Figuring out what you want to do before financing your college education can wind up saving you tens of thousands of dollars in unnecessary loan debt. Attending a reputable vocational nurse licensing program is an affordable and pragmatic first step.
A vocational nurse licensing program provides a spring board if you are interested in a career in the medical field, but aren’t sure if you want to make the financial and time commitment required to get a four-year degree. Once you decide to become a registered nurse, it will be easy to continue following the proverbial yellow brick road.
5 Steps To Becoming A Registered Nurse
Here are the steps you need to conquer when transitioning from vocational nurse to registered nurse:
1. Attend An Accredited College With A Successful Reputation
The first step is attending a career college that is recognized by the US Department of Education and has a history of graduating students who receive jobs in their areas of study. Most programs offer both daytime and weekend/night options so the programs are accessible to full-time students as well as working adults. The classes you take in this program, from the biological and pharmacological sciences, to the hands-on training opportunities will provide the knowledge and experience you need to obtain a job as an LVN after graduating and passing the licensing examination.
2. Get A Job
Most career colleges have working relationships with surrounding hospitals and other healthcare facilities, which will help to create a smooth transition from school to work. Once you receive your job, keep your eyes and ears open. This is your opportunity to watch the registered nurses as they work, evaluating whether or not you want to further your future career.
3. Apply To Registered Nursing Programs
Once you have some work experience under your belt, you can begin to look for Registered Nursing programs compatible with where you live, where you want to live and work schedule. Registered nurses must receive a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) at a minimum. Under normal circumstances, this would take four years. Fortunately, your LVN licensing program has already provided you with a solid platform of classes, some of which will transfer to your new program and help to quicken your journey.
4. Consider Accelerated Programs
When you evaluate nursing programs, make sure you look into accelerated nursing programs. Depending on your education history, including your vocational nurse licensing program, you may be eligible for nursing programs which fast track you along the RN path. Many of these programs are designed for people just like you – full-time employees who work around their RN education and training.
5. Promote Or Apply
Depending on where you worked as an LVN, completing a Registered Nursing program will put you at the top of the list for upcoming promotions. Otherwise, your LVN experience will have guided your sights towards the special areas of nursing in which you excel, making you an excellent job candidate elsewhere.
Attending a licensed vocational nurse program is the first step towards your nursing dream job. It provides the perfect launching pad for a successful career.
Author: Bill Lester
Photo Credit: Shutterstock