Rn Programs in Pennsylvania

Registered Nurses
The healthcare sector in the United States has grown in leaps and bounds as compared to other occupations. Nurses form the backbone of the healthcare sector. There are different types of nurses and they perform different roles and functions. Registered nurses (RN) are higher in the nursing hierarchy. The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 26% growth rate between 2010 and 2020 in the registered nursing profession. The job outlook is great too; in 2010 alone, there were in excess of 2 million registered nursing jobs. The number is predicted to grow in the coming years.

What Do RNs Do?
Registered nurses work in hospitals, nursing care facilities, home healthcare services, and physicians' offices; in addition, they may be hired by the military, schools, and correctional facilities. A RN performs a wide variety of roles in the following ways:

  • Record patients' symptoms and medical histories
  • Treat patients' with medicines
  • Talk to the patients' and their families regarding illnesses and how to treat and manage them
  • Help doctors perform medical tests
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment
  • Consult with doctors 

Is Registered Nursing For You?
If you are unsure about becoming a RN, consider the following personality traits as good indictors of becoming a successful registered nurse:

  • Compassion
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Speaking skills
  • Patience
  • Emotional stability
  • Detail oriented 

How To Become A Registered Nurse?
There are three academic pathways leading to being eligible to qualify as a RN. They are:

  • A program diploma in nursing through a hospital program
  • An associate's degree in nursing
  • A bachelor's degree in nursing

Training will include supervised clinical experience in pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry, and maternity. Those who successfully pass the academic stage must take and pass a national licensing examination in order to become a licensed registered nurse.
Traditional Vs. Online Courses
In addition to being offered through campus-based nursing programs, the abovementioned academic pathways are being offered through online programs. Both academic settings are equally as good as long as they are accredited. Online education will be more appealing to the following students: Older students who may not feel comfortable studying with students half their age.

  • Married students or those with full-time jobs who do not have time to attend a traditional campus-based school and would rather study from the comfort of their home.
  • Students who cannot commute because the institute is far away.
  • Students looking to save money may prefer online courses as some of them may be cost-effective as compared to traditional courses.

It is worth mentioning here that some requirements of the programs like laboratory work and internship cannot be done online and will have to be fulfilled in a traditional way at a local hospital or clinic.
Where to Enroll in PA?
RN programs in PA are offered by many institutes. If you are a prospective registered nurse, make sure that you enroll in a program which is accredited by the state of Pennsylvania or a professional nursing organization. Furthermore these institutes may have different enrollment criterion and fees as well.

RN Career Outlook

According to O*NET OnLine, 18% positive employment change is expected for RNs in Pennsylvania between 2012 and 2022. In 2013, there were 124,750 registered nurses in the state, earning a median annual income of $66,010.

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