Nurse your career back to health
By Karen Tina Harrison
Special to amNewYork
Healthcare is one area that may actually be recession-proof, and nursing is one of the most in-demand professions in the field.
Nurses are the heart and soul of patient-centered care, says National League for Nursing CEO Beverly Malone, Ph.D., RN.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Although training is relatively short, LPNs are valued and well-paid healthcare professionals, says Patricia M. Dillon, deputy chair of LaGuardia Community Colleges nursing program. The job attracts career changers who want to feel needed.
- LPNs are supervised by RNs. Varied duties include taking patients vital signs, administering medication and intravenous lines.
- LPNs work in hospitals, nursing facilities and medical clinics.
- The job requires a HS diploma, 12-18 months of clinical and classwork and a state exam. (LaGuardias accelerated LPN program takes 10 months.)
- The NYC starting salary is $45K-50K, rising to about $60K; some LPNs earn a signing bonus.Registered Nurse (RN)
Their responsibilities include treating and educating patients, diagnostic tests and treatment plans.
About 60 percent of RNs work in hospitals, but RNs are doing more and more preventive, routine and outpatient care, says Malone. RNs may specialize in one area such as pediatric or home healthcare.
- There are 3 paths to an RN degree: a 3-year hospital-based diploma program: a 2-year associates degree from a community college such as LaGuardia (students may require additional time to meet science requirements) or a bachelors in nursing from a 4-year college.
- All grads must pass a state exam
- RNs can continue studying to become even higher-paid advanced practice nurses, nurse practitioners or Ph.D.s
-Local salaries begin around $60K, with signing bonuses and great benefits. RN is the hottest job in America, says Malone.