Nursing Careers and Education: An Insiders Perspective

We had the opportunity to interview Angil Tarach-Ritchey, RN, GCM about nursing careers and education. Angil is a national expert in senior care, and has more than three decades of experience as a nurse – and more specifically in senior care. Angil is very passionate about improving the treatment, living and care of aging adults and is well respected in the field of nursing. Her insightful work is not only appreciated by seniors and family caregivers, it is recognized by her professional peers. Step into the mind of nurse Tarach-Ritchey, to learn more about the field of healthcare and nursing and educational steps needed to get to a dream career in nursing.

What is your profession, and how did you get to the career you are in today?

I am a RN, Geriatric Care Manager, Eldercare Expert, Author, Speaker and Consultant.  In my early 20’s I didn’t make enough money or have a stable income and wanted more. I thought about my previous jobs and what I liked most, which was working in a nursing home with the elderly and working with the developmentally disabled. That personal review helped me decide to go to nursing school because those jobs were personally fulfilling to me. Throughout my 30-plus years my primary love has been working with geriatric patients, and I did that in a variety of areas throughout my nursing career until I opened my own homecare agency in 2002, which I just sold in March after 10 years. I have now taken decades of this experience and am writing, educating, speaking, and advocating on a national level.

Why should a college student consider a career path in nursing?

Nursing is personally fulfilling, is wide open with opportunities in a variety of areas, and the job outlook is excellent.  If a nurse gets tired or burned out in one area they can go into another area of nursing they enjoy more.  There are always jobs available for nurses and you’re not locked into any one environment, like a hospital.  Nurses are utilized in public health, military, consulting, education, long term care, administration and countless other opportunities and environments.  Nurse’s work jobs from being at a desk as an administrator to being in the height of physical action in trauma units and everything in between.  There is a lot of exposure to different areas of nursing throughout nursing school, which helps the student at least find an area of interest to start in post graduation and State Boards.

What is the number one thing that excites you about the field of healthcare?

It’s always changing and never boring.

What advice would you give future nurses looking to pursue an education in nursing?

Nursing school is tough but fun. There is a camaraderie unlike other college programs because you spend time with the same people throughout the program, making great friends and supporters. It is a wonderful career and worth the effort.

[More on Nursing degree programs...]

What is the average level of education a nurse has these days (BSN, MSN, LPN, etc…)?

The average level of education is an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), but more nurses are going on to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) as the industry is pushing for the higher degree. At the time it is not necessary to go beyond an associate’s degree to have a very fulfilling and financially rewarding career with no fear of lack of jobs available. Depending on a potential nurse’s career goals there are positions available to all education levels. I do recommend getting at least an associate’s degree in Nursing to become a Registered Nurse (RN) rather than a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) because the opportunities are much better and there has been talk for some years now about phasing LPN’s out. If time is a factor a LPN can always continue on to become a RN, as RN’s can continue on to have their BSN, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and even a doctoral degree.

[More on Health and Medicine educational paths...]

About Allison Freeland

Allie Freeland is the Editor-in-Chief of CollegeOnline.org. She has been a professional writer for a decade and received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota. She brings a wealth of information about higher education, online degrees, college life, and career advice. Follow her on G+.