North Carolina LPN to RN Programs
If you could increase your income significantly, find more job opportunities and experience faster career advancement by attending college for less than two years, would you? As a LPN you are uniquely situated to continue your education to become a registered nurse in one to two years. The level of degree you pursue will decide how long you are in school and upon graduation you will enter the fastest growing career field available. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the registered nursing career path will continue to stay as the fastest growing career through 2020. As our population increases and ages, the need for talented health care professionals increases as well. Unfortunately, there are not enough students pursuing a degree in the industry, but if you do continue your education you will experience plenty of rewards.
There are less than 92,000 registered nurses working in North Carolina. That number is far from what is needed to support the booming population. With an average income of almost $60,000 a year, registered nurses earn a significant income for the time they spent in college. Experience and education will be key to making sure you earn the most income possible from the start and with a little research you can find ways to balance a busy work schedule with a college degree and still have some free time for a personal life.
Online degree programs have become increasingly popular and user friendly. As long as you can browse a website you will understand how to use the online suite of tools offered through an online program. Your education will be the same online or on campus, but when and how you learn will be different. As long as you are submitting graded work by the due date in an online degree program, you decide when and how you study. You will also have access to your instructor over the phone, through email or by campus visits. Discussions are handled through a message board which allows for better thought out arguments and longer periods of time for the discussions to take place. You don’t miss out on any of the traditional campus based experiences through an online degree, you simply open up your schedule. You can even take some online and campus based courses together to customize your degree program as you want.
Finding a group of individuals that will support you throughout your education and career, as well as give you a voice to fight for a better work environment will be important. The North Carolina Nurses Association is the perfect group to ensure that you have representation as well as networking. Nurses that are established in their field can share their experiences with you and ensure that you have the information you need to succeed. In time, you will share what you have learned with those that are starting their own journey towards registered nursing. Explore your options through the NCNA website.
Paying for College
As one of the most important choices you can make, college is a difficult investment to commit to. While most students know that a college education will only enhance their future, the financial cost can be prohibitive. Entering the health care field will open some additional financial aid options to students, you just need to know where to look. Your employer may offer tuition assistance or reimbursement, so start there to ensure that you take full advantage of the benefits you earn. Colleges also offer unique financial aid programs, loans, scholarships and grants to students that enroll in their courses. Make sure you explore these options as you research the right college for you.
With the demand being faced by the health care industry to bring more registered nurses into the field, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing everything it can to ensure students have the financial assistance they need to attend school. Loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs are offered through their website. Pay special attention to the loan repayment programs, they reward a two year commitment to an area in need of health care with a large payment towards student debt.
Finding the Right College
While the goal of this article is to help you understand some of the key benefits to entering the RN field and finding ways to pay for your education, know where to go to college is going to be key as well. Listing each college will not give you a good idea of what school is right for you. You will need to research and talk to different colleges to find the perfect fit. Through the NC Board of Nursing website you can find a full list of in and out of state programs at multiple levels. Explore the schools that are offered in great detail. There are unique benefits to each that may or may not be important to you. Don’t forget that plenty of large online colleges also offer programs to students throughout the country. A few have been listed with this article so make sure those are included in your research. The first step you take in your journey to becoming a registered nurse is your education. Take it with confidence and the rewards will be significant once you start your career.