August 29th, 2008
Many schools and universities offer programs that give licensed practical nurses, also known as LPNs, the opportunity to become registered nurses, also known as RNs. The LPN to RN programs are for LPNs looking to further their education and careers by taking the necessary courses to learn more in their fields, while also opening more opportunities in the field, because of better training and experience. In most cases, RN jobs pay better, and depending on degree and training completions are likely to receive promotions and further their careers in the healthcare field. Many LPNs have 1-2 year associate or training degrees, while most RNs have a 4 year bachelor of science degree in nursing.
Students enrolled in LPN to RN programs are allowed the opportunity to continue their work as LPNs and work at finishing their degree at the same time. Designed to fit the schedule of a busy practical nurse, the degree curriculum is set up to prepare students for the concepts and knowledge needed to pass their exams and become licensed to practice in their state. Students are able to take classes around their busy personal and work schedules for convenience. While specific courses may vary from school and program, general courses in the LPN to RN program include general education, community health and safety issues, healthcare concepts and management, disease management, wellness promotion, medical laws and ethics, and healthcare systems, to name a few. Graduates of the program are eligible to become RNs after completing the standardized test, known as the NCLEX-RN exam, which tests medical knowledge, nursing competencies, and whether or not the student is ready to practice as an RN.
With healthcare and nursing being one of the fastest growing fields around, RNs are expected to have good job outlooks in the coming years. RNs account for the largest healthcare occupation with more than 2.6 million jobs, of which more than half work in hospitals, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. RN jobs are expected to increase by 22% by 2018, adding more than 581,000 news jobs in the field. Additionally, median annual wages for RNs were $62,450 in 2008.
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