West Virginia RN to BSN Programs
As a RN you see every day how much the state is struggling to keep up with the demand of the population. Earning a BSN program will give you the ability to advance in your career and lead the nursing profession forward as the state continues to work towards meeting the needs of those in the state. You will have to invest time and finances to advance your education, but the rewards will be more than worth the investment. You will find that you earn a higher income upon earning your BSN and your chances at moving up in your career are significantly increased. You will also be more desirable to employers which will give you a wider range of options for finding the employer that is right for you. Finally, you may find that later in your career you wish to move to a more specialized or higher role in the nursing field and earning your master’s or doctorate will require less time once you have completed your BSN program.
West Virginia saw a total of 166 medical school graduates in 2011. Only a portion of those were entering the nursing field. With just over 18,000 registered nurses currently supporting the population of almost 2 million in West Virginia, you can see why the state, government and employers are all scrambling to find well educated and talented nurses.
Income and Employment
On average, registered nurses in West Virginia earn an income of $55,000 a year. To ensure you earn the highest salary possible, experience and education will be key. Your BSN will help on the educational side of things, but experience can only be earned by working in the field. Finding an employer that will support you throughout your education is important. You may find a number of employers that will offer tuition assistance as you pursue your additional education.
Weirton and Huntington are cities with the highest number of working registered nurses relative to the population. Charleston and Parkersburg are on the opposite end of the spectrum with the lowest number of registered nurses relative to the population. Look to Huntington and Charleston if you want to earn the highest median salary.
Ranked among the top 20 employers in the state across all industries, the following employers should be strongly considered to help earn as much experience as possible as you continue your education: Ruby Day Surgery Center in Morgantown, Charleston Area Medical Center in Charlestown, St. Mary Medical Center in Huntington, United Hospital Center in Bridgeport, Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg and Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston.
While employers often offer tuition assistance, it is rarely enough to offset as much of your financial investment as you desire. You will also find that unique loans, scholarships and grants are offered by many colleges to the students that enroll in their programs. Also explore the resources and tools offered by the West Virginia Nurses Association. Here you will find a career center, news, events, legislation, and educational and financial resources.
Finally, explore the options that are offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration. With millions of Americans lacking access to health care because they live in an area that lacks sufficient health care professionals to meet basic needs, the HRSA offers loans, scholarships and loan repayment and forgiveness options to encourage students to pursue an education in a health related field. Loan forgiveness and repayment programs deserve special attention. Usually you will spend two years upon graduation working in specific areas that are underserved in the health care field. By completing this commitment you can earn a significant amount of forgiveness or repayment towards the debt incurred through your education.
West Liberty University is a four-year public university full of rich heritage due to the fact that it is the state’s oldest institution of higher education. Established in 1837, the school has a history of success that has led it to being a leader to this day. With online and distance learning development programs designed to allow students to earn a degree on any schedule from anywhere, you will find that your schedule will not need to be readjusted to make the most out of your education. If you attend school on campus you will find campus-wide wireless internet access and incoming freshman will be provided with a laptop. In the past five years, almost 2,400 laptops have been distributed to students along with a number of iPads. Technology and education meeting in a historic educational institution will give you a unique experience that few other colleges can offer.
While the name may be a mouthful, the education you can earn from this esteemed college will be one that is respected by employers throughout the state and the country. Awarded the Best Online Program award by the U.S. News and World Report in 2013, you may want to strongly consider exploring the online program offerings from WVU. Online courses give you the ability to earn your degree on any schedule and the ability to work your education around your work schedule at one of the state’s top colleges should inspire you to explore everything this institution has to offer.