Arkansas LPN to RN Programs
As our population ages and grows, the need for even the most basic health care from professionals in the field becomes more important than ever before. As a LPN, you are already making a significant impact on your community, but you can do even more by attending a LPN to RN program. By spending another two years or so in college, you can earn a RN degree, pass the NCLEX-RN and start working in the field as a registered nurse. This is a significant step up and worth the time it takes to pursue the degree. Higher income and a better quality of life will easily be obtained as soon as you start your first day as a registered nurse.
There are currently under 24,000 registered nurses working in Arkansas. This is a very low number compared to what is actually needed. There is huge demand for additional professionals and you should have work lined up for you as soon as you near your graduation. There isn’t an easy way to earn your degree, just hard work and desire, but working while you are in school will give you a significant advantage.
On average, registered nurses in Arkansas earn an income of $55,360 a year. This number will vary based on specialization, education, experience, location and employer among other factors. Again, experience is a key component to your success. Start with an employer as an LPN and you will likely have a position as a RN as soon as you graduate. Look to Fayetteville and Jonesboro as potential locations to settle into a career as they have the lowest percentage of registered nurses working relative to the population. Hot Springs and Little Rock have the highest percentage but also offer the highest median salaries. Keep this information in mind if you are looking for a more permanent or different employer than your current one.
UAMS Medical Center, McClellan VA Medical Center, St. Vincent Health Systems and Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, Sparks Regional Hospital in Fort Smith and Washington Regional medical Center in Fayetteville rank among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries and should be a great place to start building your career.
A wealth of valuable resources can be found through the Arkansas Nurses Association found here. From workforce advocacy, legislation and political action, career and educational advice and assistance, events, meetings and a number of other benefits, you are sure to find the ARNA as an important resource throughout your education and career.
Paying for College
An education comes with a financial cost that is rarely easy to cover. It will require loans at a minimum, but you can ease the burden by pursuing scholarships, grants and repayment programs. As a registered nursing student, you will find plenty of additional ways to fund your education that are not available to those not in the medical field. Employers will often offer tuition assistance or reimbursement options for students pursuing a LPN to RN program. Colleges also offer unique loans, scholarships, grants and other financial aid options to students that attend their programs.
Your number one resource will likely become the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services when it comes to paying for college, and repayment of student debt. With Loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs in place to encourage students to pursue a higher education in nursing, you will find a number of options that will cover many of your educational costs. Take special notice of the loan repayment plans as they offer sizable payments towards you student loans upon completion of a two year commitment to an underserved area. This experience is also highly valued by employers and will likely give you an advantage in the job market. You can find all of the relevant information here.
Two options are important to consider as you move towards a LPN to RN program. Online degree programs are easier to attend for working students, especially those in full time jobs. You will also have access to a wider number of schools by pursuing an online degree program. With easy to use and technologically advanced layouts that have been honed over the years, you will find that you can be extremely successful in an online degree program no matter how adept you are with computers.
To find the perfect college for you, the best options are to look at some of the nationally recognized, and highly respected online schools located throughout the country, and look more at the local programs offered by schools around you. You can find an exhaustive list of programs that are approved by the Arkansas State Board of Nursing by following this link.
Whether it be online or on campus, or even a mixture of the two, earning a RN degree will put you in a position to be hugely successful for your entire career. You can look at the NCLEX-RN as your stopping point in your formal education, or use it as a stepping stone towards a more advanced degree. The key is to explore your options as you go and not make any hard choices yet. Simply work towards your RN and spend some time there and see where your future guides you.