While doctors may enjoy the limelight in popular television shows such as House and Grey’s Anatomy, there is no denying that behind the scenes, keeping everything together, are reliable hard working nurses. They may not enjoy all of the accolades as physicians, however they are very well compensated for their time and knowledge and many nurses enjoy high levels of job satisfaction.
If you’re interested in nursing education, you should know that this process can involve any number of distinct career paths and specialties. We’re going to help you sift through those options while providing you with the information that you’ll need to make an informed decision regarding which nursing career is right for you. A love of medicine, people, and desire to help others are vital to become a nurse.
Two types of nursing education
Licensed Practical Nurse
A licensed practical nurse (LPN) often works under a registered nurse’s supervision and he or she has heavier responsibilities than nurse aide does. These responsibilities are different from state to state from recording vital signs of patients to administering prescribed medication.
It usually takes you one year to complete LPN program that is provided by community colleges and vocational schools. Becoming and working as a licensed practical nurse is one of the best ways to begin your career as a fully Registered Nurse.
Registered nurses (RN) are fully qualified ones who can work under no supervision and they have heavy responsibilities. They have to operate medical equipment, perform necessary medical tests on a patient and administer medication. There are two ways for you to become a RN. The first way is that you complete a 2 year nursing course to get AND (Associate Degree in Nursing). Another way is that you complete a 4 year nursing course to get BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
Both two types of nursing education allow you to become a registered nurse but you will be better paid if you choose BSN. Moreover, with BSN, you can continue your nursing education with MSN (Master’s Degree), PHD (Doctor of Philosophy) and DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). When you get these degrees, you will have a further specialization, and of course your salary and opportunities to find a good job will increase accordingly.
How to choose your nursing school
Before making up your mind about the course and the program you will attend, getting point of views from other students or graduates and checking their websites to find necessary info on the college are important things you need to do. Also, online nursing schools are available for your choice. Specially, if you want to become RN or LPN, don’t forget to choose the program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Besides, you should make sure that you choose the program that enable you to sit in NCLEX-RN or the NCLEX-PN exam that are needed for a Registered Nurse or a Licensed Practical Nurse respectively.
Some Ways to Pay for Nursing School
After deciding to start and continue your nursing education, there is another important decision is that how you can pay for school. If you lack of funds, you shouldn’t be discouraged in pursuing your goals because there are some ways to pay for nursing school.
Scholarship is a great source of finance for your nursing education if you can qualify. However, competition is not easy at all. Therefore, you must be a qualified student. Religious and other philanthropic organizations are also good sources.
The most important rule to gain a nursing scholarship is to apply for it through websites. Although searching for it and filling in applications can waste of your time, you can gain thousands of dollars. Many private scholarships are available for nursing students. Spend your time to search for them.
College Work-Study Programs
You can do a part-time job for the federal program. They can provide you with an on- or off-campus job. If you want to pay for your nursing education this way, you should submit completed applications early in the calendar year.
There are some low-interest college loans. They will enable you to complete your dream but you have to commit to pay for them after graduation. You can consider Nursing Student Loan Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Perkins Loans or Stafford Loans, PLUS Loans (Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students), and SLS Loans.
Two most common tax credits for students are Hope Scholarship Tax Credit and The Lifetime Learning Tax Credit. However, you can not receive both of two these tax credits at the same time.