Colorado LPN to RN Programs
Working as a LPN is a great way to start a career in the nursing industry. Fortunately, with only a few more years in school you can become an RN which leads to higher income expectations, more job opportunities, more demand for your skills and a number of other important factors. You will find that the time spent in school will be worth the investment in almost no time at all, and the expenses are easily handled through a number of different avenues. There is really no reason to not pursue a registered nursing degree, so read on to learn more about the career path and how to best attend school and pay for it.
There are just over 42,000 registered nurses working in Colorado which is nowhere near the number that the state actually needs. As our population grows and ages, the need for well-trained health care professionals is more important than ever. You will find that your talents and education will be highly prized by employers and will likely have recruiters talking to you before you even graduate. In many cases, RN students have a job lined up before they even take the NCLEX-RN to become licensed.
Another reason so many students are moving towards a RN degree program is because of the expected income potential. Colorado registered nurses earn an average income of almost $70,000 a year. This number is not likely to be your starting pay, but you will meet that number fairly early in your career. To ensure you start with the highest income possible, experience, education, location, employer and a number of other factors will be important. Experience and education are the two most important things you can bring to an employer and working as an LPN right now already has you on the path to experience.
Pueblo, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs have the highest percentage of registered nurses working relative to the population. Greeley, Grand Junction and Boulder come up on the other end of the spectrum with the lowest percentage of registered nurses. You will likely find the highest average salary in Boulder, Denver, and Greeley. This information is important because it will help you find the right places to start your job search. You can also use this information during your college research to find cities that will need your talents while you are attending school. Look for schools you like in one of the cities listed and you will easily find a solid income without much trouble.
Exempla St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, Memorial Hospital North and Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs and Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins rank among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries. If you are looking for a new employer, this information may give you a good idea of where to start earning experience as you work towards your RN degree.
Working and going to school may seem nearly impossible because of the mixture of two fulltime schedules. The good news is that online degree programs have become so popular over the years, that a huge selection of top ranked schools offer programs that allow you to learn from the comfort of your home. You won’t need to be a computer expert to understand the tools you will use, you simply need the desire to learn and the willingness to spend the time it takes to study on your own. Online programs allow you to study as you see fit and you will not have scheduled times to be at the computer. This is perfect for working adults as it allows you to keep your current work schedule and squeeze your college schedule around it.
Paying for College
The financial burden that comes with a college education is easy to alleviate to an extent once you know where to look. Employers offer a wide range of tuition assistance programs and you should spend some time learning what options your employer has. College also offer unique loans, scholarships and grants to students that enroll in their classes, so keep that at the top of your list as you are research potential educational institutions. You will also find plenty of help from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here is a list of loan repayment programs, scholarships and loans that all help in a significant way. Pay special attention to the loan repayment programs as they offer large payments towards your student debt upon completion of a two year commitment to an underserved area.
The Colorado Nurses Association will be important for you during your education and throughout your career. Explore the benefits of membership here. You will find plenty of assistance in finding ways to pay for schools and other resources such as continuing education assistance, legislative actions and networking for your career. CNA is an invaluable resource that should be with you throughout your career.
The UC CON is one of the premier educational institutions in the state and highly respected in the nursing field. Ranked 15th in the U.S. for the overall master’s program, 5th in the nation for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner specialty option, 13th in Nursing-Midwifery and 16th in Nurse Practitioner – Family Nursing program, your education is a perfect starting point for a continued education beyond registered nursing. That doesn’t mean you have to continue down the path, but with so much respect for the school and such high rankings, you can’t go wrong when starting your education at such an esteemed school. A focus on community health, holistic, caring and compassionate action, the school will prepare you for a dynamic career that is ever changing. You will understand the basics of assisting patients and their families, but have the skills and confidence to react in an agile way to the constant changes that are starting in the health care field.
Nursing isn’t for everyone, and the view of this respected college is easily seen through on of the first questions they ask; “Is nursing for you?” UNC is focused on preparing the next generation of nursing leaders that work with the belief in the dignity and worth of people and their right and ability to be an active participant in the choices that will affect their health care. A holistic view of bring health care to patients is one of the foundations of the school and their unique view on nursing will easily set you apart from the crowd as you start to make your mark on the nursing profession.