Connecticut LPN to RN Programs
The health care profession is seeing a huge increase in demand for well-educated and trained professionals, especially registered nurses. As an LPN, you are already helping those who need assistance in the field, but you can do even more as a registered nurse. You will also command a higher wage, experience more employment opportunities and find plenty of room to grow even more within the nursing field. In two years or less, you can move from working as an LPN to a RN and you can do it on your schedule.
Before getting into the details of the career, take a second to understand the difference in campus based traditional college courses and online programs. You may find that one is better than the other for you, or you may go down a path that combines the two. An online education is essentially the same as a campus based education, the key difference is in how and when you learn. A campus based traditional education will educate you in a classroom on a fixed schedule. Online, you learn when you want, using tools provided by your instructors and college, and only have to focus on specific due dates for graded work. As long as you meet those dates, you decide your schedule daily. Discuss the options with the colleges you are considering for your education to find what works best for you.
There are just over 36,000 registered nurses struggling to support the health care needs of Connecticut. That number is far from where it needs to be to provide even the most basic health care services to those that need it most. As you study, you will start to see a shortage of professionals in the field and understand why nursing is the fastest growing career option right now. The growth is expected to continue through 2020 at the least.
Fortunately, those that enter the field as a registered nurse earn an average income of over $75,000 a year. To ensure you start as close to that number as possible, experience and education will be key. Working as an LPN gives you a great start, and you know how you can overcome scheduling issues through the use of some online programs, so continue to push those specifics and look at locations, employers and specializations as other ways to increase your income and desirability to employers.
As you explore colleges, you will likely want to be close to where the work is. Keep the following information in mind as a possible “tie-breaker” if a few schools are equally interesting to you. Waterbury, Hartford and New Haven have the highest percentage of registered nurses relative to the population. On the other end of the spectrum is Danbury, Norwich and Bridgeport. Hartford, New Haven and Danbury offer the highest average income. While this information may be slightly less accurate while you work as an LPN, starting to set roots and networking may be important to you during your education and should be considered at the very least.
UConn Health Center in Farmington, Yale New Haven Health System in New Haven, Danbury Hospital in Danbury, and St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford rank among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries. These should be great places to start working as an LPN with the intention to stay on as an RN upon graduation and licensure. Employers look favorably upon those that continue to educate themselves to earn a higher position and will likely offer as much assistance as possible to ensure your education is successful.
Paying for College
One of the biggest stresses for students pursuing a degree is the financial burden that comes with an education. You will find multiple ways to alleviate this burden if you know where to look. A few places to start include your employer, which may offer tuition assistance or reimbursement and the colleges themselves. Colleges offer unique loans, scholarships and other financial aid to students that enroll in their programs and should be looked at careful as you start to explore potential educational institutions.
The Connecticut Nurses Association also offers a wide array of resources to members. You will likely want to visit the site, here, frequently as it will be an important resource throughout your education and career. Most importantly, explore the options put forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found here. Loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs are all on the table for students pursuing a medical degree, but pay special attention to the loan repayment programs as they pay large portions of your student debt off upon completion of a two year commitment to an underserved area.
While it would likely be possible to list the majority of Connecticut based nursing schools in this article, some may be missed and would not ensure that the article covers viewers from all parts of the state. You will find plenty of national schools that offer online programs that can be attended from the comfort of your home, some of them are even listed along with this article. Locally, schools will offer online, traditional and combination programs, but each school will be unique, so you should spend some time exploring each option. The best way to ensure that you are given full access to all of your options is to send you to the Connecticut Department of Public Health website found here. Programs and schools are listed along with full contact information and links to each of their websites. Exploring all of your options will be key, and most schools that offer a degree in registered nursing will offer specific paths from a LPN to RN. The most important part of your education will be the first few steps, so take them confidently with plenty of research. It won’t take long and you will be making an impact as part of the new generation of registered nurses entering this ever changing field.