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Which Nursing Degree is Right for Me?

Which Nursing Degree is Right for Me?

Peter Vogt |

A profession facing a predicted personnel shortage of 1 million by 2012 tends to get creative about helping career changers break into the field. That’s exactly why diverse educational options are available to mid-career workers who want to switch gears and pursue a new career in nursing.

“The variety is needed to avoid duplicative education efforts on the part of second-career students and to feed the nursing pipeline,” says Susan Odegaard Turner, Monster’s Healthcare Advisor and a nurse with 30 years of wide-ranging experience in healthcare.

If you’re looking to transition into nursing, check out the varied educational paths you can explore.

The LPN/LVN Path

With at least a high school diploma, you can obtain one year of training at a hospital, vocational-technical school or community college and become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) in some states.

But know in advance, Turner says, that as an LPN/LVN you’ll be limited in the on-the-job activities you can perform. Equally important, she says, is the fact that you’ll likely earn $10 to $15 an hour less than registered nurses (RNs), whose practice scope is wider. “An LVN is a great stepping-stone to RN, but the roles are not interchangeable,” she says.

Once you finish your training, you’ll need to pass your state-administered National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) to obtain your LPN/LVN license.

Next: The RN Path >>

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