1 Year vs. 2 Year Nursing Training Programs
A licensed practical nurse (LPN), also known as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), has training that can be completed in about a year’s time, and according to the Bureau of Statistics for 2012-2013, the median annual salary for a licensed practical nurse is $40,830. The LPN program also provides some very distinct advantages. Since the program takes only a year, a student in the program can finish earlier than other programs and begin working in the industry much sooner.
The education typically takes place at a hospital, community college, or vocational school. Tuition for a LPN degree is also fairly inexpensive, with the average being about $2,000 at most schools. There is plenty of financial aid and grant money to help with students who may struggle to afford the costs. A final benefit of obtaining an LPN degree comes from the fact that credit for coursework performed during the LPN class can be used for a LPN to RN or BSN program.
On the other hand, 2-year nursing programs can also be a viable option. These associate degrees are a great cost-effective alternative to a bachelor’s in nursing typically offered at 4-year colleges all around the country. Generally, an associate’s degree will emphasize technical nursing skills, and students will also be required to have basic English, math, and science skills.
A 2-year nursing program has many benefits as well. Obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing qualifies an individual to take the licensure exam (NCLEX-RN) and also apply for a license as a RN, or registered nurse. It is a more prestigious than the LPN program and may give individuals an edge over LPN applicants when applying to jobs at hospitals or inpatient care facilities.
Furthermore, obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing fulfills requirements for a position in the event that further education, such as an advanced nursing degree, is desired. Many schools now offer what is known as “bridging” in regards to nursing programs, where an applicant with an associate’s degree in nursing may earn a bachelor’s degree in just two years, and not the normal four.
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