Upgrading your nursing career and choosing a new path of training is a major career and life changing decision. All nursing programs have major responsibilities in the hospital setting and offer job credibility and status.
This website is a resource for nurses seeking career information to help you make the right choices for a nursing career. and those wishing to upgrade to higher level programs. Should I upgrade or remain at my present level of certification? If I decide to upgrade what is my best choice of program or institution to enroll in?
This website is also a resource for institutions, nursing schools, universities, and online nursing transition program. Our purpose is to inform prospective student about the benefits of programs offered by various institutions and types of programs to help with how to make these choices.
Schools, online programs and other institutions offering upgrade and transition programs are invited to visit our listing and resource service (coming soon!)
There are numerous reasons why licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants may consider a career change to become registered nurses, or even Bachelors, Masters or PhD degrees by enrolling in various training and upgrading programs.
The motivation to upgrade is a highly personal matter and in this website we will look at various factors which may help you make the right decision.
Registered nurses (and higher) earn better pay than licensed practical nurses mainly due to the fact that they have a longer and more comprehensive educational program compared to entry level nursing programs. Registered Nurses also have greater responsibilities in terms of caring for patients and administrative/leadership duties. Besides the salary issue, Registered Nurses have better positions in the work setting. Also, some states do not hire Licensed Practical Nurse graduates, which could serve as a problem depending on where you wish to live and work.
In terms of the salary, registered nurses receive an average annual salary of about $60,000 – $70,000 (of course, depending on the state or province where you work) while licensed practical nurses often only receive half of this.
In many cases the need for greater earning capacity is one of the primary motivators for many nurses.
This salary difference is due to the fact that registered nurses have a longer time in school; usually a 2-4 year time frame while Licensed practical nurses often only require a training program of around 8 – 12 months. Since they do receive more in depth education they will also receive more specialized and academic/science training. This provides for great flexibility in career paths. The “on the job” responsibilities of registered nurses are often more administrative. Licensed practical nurses often perform the more basic bedside nursing tasks and patient care.
A few examples of the type of work the licenses practical nurses may perform:
- Monitoring stable patient’s health condition, bedside nursing.
- Care of patients bodily functions.
- Some administration of medications, oral or injected.
- Caring for charts and records.
- Bathing and cleaning patients.
- Making and changing bedding and facilities for patients.
These are a few of the general responsibilities of Licensed practical nurses in the hospital. While nurses at this level are often limited to care of stable patients in the hospital, Registered nurses are equipped to care for patients with more critical conditions.
They are able to perform the following tasks (and many more):
- Assessment and documentation of patient’s health condition
- Procedures that require more skills such as tracheotomy care, colostomy care and other complicated actions
- Health consultations re diseases to patients
- IV route medications and IV insertion
- Collaborate with other health care professionals.
- Surgical nursing.
- Emergency and critical care nursing.
- Management and administration of Licensed Practical Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants
These are some of the general responsibilities of the registered nurse in the hospital setting. The more complicated the skill, the more likely it will be the registered nurse to perform these functions. If you enjoy a higher level of responsibility, an advance your career level is something to consider. The licensed practical nurse is under the supervision of the registered nurse and Physician, and limited therefore to the more basic of tasks.
Changing career level is a personal choice for each individual. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to think about because making the advance to a registered nurse or higher program. Many people consider advancing their career position in the hospital because the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
The salary is higher, the training is more in-depth and also the registered nursing certification is recognized in every state, province and most countries unlike licensed practical nurse programs which are still not recognized in all states. Something to think about, “with more authority comes greater responsibility.” Choosing to upgrade your nursing career offers wonderful advancement but also entails much greater responsibility and authority. Hopefully it will provide more sense of satisfaction in one’s accomplishments. This is a decision that requires in depth personal analysis and consideration!
Some of the issues and concepts you will find discussed in these pages include:
- Salary levels
- Job Descriptions
- Job supply and demand
- Transition programs
- Schools and institutions
- Online training programs
- Accelerated nursing programs
- Nursing Degrees
- Working conditions
- Nurse practitioner programs
- Certified Nursing Assistant programs
- Registered Nursing programs
- Licensed practical/vocational nursing programs
We hope that our information will be of value to you, we welcome your comments and conversation. (all comments are subject to moderation). In addition we actively invite guest posting and solicit opportunity to provide guest articles on topics appropriate to the topic.