How To Find LVN Jobs Online
Nursing jobs are abundant, and getting more so, according to studies released by The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which state that the number of jobs for registered nurses (RN) will grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020. For someone who is looking to make the move from being an LVN to an RN, there are many online programs that let you keep your LVN job while getting the necessary education to earn an RN license. Once you’re licensed as an RN, you might be able to get a promotion at your current workplace, but if not, there are loads of online resources to help you start a career elsewhere.
Finding a Job as an LVN or RN
The best way to start in any job search is by asking around in your personal network of friends and colleagues. If you are already working in the health care field, you can probably find at least a lead, if not more, just by asking friends who work in the same business about job openings. After talking to friends and acquaintances, some other good job hunting strategies are:
- Online Job Boards: Many websites aggregate job postings to make it easier to find jobs across a range of sites and even career types. If you’re a former LVN looking to get hired as an RN, you should be able to find at least a few jobs in your area to apply to, and if you’re willing to move to a new location for a job, you’ll have an even easier time finding employment.
- Career Networks: Using job-oriented social networks like Linkedin can help you connect with other LVNs and RNs, and general health care professionals. If you are looking for a job in another city, this can be extra useful because you probably won’t personally know many people in your field there.
- Cold Calling: If you know of a reputable hospital or clinic you want to work at, calling and asking to visit with someone who handles hiring can be one way to get your foot in the door.
- Volunteering: Even better than cold-calling, offering your services free of charge can show a potential employer how dedicated you are to the profession. This obviously needs to have a time limit and some other stipulations, because you want to make money eventually, but donating some of your time as an act of good faith can go a long way towards getting you a job eventually.
The above tactics all take time to work, so starting your job search while you’re still in school is a good idea. The median length of a successful job search in the U.S. is 10 weeks, or 2.5 months, and people who drop out of the workforce altogether tend to do so after 20 weeks of hunting for employment. If you want to stay in the game, you have to be ready to keep trying for a long time.
Payment and Job Growth for RNs
The pay bump when you go from being an LVN to an RN is significant. Where LVNs only make $40,380 per year, RNs earn an average salary of $64,690. That difference of tens of thousands of dollars can help pay off student loans, support a family, or just give you the more luxurious lifestyle you’ve been wanting.
Additionally, the growth rate for RN jobs is predicted to be 26% between 2010-2020, a 4% faster rate than the 22% predicted growth for LVN job openings.
The above statistics are encouraging compared to the employment statistics for many career paths. Many healthcare career paths can expect to see over 10% higher job growth than the average growth for all occupations, and salaries in nursing and other medical fields tend to be significantly higher than national averages.
How To Take Your Nursing Career Even Further
Going from LVN to RN is already a big leap in responsibility and capability, as well as pay. But there’s still career progress available beyond becoming an RN. Getting a Master of Science in nursing, or even a doctorate, can open up new career opportunities both in clinical practice, leadership roles, and academia. Some possible paths for nurses to take after working as an RN for a few years include:
- The Academic Route: Earning a master’s degree, then a PhD, is the standard educational runway to become a full-fledged professor. If you want to work at a university, teaching students and doing nursing research, this is the way to go. It will take a long time, and likely be expensive, but for nurses with a serious passion for academics, it may be the right choice.
- Become a Nurse Practitioner: One of the best paid and most versatile careers in the nursing field is that of the nurse practitioner. Becoming an NP requires a master’s degree, but can allow nurses to choose a specialty and become an expert in it, making them more desirable as an employee, and more able to work on problems that interest them. Some of the specialties that nurse practitioners work in are gynecology, pediatrics, geriatrics, anesthesiology, and family practice.
- Administration and Leadership: Becoming the head of a nursing department will take years of work and lots of practicing managerial skills.
What It Is Like to be an RN in a Major Hospital
Working as an RN in a big hospital can be stressful, and often they’re asked to work a few long shifts of 12 hours or more each week, instead of regular 8 hour shifts like a typical job. The responsibilities of an RN depend on which part of the hospital they work in and which skills they are most adept at, but there are some responsibilities that most nurses will have to fulfill if they work in a hospital for any significant period:
- Taking Patient Medical History: Asking patients about their current and previous doctor visits, sicknesses, treatment plans, et cetera.
- Delivering Medication and Inoculations: Giving shots and delivering pills prescribed by physicians is a fairly mundane part of a nurse’s day, but a good nurse can make it as comfortable and painless as possible for the patient.
- Briefing Doctors on Patient Conditions: Often, a nurse will conduct a preliminary interview with a patient and summarize the conversation for the doctor, so that the doctor can spend less time with each patient, and consequently can see more patients per shift.
- Record Keeping: While medical facilities hire record keeping professionals to maintain electronic databases, nurses are still responsible for recording patient information in the first place and making sure it is delivered to the right place.
Though most RNs work in private general hospitals, there are plenty of other settings that hire them. The chart below shows several common settings that employ RNs, and the percentage of all RNs in the U.S. that work in each one.
Selecting an LVN to RN Education Program
In the end, the most important thing about your LVN to RN program is that it prepares you to effectively and safely treat patients. Between now and then, though, you’ll have to pass an extremely rigorous test called the National Council Licensure Examination, which will allow you to be licensed as an RN in most states. You still have to apply for licensure, but no state will grant a license until you’ve passed the NCLEX.
To pick the best LVN to RN program for you, you need to consider a few factors:
- Accreditation: This is the most important feature of an LVN to RN education program. Do not apply to any unaccredited programs.
- Time: How soon do you need to be back in the workforce or getting a promotion in your current job? There are fast-track LVN to RN programs but they’re stressful. Beware of burnout.
- Cost: Higher education is expensive, and the prices are only going up, but there are still high quality options that aren’t at the top of the price range. $500 per credit-hour is a fairly common price for online courses.
- Location: This doesn’t matter as much for online universities, but many of them still have an office or a small campus in a few cities, and if you absolutely needed to talk to a representative of the institution face to face, this could come in handy. Location probably isn’t a dealbreaker, but is something to look into.
After assessing the above factors, all that remains is to decide. The purpose of this website is to help you get enough information to make a good decision without overwhelming you with useless data. If you need more details than provided here, use the links below to get directly in touch with accredited colleges that offer LVN to RN programs.
Online Nursing Bridge Programs
||Kaplan University — The Nursing Program at Kaplan University features programs that are designed to meet individual goals and the online courses afford flexibility in managing one's educational goals. Students seeking both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing have the option to a condensed format, allowing them to complete both degrees in less time and for less tuition that obtaining each degree separately. Click Here|
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