New Jersey LPN to RN Programs
Moving from a position as a LPN to a RN will give you the ability to earn a higher income, more job opportunities and experience a faster advancement in your career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics registered nursing is the fastest growing career path available. That growth is expected to continue through 2020. This explosive growth is due to the growing and aging population of our country and the state. You can earn your degree in less than two years depending on the level of degree you wish to pursue and the end rewards will be more than you may have ever imagined.
With less than 80,000 registered nurses working in New Jersey, the shortage of registered nurses is painfully apparent. The average income for a RN in the state is almost $76,000 a year. This means significantly more students are entering programs to work towards a degree as a registered nurse. You will have a head start as a LPN, but don’t put off your education long. Your education and experience will be the two driving forces that factor into how much you make when you start your career and how quickly you will climb the pay ladder. Balancing a busy personal, work and school schedule can be a daunting task, but an online degree program, or a few online courses can make that juggling act significantly easier.
An online degree program is no different than a traditional campus based education in regards to what you learn. Your materials will be the same, but the delivery method and the schedule required to study them is different. Lectures, study notes and other learned aids provided by your instructor are simple downloads in a video, audio or text format. Graded work is due at a specified due date (provided at the start of a semester) but outside of that time constraint, you are free to study when and how you decide. You won’t need to focus on attending classes on a specified schedule which allows you to study at night, on weekends or even on your lunch break. You will also have access to the full classroom experience with class discussions taking place through a message board. Since everything is run through a series of web pages, you won’t need to have any advanced knowledge of computers to be successful.
As you make your way through your education and your career, you will want to work with others in your field to have a unified voice. Representation is important to ensure that registered nurses are given the ability to perform their job without any hindrance. Working with the New Jersey State Nurses Association will give you that ability to work as a unified voice. You will also have access to nurses that have worked in the field for years that can share their experience with you as you get started. In time you will share your experience with those starting their journey and start to become a leader in the industry. For full information about the NJSNA, follow this link.
Paying for an Education
An education is an investment like any other. You put money down in hopes reaping benefits at a later date. Different from other investments, you know that your education will pay off in the long run. The problem is often finding the money to make the initial investment. Fortunately, those entering the health care field have plenty of access to assistance. Your employer likely offers tuition assistance or reimbursement benefits. Colleges will offer unique loans, scholarships and grants to students that enroll in their courses. This should be a sticking point as you start to explore potential colleges, so make sure you are aware of what financial aid is available.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is also doing everything it can to help students pursue their dream to work as registered nurses. Regardless of your financial situation, you will find loans, scholarships and loan repayment options that can help you cover the cost of your education in a significant way. Pay special attention to the loan repayment plans as they offer a huge payment towards your college debt once you complete a two year commitment to an area that is in desperate need of basic health care. This experience will also gain you significant respect with future employers. For all the info you need, visit the HRSA website.
Finding the right college will require a significant amount of research and interviewing. No single school is perfect for all students and finding the one that is right for you will be no easy task. The State of New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety offers a listing of approved registered nursing degrees throughout the state. You should explore this page in depth to find what is offered in New Jersey. Keep in mind that the list is only for schools in the state and national online colleges will not be listed. We have included a few examples of these types of schools with this article to help you get started down that path as well. The choice for the right college will be up to you, but neglecting the time required to find the right college could set you up for failure. Make sure this first leg of your journey is one that you are confident in taking and you will quickly move into a successful position as a registered nurse.