Have you been thinking about vocational nursing school, but not feeling quite sure if it's the right step for you? Here are five reasons to help you get off the fence and make a decision today.
Dollars and SenseIf you choose a vocational nursing program and become a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) rather than going straight to a BSN program, you'll have more options to get your education, including community colleges and technical schools. Generally speaking, these settings offer far more affordable tuition than the typical college or university. Which makes more sense to you: paying hundreds of dollars per credit hour at a major state university or finding a community college where tuition is less than $100 per credit hour?
Time Is on Your SideTo get your training to become an LVN or LPN — the entry-level to licensed nursing — you can complete your vocational nursing school program and be working in your new career in as little as two semesters if you attend school full-time. This is a great benefit for those students who juggle jobs and families outside of the classroom. If you do decide to go back to school later on to become an RN, rest assured there are plenty of LPN to RN training programs that will give you credit for classes and clinicals you've already completed.
Learn While You Get Your DegreeIf you do want to further your education and career by becoming an RN, working in the field as an LPN provides a daily learning lab to develop a solid foundation of skills and knowledge that will serve you well when go back to school. You'll be able to apply lessons to real-life situations you've encountered and be able to draw on your experience to grasp new concepts more easily than a traditional BSN student who spends a great deal of her first two years in a classroom setting.
Earn While You Get Your RNAnother important advantage to getting your vocational nurse training is the ability to earn a good income while you continue your education. With a national median hourly pay rate of $19.97 per hour according to 2012 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you'll have a solid income with flexible working hours to juggle paying the bills and going to school.
Finding Your Happy PlaceYou may find that you're content to remain an LPN rather than undergoing the stress of continuing your education. Sure, the pay is less than an RN (whose national median pay is $31.48 per hour per the BLS), but in most situations, you'll have much less supervisory responsibilities. In a profession that can be tremendously stressful with life and death situations daily, this is a worthwhile trade-off for some. So stop procrastinating, already! That's five good reasons to get out there and find a good vocational nursing program to launch yourself on a new career path full of opportunities.
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