As the health care demands of New Jersey continue to grow year after year, health care facilities and employers are looking for ways to keep costs reasonable and provide even better care to patients. As a licensed practical nurse, you have likely developed a deep understanding of this industry, what patients need, and how nursing professionals fit into a health care setting. This experience may make you an excellent fit for a registered nursing program.
New Jersey legislators are focusing on quality of care, and that may mean big changes for facilities across the state. A recently passed law will increase oversight in the nursing industry and tighten up staff-to-patient ratios. If it's time for you to take the next step in your career, find out what LPN to RN programs in New Jersey can do for you.
Why Should I Enter an LPN to RN Program in New Jersey?
The idea of returning to school and earning your registered nursing degree may be intimidating, particularly if you have been in the LPN workforce for a long time or if you love your job. However, there are many benefits associated with making this leap.
First, you'll be able to do more for your patients. As an RN, you'll have an increased scope of practice that allows you to be more hands-on in your care. Second, you'll be able to meet a great need in this industry. The need for registered nurses is growing so rapidly in some parts of New Jersey that local employers have started offering sign on bonuses to new RNs.
This career change often comes with an increase in earning potential. Currently, the average salary for a New Jersey LPN is $53,600 per year, while the average salary for a registered nurse is $78,000 per year (O*Net, 2014).
Curriculum of LPN to BSN Programs in New Jersey
Since you already have many of the core skills and competencies of nursing under your belt, you may find it much easier to make the transition from LPN to RN. You should plan on one year of full-time schooling if you want to earn an Associate's degree and three years of study to earn a Bachelor's degree. Both are viable options; you may want to look into the needs and expectations of local employers to help make your decision.
The courses you enroll in as a registered nursing student bridge the gap between the duties of an LPN and the duties of an RN. Some of the undergraduate nursing courses you may enroll in include Foundations of Health Promotion, Maternal Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, Medical-Surgical Nursing, and Role Transition for Professional Nursing.
These courses focus on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. You should anticipate spending a fair amount of time in different clinical settings, particularly departments and specialties that LPNs typically do not work in. Most programs include over 300 hours of clinical experience.
Some nursing professionals put off their return to school because of expenses, which is why a variety of New Jersey organizations provide financial aid. Look into local resources like the New Jersey League for Nursing as you begin your financial aid search.
New Jersey's need for registered nurses may continue to grow as the Affordable Care Act changes care standards. Do your part and learn more by contacting LPN to RN programs in New Jersey.