Nursing is, without a doubt, the heart and soul of the healthcare profession. At all levels, nurses care for patients and spend most of their days helping the sick and injured. Nearly every moment of a nurse’s career is dedicated to making a positive difference in patients’ lives, seeing them through their worst moments. If you are already working in this profession as a licensed practical nurse (LPN), you may be thinking about taking the leap from an LPN to RN career.
As you may already know, LPNs play a fundamental role within nursing. They are constantly helping meet patients’ needs and acting as an advocate for their care. However, perhaps you are ready for more—and the next step in your profession, naturally, is to become a registered nurse (RN). Registered nurses have more autonomy in their career, and can perform more advanced assessments than LPNs. Of course, this expanded role requires more education.
There are many reasons to pursue an LPN to RN nursing program today, particularly for those in Connecticut. According to NursingLicensure.org, Connecticut is expecting to see a 6 percent increase in RN jobs over the next several years, which is faster than the average occupational job growth. Read on, as we explore the top reasons to transition from an LPN to RN program.
- Better Pay
There is no question that college is an investment, but some programs offer more reward than others, in terms of salary potential. Students must decide whether the time and money spent on an education will pay off in the long run. In the field of nursing, the reward is certainly worth the extra effort in school. Registered nurses, for example, earn a significantly higher salary than their LPN colleagues. The median salary for LPNs in Connecticut, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was $58,430 in 2020. RNs in Connecticut, on the other hand, earned a median salary of $84,850 in the same year—45 percent more than the LPN average salary.
- More Opportunity & Demand
In addition to higher earning potential, RNs generally enjoy more opportunities than LPNs. While LPNs work under the direction of RNs, typically in long-term care settings, RNs are able fulfill fast-paced and exciting roles in hospitals, clinics, rehab centers, physicians’ offices, schools, and even government agencies. Thanks, in part, to healthcare reforms, demand is growing for nurses in countless care environments. In fact, the BLS expects there to be over 220,000 job openings for RNs across the country by 2029, in comparison to just over 65,000 openings for LPNs.
- More Responsibility
Because of the high pay and advanced job opportunities, more is expected of RNs than LPNs. While LPNs perform basic tasks that help RNs, RNs play a bigger role in the lives of patients, their treatment, and general decisions regarding their healthcare. A registered nurse can:
- Assess patients’ conditions and medical histories
- Observe patients’ symptoms
- Develop plans of care for patients, or add to existing care plans
- Administer medications and treatments
- Operate and monitor medical equipment
- Perform diagnostic tests and analyze results
- Evaluate how patients’ illnesses and injuries affect them
- Identify and help those at risk for a variety of ailments
- Educate patients and their families on proper care
RNs also provide direct, hands-on care. They often care for patients who are in serious condition or those whose needs are more complicated than the patients seen by LPNs.
- More Career Options
As mentioned before, RNs do not need to work under the supervision of other nurses like LPNs do, so their opportunities tend to be greater. You can choose from a wide variety of settings as a registered nurse. If you do not wish to work in a hospital, there are plenty of other environments and a wide variety when it comes to different types of nursing to choose from. A few examples include:
- Camp nurse
- Geriatrics nurse
- Home health nurse
- Forensic nurse
- Medical journalist
- Military nurse
- School nurse
- Travel nurse
- Better Care & Experience
While the idea of returning to nursing school can be daunting for some, it is an opportunity to expand your horizons and improve your skills as a nurse. An associate degree in Nursing (ADN) or bachelor’s degree (BSN) can prepare you with the skills and experience needed to advance your career. If you are passionate about helping your patients and getting more challenging work in your field, you may find that you have the drive needed to continue your education. Your daily interaction with patients will greatly improve and you will no longer be working under the supervision of other nurses, but stand on your own, caring for patients and collaborating with physicians and other medical staff.
- Flexible Programs
Once you began working as a practical nurse, you probably noticed how busy – and exhausted – you were! The idea of starting a nursing program can seem intimidating. There are, however, programs that will accommodate your busy life. At Goodwin University, for example, there are flexible nursing programs to ensure students have the ability to maintain their jobs, family obligations, and personal hobbies. You can find class times that fit into your schedule and cater to your needs. There are no wait lists for nursing enrollment, and most classes are offered days and evenings, with some weekend options for clinicals. You do not need to put your life on hold to pursue a nursing degree, or your dream RN career.
Are you ready to advance your career in nursing? Learn more about the programs available at Goodwin University to get started today. Call 800-889-3282 or visit us online to request more information.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.