Are you interested in applying to a Nursing program? There are many different tracks to Nursing School programs, and there are many different degrees you can earn to become either a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Registered Nurse. Many people who are also interested in a variety of medical careers start with Nursing, and as they practice, they go back and advance their education to Physician Assistants, Physical Therapy or even Medicine. Having a Nursing degree and license can lead to a rewarding profession for many or an enviable launch pad to many, many other professions within the very large and growing field of Health Care.
To earn a LPN, you do not have to go to a four year traditional college or university. You just need to hold a high school diploma and can then enter a LPN Vocational education program. This is a two year Associates degree program, which also provides license testing upon completion and certification. The LPN is a valuable option for many who are challenged with the daunting four years of college, and for those, whom not working for four years, is not an option. There are other medical technical certification programs that involve such training. All are respectable alternatives to a four year program, and all offer employment fairly easily, and once employed the option of having the remaining degree work for an RN is often paid for by employers! Great Nursing schools offer fantastic opportunities for these LPNs to complete the RN-BS, and some offer accelerated degrees for those already working as LPN’s, such as Rutgers, Georgetown and Virginia that can be done part-time with 16 to 21 months while working.
The traditional RN-BS program requirements are similar to any other college admission program. You must have good grades, standardized test scores, and a genuine interest in the Nursing profession. Many colleges and universities have a Nursing school or program, but in most schools, the available spots in the Nursing School are small. So, getting into a Nursing School can be highly competitive and very selective. However, the reward is that upon successful completion and passing the licensing boards, you will find employment much more quickly than many others graduating college. The hours and work requirements of the degree during your last two years offer experiential and clinical work, which literally give you on the job training while studying.
Although you do not necessarily have to have had an abundance of science courses in high school, if you do add Human Physiology or Anatomy along with your traditional Biology and Chemistry courses, this gives you more impressive reviews by admissions!
All major University Nursing Schools offer a variety of ways for people to study nursing either traditionally through the four year BS degree or after graduation. Some schools offer a 5 or 6 year program that allows the students to not only earn the traditional BS degree but also a Masters of Nursing with concentrations in Anesthesia, Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator, Acute Care, Family Practice, or Midwifery. Upon completion of this additional degree, the opportunities for specialty work and a concentrated career in which leadership is rewarded can be abundant and very attractive in terms of gaining employment in the health care sector, all over the world!
If you apply to Nursing School in a very large University with a teaching Hospital and a large Medical Research facility, you will have an advantage to access to some experiences and clinics that are not offered at many of the smaller, inclusive Nursing Schools. In this field, larger does have some advantages in terms of experience and knowledge gained. Location can also be significant; all the schools in diverse metropolitan areas provide training that is enviable.
Another great plus of Nursing School programs is that even in the largest of schools, the class size in any given Nursing School is rather small. You pretty much get to know every single classmate. It is a very inclusive and supportive program to go through, and you make great friends during the four years, and also gain a huge network of professional colleagues along the way! There is no need for social life challenges because in nursing programs you are given a really nice social society bond that many others envy during college years! If you are attending a huge University’s program, such as University of Michigan, you get the best of both worlds….you get to have the wonderful close knit college experience of a small college in the nursing school, but you are also part of a huge public university and have all the fun attached to going to a Large Public School such as great athletics, a huge variety of student clubs, opportunities to advance to the Honor’s Nursing Society, and opportunities for many internships across the world during your time there.
Nursing Degrees can be very costly. This is why many people opt to go get the LPN with an Associates, work for two years, and then have their second two years paid for by an employer. This is a practical and affordable way to pay for an RN. But for those who want the four year traditional college degree program, and also choose to get loans to help, along with having parents fill out FASFA forms, upon graduation, licensing, and employment as a nurse, there is a Federal Program to help alleviate some of that debt, specifically for Nursing Degrees. “The Nurse Education Loan Repayment Program (NELRP), an $8 million government-sponsored program, will repay 60 percent of the nursing loan balance for 100 RNs. If you win this award, you must work full time for two years at a critical shortage facility. You may even be eligible to work a third year and receive an additional 25 percent off your nursing loan balance.” That is a full 85% paid for simply because you excel in what you have studied and are willing to pitch and help serve an under-served community that needs you.
So for those who have the desire to enter that very respected and honored profession of nursing there are great opportunities to support your efforts along the way. In the US alone there are over 3 Million nurses, of which 85% are actually working as nurses. The ratio of nurses to doctors in the US is 10:1, so it is a very necessary health care profession. If you are male, you have a greater opportunity for admission because males are still less than 10% of those in school, so your application will be reviewed seriously, for sure! There are more than 300 nursing programs in the US. Over seventy schools are considered in the top, so there are a large variety of options, of which are all considered excellent. In addition there are many online programs that have gained credibility, which is another avenue to complete a degree in a more affordable way.
Need help to wade through the best way to package your profile and get noticed in the competitive programs, just contact us for some help! Best of luck with your upcoming nursing career 🙂