Oregon LPN to RN Programs
As a LPN you have likely seen how desperate the need for talented health care professionals is throughout Oregon. As the population grows and ages, the need for talented and well-educated professionals in the health care industry is growing at an alarming rate. As the backbone of the industry, registered nurses are in the highest demand and you can transition from a LPN to a RN in a year or two of college. The time spent will vary based on the level of degree you wish to earn, but no matter what you choose you will find a significantly higher income, more job opportunities and plenty of career advancement choices.
With less than 31,000 registered nurses supporting all of Oregon, you can likely see why the situation is so dire. This does mean that you will find work much quicker upon graduation and depending on experience and education, you will start earning a significant salary. On average, registered nurses in Oregon earn $78,530 a year. This number will be impacted based on your experience, education, location, employer and a number of other factors. To ensure that you bring as much experience as possible to the table as you start your career, working throughout your education will be key. Finding a way to balance a busy work schedule with a college education and leave some time for personal time may seem impossible, but online courses can help you overcome this issue much easier than you may expect.
As online degree programs have grown in popularity, the ease of access for these programs has also increased. If you can navigate a webpage, you can succeed in an online degree program. You will find that the key difference in an online and campus based degree is in the schedule for your studies. You will have specific due dates that need to be met, but as long as the work is submitted by the due date, you decide when you study on a daily basis. You will still have access to the all-important classroom discussions through a course specific message board, but with the increased class size and longer than normal time to carry out the discussion, the end results can be much more enlightening and impactful. Your instructor will also be easily reached through email, phone or campus visits. Some students opt to earn their degree purely online while others take some campus based courses and others online. The choice is yours, but you should strongly consider the benefits of an online program.
As you start your education and your career, the Oregon Nurses Association will become a key ally. With support as a key focus for the ONA, you will have access to plenty of advice to help you get started. In time, you will become a leader in the association and help become a voice for all registered nurses in the state. Experienced nurses will be able to help you get started and in time you can share your own experience with new students as they start their own journey. The full list of benefits can be found on the ONA website.
Paying for Your Education
There is no easy way to pay for an education, but as a health care student you will find that there are plenty of places to gain assistance. Your employer is a great first place to explore as their benefits package swill often offer financial aid. This aid could include tuition assistance or reimbursement as well as a permanent position as a registered nurse upon graduation and licensure. Unique loans, scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid are often offered by colleges to students that enroll in their programs. This should be a key factor in your choice of educational institution, so make sure you discuss these offerings as you do your research.
With the drastic rise in need for registered nurses, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has ramped up their support of students to ensure they have access to an education on any income. With loans, scholarships and loan repayment programs on the table, you will find plenty of options that can make the cost of your education significantly less stressful. Pay special attention to the loan repayment programs. These programs are in place to encourage graduates to work in an underserved area for two years. Upon completion, the HRSA will pay a large sum towards your student debt and the experience will be highly respected by potential employers. You can find out more by visiting this HRSA page.
Going to College
Finding the right college will require a significant amount of research. Oregon.gov has a listing of all approved nursing education programs in the state right here. You will find information about all levels of nursing degree including associate programs, bachelor’s programs, Nurse Practitioner and Practical Nurse Programs. If you are considering continuing your education upon completion of your registered nursing licensure, you may want to find schools that educate up to the level you desire. The only downside to this listing is that it excludes colleges not located in the state. Many will offer highly respected registered nursing programs of study, so exploring beyond the Oregon.gov listing will help you make the best choice for you. Some of those schools have been listed with this article to help you get started.