Virginia RN to BSN Programs
Earning a BSN, even if you are already working as a RN is never a bad choice. While some of the stresses that come from going to college can make the choice more difficult, the results of your extra time in college far outweigh the few years of additional stress. Once you earn your BSN you will find that you have more options for employment. Employers love to see a BSN on a RN’s resume and that means that more offers will come your way. Additionally, you will find that you will earn a higher starting wage as well as more money over the course of your career and your prospects for career advancement are significantly better with a BSN. Finally, though it is probably not a priority to you right now, if you decide to pursue a master’s or doctorate’s degree in nursing, you will need to already have a BSN and by earning that now, if you make the choice to return to school for those degrees, the time spent will be significantly lessened. In the end, there are few reasons to continue working without a BSN if you want to advance in your career.
Virginia only saw 417 total medical school graduates in 2011. Not all of those graduates entered the field as RNs, that number includes all medical school graduates across the entire health care profession. There are only 62,210 current Registered Nurses working in the state, which support a population of over 8 million people. You can see right away how dire the need is for nursing graduates and that should give you the comfort that your BSN will be well respected and highly desired by employers.
Income and Employment
Registered nurses in Virginia earn an average income of $63,000 a year. To ensure that you earn the most money possible, experience and education need to be your focus. The BSN will be easy enough to earn as it simply requires you earning your degree. Experience can be a bit more tricky, but working as a RN throughout your education will give you the experience that you need to make the most of your career after graduation. In addition, employers may offer tuition assistance for those currently working in the field.
As you start to explore areas and employers to start or continue your career keep some of this information in mind. Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Winchester have the highest percentage of registered nurses working relative to the population of the city. On the other hand, Harrisonburg, Virginia Beach and Danville have the lowest percentage of registered nurses. To earn the highest average income, check Danville, Charlottesville and Richmond as they are the highest paying cities in the state.
The Heart and Vascular Institute in Winchester, Lab Corp in Roanoke, VCU Health System in Richmond, Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Falls Church and Medical College Virginia Hospital in Richmond are among the 10 largest employers in the state across all industries. These employers are great places to start as you look for a solid employer throughout your education.
Most students stress more about finding a way to pay for college than about any other aspect. While employers often offer some tuition assistance, you should also pay close attention to the unique loans, grants and scholarships that each school offers its students. In addition, you can find useful resources at the Virginia Nurses Association. These include workforce advocacy, nursing practice, continuing education, career assistance and governmental relations among advice and some financial options.
The most important place for you to look for additional assistance is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration site. Here you will find information about loan repayment and forgiveness programs, grants and scholarships. The reasons these are offered by the government is because millions of Americans do not have the access to health care that they need because they live where the health profession is experiencing shortages to meet their most basic needs.
Combining doctors and nurses into a learning environment will give you a unique learning experience that few colleges offer. With 238 nursing graduates in 2013, the field is seeing a higher influx and the University of Virginia is leading the charge. Focused on cultivating compassionate caregivers, agile thinkers, top-notch researchers and creative, astute practitioners, you will find that this education prepares you for the rapidly changing health care field. You will have a chance to practice at a host of top-notch clinical sites, including the UVA Medical Center, which is constantly ranked among the nation’s top hospitals.
Another important site that you can explore your educational options through is the Virginia Board of Nursing home page. You will find information about all approved nursing programs in the state as well as additional advice that can help you make the most of your career. Visit this link for specific degree information as well as information about the passing rates for the NCLEX which could help you make the best choice when it comes to finding the right college for you.