Oklahoma LPN to RN Programs
Registered nurses make up the backbone of the health care industry. Due to the growth of our population and the advancing age of many, the need for talented and well-educated registered nurses is growing at a rapid pace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career path is expected to be the fastest growing option through 2020 at the least. As a LPN you will only need one to two years of school, depending on your degree of choice, to enter the field. Upon completion of the NCLEX-RN you will be ready to enter a field that will open a wide array of job opportunities, significantly increased income and a number of other benefits. It only takes starting school and the rest will come to you upon graduation.
With less than 30,000 registered nurses working in the state, the need for new graduates is extremely high. You may even find that you have job offers before you graduate that will be ready for you upon completion of your licensure. Registered nurses earn an average income of $56,000 a year in Oklahoma. Your income will vary depending on your experience, education, location, employer and a number of other factors. To ensure you bring as much experience to an employer as possible you should try to work throughout your degree program. Balancing an education with a busy school schedule may seem impossible, but with the popularity of online degree programs, you can make it work without much difficulty at all.
Online programs teach you the same skills and give you the same education as a traditional campus based course. The difference is in how and when you learn. A calendar will guide you through your semester for each course, but only the due dates for graded work need to be met. The rest is up to you, so you can schedule your education on a daily basis. Your instructor is only a phone call, email or campus visit away and you will experience deeper and longer discussions with classmates through an online message board. You won’t need to be proficient with computers to be successful as the online learning tools are simply a series of websites with links to the information that you need. Some students choose to take some classes online and others on campus, mixing their education to meet their own schedule and goals.
Throughout your education and career you will want to work with others within your network to ensure that your career is being represented in the base way possible. The Oklahoma Nurses Association gives you the voice you need to be heard in the industry. Through a number of issues and benefits, you can rest assured that the ONA will represent the needs of registered nurses and you can be a part of the change for the better. You will also have access to registered nurses that have worked in the field for years and can share their experience with you to ensure that you are successful throughout your education and career. In time you will share your experience with new students as they start their own journey.
Paying for an Education
It is rarely easy to cover the costs of an education. The investment towards a degree program is important as it prepares you for a better future and working towards a degree in the health care industry will make it even easier to overcome the financial burdens. Your employer should be your first line that you follow as their benefits package will usually include financial aid through tuition assistance or reimbursement. Colleges also offer unique loans, scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid that are unique to the students that attend their programs.
As the need for registered nurses increases, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has come along to ensure students are able to attend college on any budget. Loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs are offered, which can be found here. Pay attention to the loan repayment programs as you close in on graduation and licensure. These offers ensure that you are able to gain experience and provide health care for those that need it most. Upon completion of a two year commitment, the HRSA will pay a large portion of your student debt off in return for your time.
Finding the Right College
Choosing online, campus based or a mix of degree programs will come down to your personal preference. No school or program is perfect for all students and listing every college in Oklahoma would be impossible in this article. OK.gov has provided a list of State Approved Nursing Education Programs that will help you explore the options throughout the state. If you are interested in a school outside of your state that offers an online program, you will need to do additional research. A few options have been provided with this article to help get you started. Keep in mind that the list provided by OK.gov is only for schools in the state, so it shouldn’t be the end of your research. There is nothing wrong with contacting each college to find the right place to learn, just make sure you are confident with this first step in your journey.