Massachusetts LPN to RN Programs
As a LPN you are already aware of the dire straits the health care industry is in. Employers are scrambling to find new graduates of registered nursing programs leading to explosive growth in the career path. In less than two years you can enter the field as a registered nurse giving you a head start compared to other students pursuing the same degree. Registered nursing is the fastest growing career path currently available and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics this growth should continue through 2020 at a minimum. Upon graduation and licensure you will earn a significantly higher income, position yourself to earn better job opportunities and have the ability to continue your education as far as you like through the registered nursing industry. It all starts with research and an education.
87,000 registered nurses are currently supporting the population of Massachusetts. This number is entirely too low to ensure access is available for all residents. With an average income of $83,370 a year, based on education, specialization, experience, employer, location and a number of other factors, you can rest assured that your investment in your future will give you a comfortable lifestyle. Education and experience are the two key factors that impact how much you earn when you start your career and how quickly you will rise through the pay scale, but finding a way to balance an educational schedule alongside your work and personal schedule can be very difficult.
Online degree programs and online courses may be the perfect option to ensure you can earn a degree on any schedule. The only schedule you need to focus on in an online program is the due dates assigned for graded work. As long as you submit graded work on or before the required time, it is up to you to decide when you study. You will still enjoy the full college experience even though you are attending college from where you sit right now. Class wide discussions are handled through a message board system for your classroom and these discussions can continue for days or weeks leading to a deeper understanding of the subject. Questions can be answered by your instructor whom can be reached through email, a phone call or a visit to campus. Online and campus based educations are so similar, some students combine the two to create a degree program that is unique to their needs.
Throughout your career representation will be key to ensuring that you are able to perform your duties in the best possible way. The Massachusetts Nurses Association combines the voices of many registered nurses to represent the industry through legislation and politics. You will also find plenty of networking available with experienced nurses able to give you advice throughout your education and starting your career. In time you can become a leader in the industry, help those starting their own path, and make nursing a better place for RNs and patients. Learn more about the benefits of joining the MNA here.
Investing in Your Future
There is no way to make it sound easy to pay for college, the investment is just too great to push to the side. There are ways to reduce your investment significantly, primarily due to the fact that you are pursuing a health care degree. Start by talking to your employer about the benefits offered for students. You will likely find tuition assistance or reimbursement as well as a permanent position as a registered nurse upon graduation and licensure. College also offer scholarships, grants, loans, and other forms of financial aid to students. Some of these forms of financial aid are unique to students that attend their campus, so make sure you discuss these options as you explore the different colleges that offer programs you are interested in.
The greatest ally for students pursuing a registered nursing program is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. While the loans and scholarships make a significant difference for students pursuing a degree, the loan repayment programs are key to getting out of debt quickly. By serving an area that is in dire need of even the most basic health care, you will earn a large payment towards you student debt. This is given after a two year commitment is complete and the experience you earn during this time will be highly valued by employers. Learn more through the HRSA site here.
Finding the Right College
There is no perfect college for every student. Instead you need to research each school to find the right one for your particular needs. This article is not designed to push you towards one school or another, it is simply designed to help you understand the career path and how to advance. For a full listing of the programs offered in Massachusetts, visit the Mass.gov Health and Human Service website. Here you will find all programs approved by the state and learn more about what you should look for. Only in state programs are listed here, so explore the out of state online offering as well by continuing your research. A few examples have been included with this article to help you get started.