You’re not alone if you’ve decided to pursue a career in nursing. Between now and 2030, nursing employment is predicted to expand faster than the national average, while enrolment in nursing schools climbed by 5.6 percent in 2020. Nurses have had a difficult two years, but one thing is certain: there are few careers that are as gratifying or vital as nursing.
For people living in Pennsylvania, becoming a nurse could provide you with excellent job opportunities and excellent salary prospects. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Keystone State has one of the highest employment levels for registered nurses (RNs) in the country. Nurses working in the state enjoy an average annual salary of $74,170, with opportunities to earn more in some major cities.
Getting your associate degree in nursing online is a convenient means of securing the right qualification.
Here’s a quick rundown to get a nurse degree in Pennsylvania:
1. Understand the Nursing Career Path
To become a nurse, you must complete three essential phases.
- Obtain a registered nurse (RN) diploma, an associate degree in nursing (ADN), or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). You have the option of completing an in-person or online program to get your degree. Depending on your course of study, this might take anywhere from two to four years.
- Work as a clinical assistant at a healthcare facility to get clinical experience (also known as “clinicals”). You’ll have a clinical instructor who will function as an interface between the healthcare institution and the school throughout this phase, and they’ll be watching you as you shadow a staff nurse. The number of hours required varies; however, you should plan on spending roughly 70 hours on clinicals.
- Obtain a passing score on the national RN exam (NCLEX-RN). This six-hour exam covers four topics: ensuring a safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychological integrity, and physiological integrity.
2. Choose between an ADN and a BSN
You can acquire an RN diploma, as highlighted in Step One. This is a quick choice, although it may not lead to as much career development as earning an ADN or BSN. We’ll concentrate on the these two alternatives for the rest of the article.
What is the best option for you if you have to choose between an ADN and a BSN? Both choices provide online programs that will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN. Nonetheless, each program has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
3. Select the Most Appropriate Online Program for You
After you’ve selected whether to pursue an ADN or a BSN, you’ll need to pick where you’ll pursue your education. Keep in mind that you’ll have to finish your clinical in person, even if you complete your degree online. However, many subjects in nursing programs—usually generals and your introduction to nursing classes—can be completed online.
There are more online BSN programs available than online programs to complete an ADN. Therefore, it may be easier to find one than finding an online ADN program.
If you think an ADN program is right for you, there are ways to find one that is right for you. Begin by looking into whether community colleges in your area offer online ADN programs. That way, you may complete most of your academic work online and avoid traveling for lab and clinical needs.
Keep an eye out for the criteria that must be met. Some ADN schools require that you first get your LPN license or similar work experience before enrolling.
It may be difficult to become a nurse, but it’s a wonderful career for those who want to help others. Getting an associate degree in nursing online might be the ideal, convenient way to get started, and you might even be able to work while you study. Fortunately, there are many options available when finding an online RN program in Pennsylvania that’s right for you.
Once you become a registered nurse, consider business insurance to protect you on the job. Learn more about insurance for registered nurses in Pennsylvania.