There is a need for nurses in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. With over 1 million online job postings for nurses, some of the most sought after positions are for registered nurses.

With a starting salary of approximately $55,000, getting ahead in the healthcare industry can give one a very lucrative and rewarding career. There is a 10-year projected growth for registered nurses of 19.4 percent. The median salary of those with a bachelor’s degree is $65,470. According to Kiplinger, those with a master’s degree earn $89,960.

Jeanette Wisdom is a nurse supervisor for the Multi-Disciplinary Surgery Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The Multi-Disciplinary Surgery Center serves patients undergoing colorectal, bariatric, endocrine and general surgery like hernia repairs and gall bladder removal. She not only earned a master’s degree, but went back to earn a doctorate.

Wisdom’s advice for those considering returning to school: “Just do it. There are so many opportunities, you never know what doors will be opened by education, but you know that there are doors that do not open without education. With distance learning via online classes it makes it easier for people to return to school.”

Belinda Tommey earned a master’s degree in healthcare administration from Texas Woman’s University. Tommey is executive director at Dallas Nephrology Associates and oversees all administrative functions of the medical group.

“I started my healthcare career as a nurse, working in an intensive care unit and wanted to make a difference for nurses in terms of scheduling, shifts [and] compensation, so I pursued a graduate degree in healthcare administration. My goal was to become a hospital administrator, and apply business concepts rather than continuing to pursue clinical expertise. I learned it was very difficult to make the leap from clinical nurse to hospital administrator without having a graduate degree. I also wanted to improve my earnings potential,” said Tommey.

For Tommey, the reward for earning the master’s degree has been great. “I really enjoy my work. I am constantly learning and applying certain research and study skills that I acquired in graduate school to my actual job. I am constantly using my clinical background as well. I feel like I actually make a contribution.”

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com