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What Education will help increase your Salary as a Nurse?

Posted Jun 13 2013 10:07pm
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Registered Nurses (RNs) are the largest healthcare occupation in the US with about 3 million persons employed as registered nurses. By virtue of their sheer number and their adaptive capacity, the nursing workforce provides ample scope for a plethora of changes to improve the health-care system.

The demand for nurses in present-day healthcare scenario continues to be mind boggling despite the fact that initiative to enhance nursing education while also importing nursing staff from abroad have reached saturation point. This has created a formidable pool of nurses with basic nursing credentials. Being a nurse with a basic diploma or certification is a respectable job and pays well, but acquiring a higher degree or qualification could help increase your salary exponentially, while also increasing your stature as a health professional.

As on 09 June 2013, the average annual income of a Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) is $53,000 in the United States, while it is $76,000 for a Registered Nurse (RN) and $98,000 for an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) as per latest nursing salary data . As you can see from these figures, it is clear that a higher educational status demands higher salary when it comes to healthcare, just as it is in any other field.

Specializing is a way of life in today’s modern, fast-paced and highly professional world. A nurse with a BSN/MSN draws a much higher salary compared to a RN without added credentials. There is also the increasing demand for specialized nursing professionals with skilled knowledge in specific areas of nursing, and this can be highly profitable for those acquiring specialized training in that particular field.

A nurse possesses any of the following diploma or degrees to practice as a Registered Nurse in the United States:

When it comes to nursing education, there is a looming faculty shortage considering the increasing demand for nursing professionals and majority of nursing faculty having reached the fag end of their careers. Graduate preparation is the bare minimum for most faculty positions in the US, while most vacant high-paying nursing faculty positions require a completed doctorate degree or a masters’ degree with a doctorate preferred. This provides a tremendous opportunity for nurses who have completed graduate and post-graduate degrees to provide a positive impact on the health care systems, while providing themselves with an opportunity to enhance their financial freedom, knowledge as well as job satisfaction.

Of course, opportunities for nurses in research jobs are increasing exponentially in tandem with that of managerial or faculty positions in a hospital or academic setup. Hence, enhancing your nursing education should become a prerogative to achieving financial and professional efficiency.

One of the key messages in the “ The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health ” by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is that Nurses should achieve higher levels of Education and Training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

It also recommended that nursing education should therefore include opportunities for seamless transition to higher degree programs – from Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) degrees to the Associate’s Degree in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and to PhD and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Due to the drastic change in the nursing requirements of the 21st Century, there is a growing call for an all-BSN workforce at the entry level. This ensues from the increasing need for nurses to possess knowledge of public health, leadership skills, geriatrics, health policy and evidence-based practice. The increasing load on doctors has pressured policy-makers to consider nurses to take the role of primary care providers, and hence the emphasis on a bare-minimum of BSN to fulfil the role.

So, here is a rundown of the various nursing education options that will increase your salary as a nurse:

More often than not, the current trend in selecting a Registered Nurse is more academic oriented than just raw experience. Hence, acquiring a BSN is the minimum standard you must set to be considered for a high-paying nursing job. Nurses with a BSN, MSN or DNP are the only ones who will be considered for faculty teaching positions, higher-level administrative roles in healthcare establishments as well as state and federal government nursing jobs.

Various Accredited Universities like  Drexel University Online  offer online nursing degree programs that assist nurses with regular jobs to upgrade their nursing credentials without the drawback of forgoing their regular income. Such programs can increase the number of highly qualified nurses without compromising on quality.
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