California LPN to RN Programs
California is not unique in the need for talented and well educated health care professionals. As a LPN, you make a difference every day, but you can do much more for your community, employer and yourself by pursuing a LPN to RN program. With higher employment rates, income expectations and more opportunities for success, earning your RN license will make a significant impact on your future. You should also take in to account that you can move from a LPN to a RN in as little as two years.
There are currently just over 250,000 registered nurses supporting the entire state of California. This is obviously a huge shortage compared to the size of the state and you will find that offers of employment will start to show up before you are even licensed in many cases. It all starts with an education, but finding a way to balance your education and work will be key and some options will be discussed later in this article.
Upon graduation and licensure as a registered nurse expect to enter a field with an average income of $95,000 a year. While it is unlikely that you will start at that particular rate, you will meet or exceed it in a relatively short amount of time. Experience, education, location, employer, specialization and a number of other factors will play a big part in how much you earn from the start and how quickly your income can grow.
As you start to look for employment, either as a LPN or once you earn your RN, keep a few statistics in mind. Madera, Hanford and Chico have the highest percentage of registered nurses working relative to the population of the city. Santa Barbara, Bakersfield and Redding are on the other end of the spectrum with the lowest percentage of registered nurses relative to the population. You will find the highest salaries offered in San Jose, San Francisco and Visalia. This information will help you make the right choices as it comes to finding the right employer for your future and your education.
Look to these particular employers as a potential starting point, or future goal, in your career plan: UCLA Health System in Las Angeles, Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood. Each of the listed employers rank among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries. You may find positions as an LPN that will qualify you for tuition assistance and give you a permanent position upon licensure as a RN, so explore those options with each.
Throughout your education and your career you will want access to resources that are designed to help drive your profession forward. The California Nurses Association, part of the National Nurses United Organization, is a great place to find these resources. Scholarships, continuing education courses, practices and a number of other related resources will all become more and more important as you move farther throughout your career.
Paying for College
College educations come with a financial burden that can’t be easily dodged. You will need to find ways to overcome the expenses of your education, normally in a number of ways. There are a few places to turn that will make things significantly easier, so look to these first for a good idea of how you can make your education easier to handle financially.
First, look to your college of choice as they will often offer unique loan, grant and scholarship options to students that enroll in their programs. You can also turn to your employer as they will offer tuition assistance or reimbursement in many cases. Finally, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a wide range of financial assistance. You will find loans, scholarships and loan repayment options that will make your financial burden significantly lighter. Pay special attention to the loan repayment programs as they reward you with a large payment towards your student debt upon completion of a two year commitment to an underserved area. This experience will also be valuable as you search for the right employer. You can find a full list of their financial offers right here.
Going to College
It has been touched on some already, but experience is very important to your future. You will find that a mixture of education and experience will make you highly sought after and increase your earning potential significantly. To earn experience you need to work and that can be hard to do while you are attending school, even if you aren’t in school full time. Many students have found that online degree programs offer them the flexibility to work and go to school at the same time, and still have a little freedom to enjoy their own personal time as well. An online education will be viewed the same as a traditional campus based education and the degree you earn will be no different. You simply log in to an online campus that acts as a centralized hub that provides everything you need to be successful in your classes. As long as you meet the deadlines for graded work, the rest of your studies are up to you. You can find local and national schools that offer well respected online programs, some of which are listed with this article.
California is a huge state and cherry picking a few key schools wouldn’t be fair to you as the reader. The likelihood of this article covering a school that could be even considered by a majority of people living throughout the states is highly unlikely. Instead, follow this link to the Department of Consumer Affairs Board of Registered Nursing and you will find a full list of all schools that offer RN programs in the state. You can look at the schools closest to you, or explore schools that you are most interested in and prepare for relocation or the possibility of an online program. The choice is ultimately up to you, and the amount of time you spend in picking your school now will pay dividends upon graduation. Get started on your research and you will be entering the field as a RN before you know it.