According to a 2011 report by the University of Nevada School of Medicine, nearly eight percent of the Nevada population is employed in the healthcare sector. Even so, Nevada is experiencing a significant shortage of healthcare workers, including LPNs and RNs. A report by the High Sierra Area Heath Education Center about the nursing workforce in Nevada found that the state will suffer a 30 percent shortage of RNs by 2020. The Las Vegas area especially is expected to have significant need for additional nurses due to its rapid growth rate.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also predicts shortages of both LPNs and RNs in coming years. Even though LPNs can become certified for certain specialty care, there are more opportunities for professional advancement for RNs. In Nevada, RNs earn nearly $25,000 more per year than do LPNs; an average of $75,320 for RNs compared to $50,150 for LPNs, according to the BLS. Both associate and baccalaureate programs are available for Nevada LPNs.
Programs to Consider
College of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas). The LPN to RN program allows for advanced placement of LPNs, who may test out of some beginning programs such as anatomy and physiology. Students earn an Associate of Applied Science degree in this limited-admission program that is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
Great Basin College (Elko). LPNs may enter the LPN to RN Associate of Applied Sciences degree program or the BSN program. The limited-admission program takes four semesters to complete. Preference is given to students living in the area. Graduates may move directly to the RN to BSN program which is offered online and may be taken full or part-time.
Western Nevada College (Carson City, Fallon). The rural nursing initiative allows some classes to be taken online or via interactive video at select rural laboratory sites and hospitals. Students travel to Carson City or Reno for required clinical rotations (long-term care, acute hospitals). Learning activities may be scheduled on weekdays, evenings, and weekends.