Iowa LPN to RN Programs
Our population is growing and aging. This has led to a huge crunch in the registered nursing and health care industry. The need for educated and talented registered nurses has become so important that the career path is expected to stay as the fastest growing path through 2020 and potentially beyond. As an LPN, you are already making a difference, but you can do even more with only one to two more years spent in college. That time will also prepare you for a continued education that can take you as high in the nursing field as you desire. Upon completion of the NCLEX-RN you will be licensed as a registered nurse and likely find yourself having to weigh multiple job offers as opposed to constantly chasing any employment at all.
Earning experience throughout your education will be key for many reasons. First, the more experience you bring to your career, the higher your starting income should be. Experience will also help you obtain more job offers and qualify for quicker promotions. Working and going to school at the same time can be difficult though, as both require a significant portion of your schedule. Fortunately, online degree programs can allow you to go to college without any change to your personal schedule at all. Some students opt to earn their degree solely online while others take some courses online and others through a traditional campus based avenue.
National colleges offer full online programs with countless degree programs and specializations while local colleges will offer plenty of online options and allow you to mix them with campus based study. The choice will be up to you and finding the right school will require research. An online program will not require you to be a computer expert. The virtual campus that you attend through an online suite of learning tools is a simple webpage with links to resources and courses. Your courses will offer a number of learning aids through downloadable video, audio and text files. You decide when you study with the only time constraint coming from graded work. As long as your graded work is submitted by the due date assigned at the start of a semester your studies are up to you, which allows you to adjust your schedule as you need.
With under 34,000 registered nurses currently working in Iowa, the need is significant for graduates at any level. You will find work quickly and Iowa registered nurses earn an average income of almost $53,000 a year. Experience, location, employer and a number of other factors will help you land higher on the pay scale, so ensure that you are doing your research and bringing everything you can to an employer. You will find more competition for work in Waterloo, Sioux City and Dubuque as they have the highest percentage of registered nurses relative to the population. Davenport, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines have the lowest percentage and should put you in a position to find work quickly. The highest median salaries can be found in Cedar Rapids, Ames and Des Moines, so weigh the job market with the salary expectations to find the right starting place for you.
You should also explore the resources offered by the Iowa Nurses Association. You can learn about membership, career and educational resources and how you can take part in the association by visiting the site here. The INA will be an invaluable resource throughout your education and career, so spend a little time learning about it and see where you can fit in.
Paying for College
College isn’t cheap. Even a community college education can take a toll on students, but studying to enter the registered nursing career path qualifies you for plenty of assistance. You will find plenty of help through colleges which often offer unique loans, scholarship and tuition assistance to students enrolled in their courses. Your employer may offer tuition reimbursement as well, so make sure you speak to the appropriate department about the requirements and assistance you can expect.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services should be the most important ally as you work towards paying for your education. With loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs designed to encourage students to pursue a health care career, you will find plenty of ways to lessen the financial burden brought on by an education through this site. Pay special attention to the loan repayment programs as they pay large sums towards you student debt upon completion of a two year commitment to an underserved area.
Each student is unique and has unique desires for what they want from their school. While some nationally recognized and respected online schools are listed on this page, you can find a full listing of accredited schools throughout Iowa through the Iowa Board of Nursing. Click here to find the links for all educational options approved by the state. You will also find plenty of other resources that will be important throughout your education and career, so spend some time reading through all the information offered on the site.