Louisiana LPN to RN Programs
The health care industry has seen an alarming increase in need when it comes to registered nurses and other highly trained professionals. As a LPN you are already bringing a great deal to the table when it comes to helping those in your community enjoy a longer more comfortable life. As a registered nurse you will learn to take your skills farther to make a more significant impact on the lives of your patients and their families and you will be handsomely rewarded for your hard work, time in college and additional knowledge that you bring to the profession.
With under 41,000 registered nurses working in the state, there is a significant shortage that will lead to plenty of career opportunities for you upon graduation. You will need to pass a NCLEX-RN exam to become a license registered nurse, but in many cases you will have a career lined up before you even finish your college courses. Registered nurses in Louisiana earn an average income of over $61,000 a year. Experience, employer, education, location and a number of other factors will determine where you start on the pay scale, but experience should be your primary focus along with your education.
Earning experience while going to school may seem like a difficult balancing act of two full time schedules. Fortunately, online degree programs have become increasingly popular and will allow you to earn your degree on your schedule. As an LPN, you will often only need two years of college to move into your registered nursing career and may even be able to accomplish your goals in as little as a year. Online educations can be mixed with traditional campus based courses in local schools, or you can look at the nationally recognized and respected colleges throughout the country to find a pure online program that works for you. You won’t need to be an expert when it comes to working with computers, just bring dedication and a willingness to work hard and you will quickly see how easy an online degree program can be.
As an LPN, finding a job to let you earn experience throughout school will be easy enough if you know where to look. Alexandria, Monroe and Shreveport have the highest percentage of registered nurses working relative to the population. This could lead to a more competitive job market throughout the health care industry and may lead you to look at less competitive areas such as Houma, Lafayette and Baton Rouge. New Orleans, Lafayette and Monroe offer the highest average incomes, so keep all of this information in mind and you should be able to find the right place to earn some experience.
Paying for College
There is no doubt that one of the big factors that makes going to college difficult for students is the rising cost of a formal education. Fortunately, those headed into the health care field will find plenty of assistance in finding the right loans, grants and scholarships that will make it possible. Your employer is a great place to start as they offer tuition assistance or reimbursement benefits in many cases. You can also look to the Louisiana State Nurses Association for assistance throughout your education and your career. A full list of benefits can be found here.
College often offer unique loans, scholarships and other forms of financial aid to students that attend their courses that won’t be found through other education institutions. Spend some time exploring these options at the schools you are most interested in. Finally, spend some time exploring the options for loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs offered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, found here. Pay special attention to the loan repayment programs as they offer a large payment towards you student debt upon completion of a two year commitment to an underserved area. The experience you gain during this time will also be valuable to employers as you look for a permanent career upon completion.
As the leading two-year institution in the region, BRCC has grown through ensuring that students are given the education they deserve and expect. You will be surrounded by students pursuing professions in engineering, liberal arts and the sciences and emerging fields such as avionics, veterinarian technology, nursing, accounting and a number of other paths. This student community allows you to hone your “bedside manner” by interacting with students from all walks of life. Your education will be focused on preparing you to become a leader in the nursing field through a holistic view of working with patients and families. BRCC is a highly respected learning intuition and your credits will easily transfer to a university if you plan to continue your education to something higher than an associate’s degree in nursing.