As the public ages, nursing care has become a major source of employment for new technical program graduates. It is common for 90% or more of the class to find nursing jobs within 6 months. You don’t have to become a registered nurse to make good money, as a licensed practical nurse with several years of work experience can earn well over $40,000 a year. The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) designation is the first step in becoming a nurse. After Becoming a CNA, you will assist in caring for patients by monitoring vital statistics, bathing, feeding and maintaining personal hygiene. Most CNA programs can be completed within a few months, allowing you to begin working. As the public ages, nursing care has become a major source of employment for new technical program graduates.
The next step in a nursing career is to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN). This is a one year long program, in which you’ll work under an RN, and be assigned advanced care work. Practice requirements for LPNs vary from state to state, but basic duties include passing meds, wound care, and administering feeding tubes. 1-year nursing certificate programs train students to pass the licensing test, in order to become an LPN or LVN. It is common for 90% or more of the class to find nursing jobs within 6 months. You don’t have to become a registered nurse to make good money, as a licensed practical nurse with several years of work experience can earn well over $40,000 a year.
To become an Registered Nurse(RN), you will be required to take courses in medical terminology, patient care and life sciences. Although associate degree programs provide students with adequate nursing training, a bachelor’s degree provides greater clinical exposure and a stronger general education. A 4-year BSN program allows students to study specialized areas of nursing, including pediatrics, geriatrics and mental health nursing. An RN has to cope with more responsibility, and must oversee the work of LPNs and CNAs under their supervision. If you wish to continue advancement, a masters degree and several years of experience as a nurse, may qualify you for the Nurse Practitioner (NP) credential. Nursing job openings are projected to grow 16 percent over the coming decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. The average salary for nurses with an Associates degree was $43,700 in 2015, while nurses with a Bachelors degree earned $67,490 per year.
Certification requirements include board certification by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). The license period varies by individual state, but is usually valid for either two or three years, at which time you’ll need to renew. Registered nurses (RNs) are not required to be certified in a particular specialty by state law. For example, it isn’t necessary to be a Certified Medical-Surgical Registered Nurse (CMSRN) to work on a hospital Medical-Surgical (MedSurg) floor, and most MedSurg nurses are not CMSRNs. To keep your license current, you must take continuing education courses, and renew your license every few years. There are a fixed number of credits that each state requires, and if you work in a hospital facility, these courses may be offered on-site.