest in pursuing personal wellness even in the absence of acute injuries or aggressive illness.

Other sectors offer uncertain futures because of outsourcing to less expensive labor and supply markets and vulnerability to increasing automation as technology advances. However, nursing and many health care jobs are hands-on, direct and human-centric and cannot be outsourced or automated away.

A registered nurse is an appealing role within the wider health care sector for a number of reasons. It doesn’t require the level of education, upfront expense, and years of study that a full medical career does, but it does offer a high degree of authority, specialization and professionalism. It also offers more variety, independence and scope for career progress than some of the other hands-on medical careers such as senior caregivers, medical office assistants and practical nursing. Registered nurses can move into team leader and management roles through the course of their careers, and could work independently, out of clinics, and in a number of different roles within a hospital setting such as emergency room, pediatrics or surgical support.

If you’re looking for a career that’s meaningful and rewarding, offers competitive and enviable rates of compensation, and is future-proof, then you should look into joining a nursing program. You have to complete a registered nursing program to qualify as a registered nurse, but American health care education is considered one of the best in the world and qualifies you to work in any location across the country and most overseas locations. It’s also the type of education that leads to a steady job without needing a lot of other qualifications or experience, since practical and hands-on experience is integrated within the program. You do need to pass a licensing exam to get certified, but your program should prepare you well for it.

Bryant & Stratton College campus is a nursing school in Akron, Ohio, and offers multiple other locations around the country. To qualify for nursing school, you need to have achieved a high school diploma or equivalent diploma (GED). Contact the schools that you’re interested in for specific requirements, but keep in mind that coursework will include sciences as well as practical health care and management skills, so you’ll generally need a solid foundation in the fundamentals of biology and chemistry. There may be qualifying exams or minimum grade requirements in prerequisite courses, though there are usually courses that you can enroll in to bring specific skills up to the required level before applying, if needed.

Becoming a registered nurse is a fairly straightforward process. Finish high school or complete your graduation equivalency diploma; check your chosen school’s application prerequisites and brush up on skills if needed, or simply submit your application; complete studies and sit for your certification licensing, and then enjoy being in one of the most secure jobs in the US.