Minnesota LPN to RN Programs
Our population is growing and aging. As more people require access to health care, the need for those able to provide it increases as well. This is the driving force behind the growth in the registered nursing career path. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects registered nursing to continue to be the fastest growing career field through 2020 at the least. You can enter the field in less than two years as a LPN, and upon graduation and licensure you will earn a significantly higher income, find plenty of ways to advance through your career and enjoy a wider selection of job prospects. As a registered nurse, you can continue your education at any point all the way up to a doctorate, so look at this as a first step and make that choice later as you become more comfortable.
There are less than 57,000 registered nurses supporting Minnesota’s population currently. This number is nowhere near what is needed to ensure everyone has access to health care. With new laws ensuring more individuals have access to health care, the need for registered nurses will continue to grow and employers will scramble to find graduates as quickly as possible. Many registered nursing students even have offers ready for when they graduate and pass the NCLEX-RN. The average income for a registered nurse in Minnesota is almost $71,000 a year based on experience, education, specialization, employer and location. Experience and education will be key factors that affect how much you earn to start and how quickly you grow, but finding a way to juggle your education, work and personal schedules can be difficult to say the least.
An online degree program may be the perfect answer for balancing all of the time required to attend school on a busy schedule. Some students mix campus based and online courses while others earn their degree purely online. The choice is up to you, so do some additional research to find what works best for what you want. The only scheduling requirements that you need to meet are the due dates assigned for graded work. As long as the work is submitted on time, you decide when and how to study. You will still have access to your instructor through campus visits, email or phone calls and classroom discussions are handled through an online message board. You won’t find any scheduled meeting for your class in most cases, so you ultimately make your schedule each day. Your degree will not differ from that of a campus based student, so an online program will ensure that you experience the full college education you want, without having to focus on the schedule you can’t take on.
Having a voice in the health care field is important for registered nurses. Making sure that the career is well managed and has the ability to perform duties as they need ultimately leads to better health care for patients. With the Minnesota Nurses Association, you will become part of the voice that drive legislation to support what RNs need most. You will also have access to a vast network of other registered nurses that can help you through the start of your education and career and in time you will share your experiences with those just starting their own journey. Find out more about the benefits and how you can help here.
Paying for Your Future
While the advantages of moving from a LPN to a RN are clear, the investment required, financially, can be a burden that many students will not want to take on. If you are worried about the cost of your education, rest assured that there are plenty of ways to overcome much of the cost that is required. Your employer may offer benefits such as tuition assistance or reimbursement as well as a permanent position upon graduation and licensure as a registered nurse. Colleges also offer unique scholarships, loans, grants and other forms of financial aid only available to students that attend their courses. Make sure you discuss this at length with potential educational institutions through your research.
With the need for registered nurses at an all-time high, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing what it can to ensure students are able to pursue their dreams. With loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs in place, you are sure to find plenty of ways to cover the cost of your education. The loan repayment programs are important and unique in that they offer large payments towards you student debt in return for working in an underserved area for two years. Upon completion the payment will reduce your debt significantly and the experience will be highly valued by employers. Find out more here.
Finding a Place to Grow and Learn
There is no single college that will be right for every student and the goal of this article is not to push you in one direction or another. To ensure you have as much access to the programs available in your state, visit the Minnesota Board of Nursing site to find each college and the type of programs offered throughout Minnesota. Keep in mind that these schools are only in state and for out of state programs, usually offered online, you will need to continue your research. To help you get started on that part of your search for the right college a few examples of out of state schools have been listed with this article. Explore those options and continue your search until you feel comfortable with your educational institution. This journey will be exciting, scary and rewarding, but in the end your future will be significantly brighter, so don’t hold off on the preparation and question everything as you get started.