Washington state has a large healthcare industry with about 100 general acute-care hospitals and approximately 15,000 beds where about 60 percent of the state's nurses work. RNs also work in home care, nursing homes, and physicians offices and earn an average $73,680 annually, compared to a national average of $67,720 a year, reports the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The state also has 9,410 LPNs who earn an average $45,400 annually, slightly higher than the national rate of $41,360. While the poor economy has dampened the overall job market, nursing jobs are still in demand in many areas of the state known for its rugged mountains and windswept beaches.
There are numerous nursing schools in Washington offering LPN to RN (ADN and BSN) programs. They include:
Everett Community College offers flexible nursing education, which prepares students for licensure as RNs. Students have the option of taking the LPN exam after four quarters of study or they can continue toward the two-year Associates in Arts and Sciences in nursing degree. LPNs are also accepted as ‘advanced placement' students for a course of study leading to eventual licensure as RNs. The school reports that 100 percent of RN graduates find jobs within six months.
Whatcom Community College has a face-to-face nursing program, which is comprised of daytime lecture and lab courses along with clinical sessions, scheduled either during the day or evening. A hybrid part-time program combines online lectures with campus lab and clinical training. The college offers tuition assistance to LPNs entering the Associate in Science degree program. For continuing students, Whatcom's ADN degree transfers directly to the University of Washington at Bothell's BSN program.
Pierce College is located 30 miles south of Seattle and offers a two-year associate degree in nursing program, which prepares students for RN licensure. The college also offers an LPN-RN Bridge program. Students who are LPNs, or are recent graduates of an LPN program, may be able to transfer directly into the fourth quarter of Pierce's ADN track through this option. However, these students must take an LPN articulation course the week before the start of the fall quarter. The ADN degree transfers directly to the University of Washington-Tacoma's BSN program.