Pennsylvania LPN to RN Programs
With our population growing and aging, the need for registered nurses is at the highest growth point in a very long time, if not ever. While this is an unfortunate situation to be in, as a country, there is plenty of room for you to make a better future for yourself by earning a RN degree. You can do so in one to two years depending on the level of degree you wish to earn. The growth in the career is expected to continue through 2020 at the least, so starting now will put you at the front of the pack as new students start to pursue this program. You also have an advantage by already working in the industry as a LPN.
There are under 131,000 registered nurses working the Pennsylvania which cannot currently support the population of the state. This means that many nurses have work lined up before they even graduate. They can start working as soon as they pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. With an average income of $65,000 a year, registered nurses also enjoy a very comfortable income that allows them to continue their growth as individuals and with experience and education, they can move up quickly. To ensure you can earn experience while going to school you need to find a way to balance your work, personal and school schedules in an effective way.
As more and more households have access to the internet, the popularity of online degree programs grows. This also means that online programs advance in their ability to be user-friendly and easy to attend regardless of a student’s comfort level with computers. As you start to explore your online learning options you may find that a pure online degree is just what you want, or you may want to combine campus based courses with your online education. The key aspect that makes an online program so popular is the ability to study on your schedule. You will have specific due dates that need to be met, but as long as you submit the work by that due date, you decide when to study. You won’t miss out on the college experience either. Instructors can be reached through email, a phone call or a campus visit and classroom discussion is handled through a course specific message board.
Throughout your education and your career you will want to have access to a network of individuals that shares your experience. This ensures that you are able to move forward in your career as one and make sure that legislation and other policy that may have an impact on your career is representative of what registered nurses want. The Pennsylvania State Nurses Association is a perfect fit to meet these needs. You will also find experienced nurses that can share advice with you as you start your education and career. In time you will share you own experiences and help lead the industry in the direction that is best for registered nurses, patients and the community. Full information can be found through the PSNA website.
Paying for College
While an education is key to a brighter future, it is rarely easy to pay for. The financial burden that comes with an education is heavy, but if you know where to look you will find plenty of assistance, especially since you are moving into a field that is in such a dire need of students with the skills you will learn. Your employer is a great place to start as their benefits packages often offer tuition assistance or reimbursement and future job placement. Colleges also offer unique loans, scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid unique to students enrolled in their courses. Make sure you bring up these issues as you start to explore potential educational institutions to make sure you gain the most benefit you can.
The shortage of registered nurses is a national issue and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is doing as much as it can to ensure students have access to the education they need to make a difference in the industry. You will find loans, scholarships and loan repayment options that will make paying for an education significantly easier. The loan repayment programs are especially important as they offer a large payment towards your education debt in return for a two year commitment to a location in need of basic health care services. Your experience in this program will be highly valued by employers so start exploring your options through the HRSA website.
Finding the right school will take a significant amount of research. Online only schools are popular choices but so is a mixture of online and campus based educations. There is no perfect school for everyone, so doing the research to find the right campus for you will be key. The Pennsylvania Department of State lists a full breakdown of all registered nursing programs in the state. Keep in mind that these are state specific programs, so large national schools that offer online programs will not be listed. To help you start researching those options, a few schools have been listed with this article.