While some professions have struggled in response to the economic downturn, others have emerged as lucrative for those with the right skills. In a recent release, U.S. News and World Report listed the 25 Best Jobs of 2012. The news outlet based its rankings on job satisfaction, salary and employment rate through the year 2020.

The top spot on the list went to registered nurses, with an overall score of 8.2. The researchers pointed to the fact that the median annual salary for RNs was $64,690 and that the highest-paid industry professionals, the top 10 percent, made an average of $95,130 each year. There is also expected to be a 26 percent spike in nursing employment from 2010 to 2020.

In an interview with the source, career counselor and RN Donna Cardillo said that while there were plenty of opportunities available, getting a job in the sector took hard work.

"Even though there's great growth potential, the market is still competitive," says Donna Cardillo. "The whole job market is shifting."

In some cases, nursing employment has increased thanks to grants from charities. The Bristol-Myers Foundation donated $750,000 to help health centers in Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic hire more nurses.

Content provided by executive search organization, MRINetwork.

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