Choose Two Possible Career Choices







Career choices are crucial for the success of any individual. They virtually outline the course of one’s life, which in turn influences his or her quality of life. This report aims at examining two careers namely, dentistry and nursing. For each of the careers, background information is given, as well as the varied areas of specialization in individual careers. In addition, it outlines the specific things that are incorporated by the careers, as well the educational and training requirements for both careers. To allow for complete comparison of the two careers, the report provides data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on salaries, as well as employment opportunities and outlook. At the end of the paper, the author has provided a conclusion, as well as recommendations on the career that would be most appropriate in line with the available data, while holding all factors constant.


The importance of choosing the right career for any student cannot be gainsaid. In fact, an individual’s choice of career marks the epitome of one’s academic journey and may be directly related to their quality of life. Unfortunately, many are times when an individual does not have a clear idea as to the career choice that he should choose. This is because every career comes with its challenges and unique opportunities or advantages. In essence, it is imperative that one evaluates the opportunities and challenges that career comes with, and align them with his goals. The healthcare sector provides some of the most enviable professions or career. This paper examines two careers in the healthcare sector namely dentistry and nursing. In essence, it examines the backgrounds of the two careers, as well as all aspects that pertain to the careers.


This completed report has been composed by ABC who has vast experience in the industry. It aims at examining all aspects pertaining to the career, weighing them and giving a recommendation as to the best career from the two choices examined. These aspects include what the careers involve, the employment opportunities and outlook of the examined careers, the categories that both careers incorporate and the typical salaries that specialists in these professions earn, as well as where they work.


This formal report examines the background of the two careers and the responsibilities incorporated by both careers incorporate. In addition, it examines the various areas of specialization incorporated by the two careers as well as the educational and training requirements encompassed by both careers. Moreover, the paper looks at the employment opportunities presented by the two careers and the outlook or rather the growth that is envisaged in both careers, in the coming years. This is done so as to develop a clear picture as to the careers and what they involve so as to compare them meaningfully. In addition, the report examines the salary ranges for both careers, in line with the areas of specialization. This information will form a firm foundation for recommendations and conclusions that have been presented at the end of the paper.


As much as utmost care and effort was put in when compiling the report, it is noteworthy that the author faced some limitations that led to the incorporation of certain assumptions. First, there was limited time to gather data pertaining to certain aspects of these careers in individual states. It is noteworthy that there is no uniformity in the salary or remuneration scales between as well as within individual healthcare institutions, even when the job level is equal. In addition, there was limited data on certain aspects of these careers in certain healthcare institutions. These factors led to the incorporation of certain assumptions, or rather holding all factors constant. In examining these careers, the author used secondary sources of data.


Given the limitations that the author faced when compiling this report, it became imperative that certain assumptions be made. Two assumptions were made in this case.

1). The salary scales across similar job levels in the same career are the same irrespective of the institution in which the professionals work or even the state.

2). The educational requirements for individuals in the same areas of specialization are the same irrespective of the state and the institution where one works.


In gathering this information, secondary sources of data were examined. These included journals of the healthcare sector and books. These proved to be exceedingly useful in providing an insight as to all the salient aspects pertaining to the careers examined.



First Hawaiian Centre Suite 567

234 Bishop Street

Honolulu, P16 456576

6th April 2012

ABS, Advisor

Hawaiian College of Management

54656 Dole Street, Honolulu, P1 45656565

Dear Mr. ABS,

As requested on 29th of March 2012, I have enclosed a report containing information pertaining to dentistry and nursing, as well as recommendations on the same.

This formal report examines the various aspects of the two professions including the varied areas of specialisation in an individual career, background and what the careers involve. In addition, it examines the educational and training requirements of the individual careers, especially on the areas of specialisation. For both careers, the report looks at the employment areas and outlook or projections of the employment opportunities in the future and comes up with a typical salary for both careers.

As much as I drew primarily on individual expertise in preparing this report, the opportunity came in handy as it allowed me to examine and review certain aspects of the two careers. Testament to this is the incorporation of some of the best and up-to-date references at the end of this paper. In essence, you can be sure that the information presented is not only the latest but also the best anyone can get.

Utmost care has been taken to ensure completeness in the preparation of this report. However, it is noteworthy that there were certain constraints especially pertaining to time and availability of data required for its preparation. Nevertheless, sufficient information has been provided to safeguard your needs as far as making comparisons and the right judgment on the best career among the two are concerned. In case you need any extra information on the same, please contact me on the phone number provided. It was an honor and pleasure to prepare the report for you. I look forwards to working on a similar or another project with you in the future.Sincerely,





Dentistry refers to a health profession where an individual takes care of the gums, teeth, as well as the mouth’s supporting bones. A dentist helps his patients to enhance the well-being and health of their gums and teeth. As much as their main work is the treatment of diseased gums and teeth, they sometimes engage in the detection of the general body diseases that have an impact on the patient’s mouth condition. Currently, there are over 161,000 dentists in the United States, most of whom practice general dentistry. This gives them the capacity to provide all-inclusive care to a wide range of patients.


A career in dentistry may involve practicing in one of the 8 specialization areas. There are orthodontists, who engage in straightening of teeth using braces and wires. Endodontists take care of diseases that affect the soft pulp of the teeth, while oral surgeons carry out surgical operations on the jaw and mouth (Bonnie, 2000). Oral pathologists mainly diagnose and treat diseases affecting the mouth while prosthodontists use artificial teeth to replace missing teeth. Periodontists treat gum problems while pedodontists mainly specialize in dentistry for teenagers and children. Lastly, there are public health dentists who are involved in the development of care programs (Bonnie, 2000).

While most dentists provide general dentistry services, which allow them to operate under most of these specialties, there are some dentists who restrict their practice to only one of the eight recognised specialties in the profession.


In most cases, dentistry is summarized as involving taking care of dental health of one’s patients. While this may largely be the case, it is noteworthy that dentistry goes beyond involves much more than examining patient’s mouths for sores, swellings, and cavities (Loulou 2000). Dentistry involves the following duties.

Detection of ailments – It is noteworthy that dentists detect ailments that involve the patients’ dental health, as well as that of other body parts. Many are times when they have been the first healthcare professionals to identify and detect oral cancer and even hypertension.

Esthetic improvement- these healthcare professionals improve the appearance of patients by carrying out varied cosmetic dental procedures.

Diagnosis- dentists are involved in the diagnosis and treatment of problems that affect patients’ teeth, tongue, jaws, lips, and gingival tissue. Dentists use varied technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging and scanners to carry out these diagnostic procedures.

Public education on prevention of diseases – this is one of the most unrecognized areas as far as dentistry is concerned. Dentists teach their patients healthy habits that would enhance their dental, as well as general health. This education is aimed at enhancing prevention of oral diseases.

Surgical restoration procedures- dentists are involved in the repair, restoration and maintenance of their patients’ oral tissues, gums and teeth that have been damaged or lost to diseases or accidents. In essence, they perform laser surgery, dental implants and tissue grants.

It is noteworthy that dentists may work in their own offices as general practitioners or a group. More often than not, they have dental hygienists and dental assistants working under them. Their duties may involve the use of power or hand tools (Bonnie, 2000).


With the complexity of dentistry career, it is not surprising that one would require between six and eight years of in a dental school after high school prior to working as a dentist. An individual has to complete between two and four years in a dental college before they are admitted into a dental school, depending on one’s area of specialization. In most cases, students will have a bachelor’s degree at the minimum before they enter a dental college. At the dental college, the dental program takes four years, which leads or results to Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree (Loulou 2000). Any dentist who wishes to specialize in certain areas of dentistry would have to undergo further training for between two and four years.

In all states, dentists are required to be licensed before working as dentists. This involves graduating from approved dental colleges before passing state board examination, after which they become fully licensed (Loulou 2000).


Most dentists in the United States work as general dental practitioners. Of the 161,000 dentists who are employed nationwide, 136,000 work as general dental practitioners. The remainder of the dentists specializes as prosthodontists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, as well as orthodontists among other specialties. A third of all the dentists in the U. S are self employed, while almost all dentists work in private practice. There are projections that the employment of dentists will increase by about 21% from 2010 to 2020. It is noteworthy that complicated dental work will be needed by many baby boomers. There are predictions that the employment of dentists will fall way behind the demand for their services. This is because some areas in the country which still have little or no access to dental services. As much as the number of people seeking dental services is highly dependent on the insurance coverage, it is noteworthy that cosmetic dental services have gained popularity in which case the demand for dental services will still be high (


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dentists earn between $71,210 and $166,400 or more per year, depending on the area of specialization. General dental practitioners earn about $118,400 while orthodontists are at the top of the earning ladder with $166,400. Prosthodontists earn approximately $118,400 while maxillofacial and oral surgeons make about $166,400.



The largest part of healthcare provision workforce in the United States is comprised of nurses. They play a tremendously crucial role in clinics, private practices and hospital. Their duties include caring for the patients, communicating between doctors and patients, supervising nurse aids and administering medicine. They mainly work to assist their patients to cope with ailments, promote health, as well as prevent ailments. In the provision of direct patient care, nurses observe, evaluate and make a record of the patient’s reactions, symptoms and progress. Nurses and physicians collaborate to perform examinations and treatments, administer medications, as well as provide direct patient care in rehabilitation and recuperation. It is noteworthy that their working environment is undergoing constant change, in an effort to enhance or improve the quality of health care services, provided to patients (Patricia 2000).


There are varied specialties in the nursing career including Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Registered Nurses (RNs). Advanced practice nurses have varied titles including Nurse Practitioner (NP), and Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) are essentially entry-level nurses. Both of them are supervised by Registered Nurses (RNs) since their job duties are comparable. To be an LPN or LVN, one must complete a one-year nursing course in technical schools, hospitals and community colleges, then obtain a license after passing National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurses (David et. al 2009).

Registered Nurses must have a bachelor’s degree, associate degree or a diploma in nursing and obtain a license after passing the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses. As for Advanced Practice Nurses, they must complete a registered nursing course, obtain RN licensure, and then gain some experience while operating as Registered Nurses. They would then enrol for a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program (David et. al 2009).

Registered nurses may enrol in RN-to-BSN program if they do not have a Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) degree or even earn a bachelor’s degree in any other subject. This is because they would be required to have a bachelor’s degree to enrol for a graduate degree program (David et. al 2009).


As the largest occupation in the healthcare sector, nursing is projected to incorporate one of the largest employment opportunities in the coming years. It is noteworthy that most of the states in the United States have reported, as well as projected a shortage of nurses mainly due to the recent decrease in enrolments, in nursing schools and an aging workforce (David et. al 2009).

Nurses work in varied setting such as hospitals, nursing homes, clinics or offices, public health, home-health, leadership positions as well as occupational nursing. Other types of nurses include travel or agency nurses, who may be found in cruise ships or trains, as well as in military service (Patricia 2000).

In some cases, they may venture on their own and act as consultants and advisors to insurance and healthcare agencies. For individuals who have membership for American Association of Nurse Attorneys, they may practice as defence attorneys and litigators, in academia, private law practice, in healthcare and as legal counsel in healthcare entities. They may also work in research institutions, universities and laboratories as researchers. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, there will be an increase in the need for post acute care. In this case, nurses with experience in a wide range of patient care will be in high demand.


On average, nurses earn $31.10 per hour. According to a study carried out in hospitals and healthcare institutions in the United States, a full-time, registered nurse who is hospital-based earns a median annual salary of $44,190 as a basic salary with additional compensation coming from shift differentials. A clinical nurse specialist earns a median basic salary of $95,130 dollars ( In most cases, nurses have flexible work schedules, bonuses, child care and educational benefits.


From the information presented above, it is noteworthy that both careers come with unique opportunities. For example, nursing is applicable in more fields than dentistry, whereas dentistry comes with higher remuneration packages. In essence, it may be difficult to determine the career that would be most appropriate for an individual. However, in all respects, dentistry is more recommendable than nursing. Both careers come with a lot of flexibility as to the work schedule, in which case a professional can choose when to work. However, it is noteworthy that as much as nurses may venture out in their own businesses as consultants they cannot follow their nursing careers on their own. This is unlike dentists, who may venture out in their own businesses as dentists and still maintain their identity as dentists.

In addition, the main reason for following any career is to enhance one’s living standards. When comparing nursing and dentistry, it is evident that dentistry offers the best chance for enhancing the standards of living of an individual when compared with nursing. This is due to the high remuneration packages. As much as one would have to invest more years in education, the time spent is all worth it as far as the difference in remuneration is concerned. It is noteworthy that the fact that there are fewer dentists than nurses does not imply that there is no demand for dentist’s services. In any case, the Bureau for Labor Statistics has projected an increase in demand of dentistry services.


Bonnie L. K, 2000. Opportunities in Dental Care Careers. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional

Loulou B, 2000. Careers in Medicine, Dentistry and Mental Health. New York: Kogan Page

Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011. Registered Nurses. Pay. Web 6th April 2012. Retrieved from of Labor Statistics, 2011. Dentists: pay. Web 6th April 2012. Retrieved from: S. Y, 2003. Leading and managing in nursing. New York: Mosby

David S, Mary S, & Janice F, 2009. Community Health Care Nursing. New York: John Wiley & Sons

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