Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Finding The Nursing Program That's Right For You

Nursing has always been a great field to get into, and for good reason. The pay is solid, the benefits are great, the training time to get into the field is relatively low, and there has always been an abundance of jobs in this field. These days, nursing school is becoming even more popular than in years past. This can be attributed to the economic downturn and the increasingly aging demographics of most developed countries.

The aging populations virtually guarantee job stability in this field for at least the next few decades. And with job stability an increasingly rare commodity, rarer still is the opportunity to get into a good paying and stable career with only a couple years of training outside of high school.

When it comes to choosing the right nursing program, there are generally three options. You can become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) or Registered Nurse (RN). The CNA option for most people is a stepping stone to a more prestigious position. The program only takes a couple weeks to complete and pays around $15 an hour. But for those that are in need of an immediate income, this may be a good route to take. Many CNAs will take part time training at a practical nursing school or a regular university if they are going the RN route.

The majority of students entering the field choose to enroll in a practical nursing program and become an LPN. Becoming an LPN offers several advantages that make it kind of the "sweet spot" of the nursing profession. First of all, training at a practical nursing school only runs about a year attending full time and around 2 years part time. This is really a small amount of time to train in order to enter such a lucrative field.

Speaking of lucrative, the pay for an LPN fresh out of a practical nursing school is somewhere in the mid five figures, depending on the region of the country. That's higher than the national average and higher than many people make after getting a four year liberal arts degree from a regular college or university. One other thing that makes practical nursing training so attractive is the ability to move quickly into a good paying job, while having the option to continue on toward becoming an RN, where the pay is even higher.