Graduates of Online Nursing Programs are In-demand
Some say that nursing is a calling, while others say they just want to help people. Whatever your reason for wanting to become a nurse, you will be needed: the federal government reports that in the coming years the need for well-trained nurses will increase dramatically.
From now until 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the nursing profession’s job growth will be somewhere around 26% and will add around 711,900 jobs. One of the reasons for this increasing need is the aging population. People are living longer and need more health care professionals to provide medical services.
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There are four main levels of nursing education ranging from Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Master’s of Nursing (MSN). There of course is a doctorate available, but here we focus on the four main levels.
Depending on the state you live in, the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) can also be known as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). The LPN/LVN is the first level of the nursing hierarchy. You can complete your training in as little as a year and are required to take state certification; an associate’s degree or completion of vocational training from a hospital or technical school is necessary, as well. Continuing education credits or units are also required to maintain certification.
Here are a few examples of what an LPN/LVN’s responsibilities can include: monitoring patients’ vital signs, changing bandages, cleaning wounds, inserting IVs and catheters, providing care and comfort to patients and keeping track of records.
According to the BLS, job growth from now until 2020 for LPNs and LVNs is high at 22% and the median salary as of 2010 was $40,380.
The role of the registered nurse is evolving constantly. They are often the first line of care between a patient and doctor. Training to become an RN can vary. Programs available include the 2-year vocational program (where an associate’s degree in nursing is earned) and 4-year university program (leading to a bachelor’s of science in nursing degree). In order to become an RN a state certification is required, and continuing education credits are required to maintain it.
Although the tasks an RN has to perform may seem similar to that of the LPN/LVN at first, there’s more responsibility and training involved. So, aside from taking patients’ vitals and keeping track of their records, the RN may also be responsible for LPN/LVNs working under them, as well as working closely with doctors and other healthcare professionals creating a patient’s care program. One rewarding responsibility in particular that RNs get to participate in is patient and community education – this can involve how to give an injection of medicine or how to manage an illness.
As for job growth the BLS projects 26% for RNs and the median salary is quite impressive, too. And if you were an RN employed in the following workplaces this is what the median salary was as of 2010:
· Private medical and surgical hospital - $66,650
· Physicians’ offices -$62,880
· Local medical and surgical hospital - $62,690
· Home health care services (think hospice or private care) - $60,690
· Nursing facilities (rehab or elder care) - $58,180
RN to BSN
RN to BSN degree programs were established for working RNs who have not yet earned their bachelor’s degree in nursing. Many top-ranked colleges and universities are currently offering RN to BSN programs online to ease the time constraints of a busy RN’s schedule. It’s also common place for RNs to start working after earning their 2-year degree and passing state certification, so that they can take advantage of employer tuition reimbursement.
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Although the BLS doesn’t provide exact statistics for RNs who have earned their BSN, it should be safe to assume that the median salary will be higher than that of an RN with an associate’s degree only.
The MSN is the next enhancement to an RN’s education arsenal. When considering entering into an MSN program you more than likely will have to choose a specialty. Throughout the years specialties have increased and range from administration and education to becoming a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist.
Although specific salary statistics for those who have a master’s degree in nursing aren’t provided by the BLS, the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook does show that the top 10% of earners made more than $95,130.
According to statistics from Nursinglink.com, as reported by scrubsmag.com, here are the salaries for some nursing positions for those with an MSN:
· Nurse Practitioner - $78,000
· Certified Nurse Midwife - $84,000
· Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - $95,000
· Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist - $135,000