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LPN to RN: Becoming a Registered Nurse

As an LPN/LVN, are you prepared to take the next step in your nursing career by becoming a Registered Nurse (RN)? As industry demand for RNs continues to climb, there has never been a more opportune time to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

As an RN, you will be eligible to work in the healthcare environment that most interests you, from hospitals and specialized care facilities to private clinics and doctor’s offices. In your new role, you will be prepared to work directly with physicians to diagnose medical issues, make treatment decisions and manage patient cases from start to finish. You may decide to select a specialization such as neonatal or surgical care, or you might elect to work in an office setting as a resident expert for a corporation or public health organization. 

With your new credentials, you will also become eligible for a significant increase in pay. With an average annual salary of $52,903,1 most ADN-prepared RNs earn about $12,500 more per year than LPNs/LVNs.2 Registered nurses can also become eligible for upward career mobility, qualifying for higher pay rates and managerial positions. 

The Changing Job Market
As job growth in the nursing sector flourishes, your qualification as an ADN-prepared RN will open the door to a proven number of future job opportunities. In today’s economic conditions, registered nursing remains the single most secure occupation, ranking #1 for job growth and employment status on U.S. News & World Report’s “25 Best Jobs of 2012.”

In order to serve the aging population, job opportunities in nursing are expected to grow 26% by 2020, creating an estimated 1.2 million new jobs for nurses.3

A Call for Higher Credentials
As the patient landscape becomes more demanding, industry standards for nursing credential requirements are in the midst of a historic change. In 2011, the Institute of Medicine officially recommended that all nursing professionals achieve higher levels of education and practice to the full extent of their training.4 As a result, many healthcare facilities are raising their minimum educational requirements for hiring candidates.5 

By pursuing your associate’s degree in nursing today, you can secure your position as a qualified RN candidate and prepare yourself for future changes in this growing market. 

Associate Degree in Nursing Overview
Excelsior College® School of Nursing, an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education™, is the largest nursing school in the United States. Excelsior College® offers an Associate Degree in Nursing program that prepares nurses to deliver quality care and become effective members of the healthcare team in collaboration with other healthcare professionals. The program, which is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, requires the successful completion of 67 semester credits, including 31 in general education and 36 in nursing. 

Many of the requirements for the curriculum may be met by passing college equivalency exams, making it possible for you to earn your ADN and become an RN in less time than most campus-based programs. However, the length of time it takes you to complete the program is dependent upon several factors, including degree needs, prior college credit earned, the time you devote to the program and your personal study habits. 

How The College Network’s Program Works
The College Network’s® online program enables you to continue your education and earn college credit from the comfort of home. Many of your degree requirements can be satisfied by using The College Network’s materials to prepare for comprehensive examinations, including The College Network’s own ACE CREDIT® recommended exams as well as CLEP®, DSST® and Excelsior College® exams.

 

NOTE:  The College Network® has no affiliation, formally or informally, with Excelsior College®.

 

 

 

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Sources:
1 www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Associate_Degree_Nursing_%28ADN%29/Hourly_Rate
2 www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm
3 www.aacn.nche.edu/media-relations/fact-sheets/nursing-shortage
4 www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading-Change-Advancing-Health.aspx
5 www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/education/changing-requirements-send-nurses-back-to-school.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
6 www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Associate_Degree_Nursing_%28ADN%29/Hourly_Rate
7 www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm




For more information on degree & certificate programs, call 800-395-1014.