Career Paths in Nursing
Nursing is the fastest growing occupation in the U.S., with demand expected to increase 19% by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means more than one million nursing jobs are coming up the pike! But how do you get started? Intended for those researching nursing schools, this post will help you navigate the different career options in nursing and explain a little bit more about this rewarding and in-demand field. We’ll also familiarize you with the highly respected nursing programs at Raritan Valley Community College.
A Flexible Career
Because people need healthcare everywhere, nurses aren’t bound by a specific city or part of the country. From urban hospitals to suburban doctors’ offices, you can choose the setting that’s right for you. The bulk of nurses (29%) work in hospitals, followed by doctors’ offices (15%), nursing care facilities (13%), outpatient facilities (10%) and home health services (8%), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nurses often work flexible schedules, either in 4, 8, 10 or 12-hour shifts, depending on one’s chosen specialty. Speaking of nursing specialties, there are more than 100 different options, from neonatal to pediatric to oncology, emergency and beyond.
Registered Nurse (RN)
Ranked as one of the Top 10 best jobs in America by U.S. News & World Report, Registered Nurses enjoy undeniable job security and make a median annual salary of $67,490 a year. As critical members of every healthcare facility, RNs monitor vitals, administer medication, perform physical exams, counsel patients and make important decisions about a patient’s health.
To become an RN, you’ll need to complete an accredited registered nursing program and earn a nursing degree. This could be either an Associate Degree in Nursing, which is typically a 2-year-program—or a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree (BSN), which is typically a 4-year program. Then you’ll need to pass the the RN exam (NCLEX-RN).
RVCC’s Associate of Applied Science Degree program in Nursing prepares students for the RN exam and allows them to obtain entry-level RN positions upon graduation. Accredited by both the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN) and The New Jersey Board of Nursing, our rigorous 2-year program is a great way to kick off an RN career. Not only will you be able to enter the workforce faster, but you’ll also spend a good deal less on tuition. If you decide you want to continue your education, RVCC has a special partnership with Kean University that enables you to seamlessly transfer into a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. With further study, you could choose to become a Nurse Practitioner or pursue an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing degree. Find out how to get into the RN program at RVCC here.
LPN to RN Bridge Program
Many Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) decide to pursue LPN to RN bridge programs in order to advance their careers and earn a higher salary. While RVCC does not offer an LPN program, our LPN to RN bridge program is well-known in NJ for preparing Practical Nursing graduates for the RN exam, also known as the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The program starts in the summer and takes a year to complete.
Additional Healthcare Careers
RVCC can also prepare you for a host of other health professions that require less training—preparing you for a career as a Phlebotomist, Medical Assistant, Fitness Specialist, Optician and more. Click here for more information.