Kansas Nursing Programs

Field Overview: Nursing in Kansas

There really is no place like Kansas when it comes to choosing a career home and settling down into the challenging and rewarding life of a Midwestern nurse. Kansas is fortunate enough to be one of the cheapest states to live in, as well as having a booming agricultural scene and a reputation for being relatively crime-free.

While Kansas is not as desperately needy for nurses as are many of its neighbor states, there are still several thousand spots that are waiting to be filled by qualified LPNs and RNs. Between the tiny clinics in the pastoral areas that are far from medical facilities and the major hospitals in cities like Topeka and Wichita, there are plenty of hiring institutions in search of the new generation of Kansas nurses.

Career Potential for Kansas Nurses

There are several factors which contribute to the rosy outlook that prospective Kansas nurses will encounter when exploring opportunities for medical work in the state. First and foremost, the Kansas Department of Labor has estimated that the state will require many more new professionals to add on to the already 26,000 RNs and 6,000 LPNs by the year 2016. Health care positions in general are flourishing, with RNs being the third fastest growing occupation in the state.

Secondly, the average salary for these esteemed professionals is about $55,000 per year, and rising. LPNs, who generally have less formal education than registered nurses but serve in equally as important a role, currently earn nearly $40,000 annually. Those who dedicate themselves to the cause of bolstering the level of health care in the state will be rewarded in due time with both financial benefits and the priceless knowledge of job security as they are in such high demand and will be for some years.

Jobs and State Licensing for Kansas Nurses

In high caliber medical facilities, four-year degrees are beginning to become the new norm when it comes to hiring standards. However, many community hospitals and small clinics find two-year Associate’s degrees or other entry-level diplomas to be perfectly adequate for the career span of a capable and qualified nurse.

No matter what level you decide to take your education to, the three dozen nursing schools located in Kansas will have an option for you to receive your LPN/LVN, Associate’s, BSN, or nursing practitioner degree with in-state tuition. Scholarship funding and support from the Kansas Nurses Foundation and the Kansas State Nurses Association gives many new students the financial boost they need to afford the tuition and fees of a nursing degree at one of the state’s schools.

Licensing occurs through the Kansas State Board of Nursing, the authority group that accredits and approves those nurses who have jumped through the appropriate administrative hoops, received their training, and completed their NCLEX examination. Information on the Kansas Nurse Practice Act, continuing education, legislation, and state-specific nursing job opportunities can also be located through the Board.

Any further inquiries or employment possibilities can be delved into through the Kansas Hospitals Association. The organization not only acts as the microphone to the state’s medical facility system, but also looks with a critical eye at important health-related issues within the state, such as the challenge of working in rural areas or the issues associated with tobacco use.

Average Salaries for Nurses in Kansas

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses $40,590.00 $55,400.00 $73,590.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $30,640.00 $37,120.00 $42,660.00

References:

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Employment Statistics, and Employment Projections http://www.bls.gov/
The American Health Care Association http://www.ahcancal.org/research_data/
Kaiser Family Foundation http://statehealthfacts.org/
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation http://rwjf.org/
Kansas State Nurses Association http://www.ksnurses.com/
Kansas Department of Labor http://www.dol.ks.gov/

Nursing Programs in California

California is known for its abundance of diverse landscapes, for its food-conscious and outdoorsy population, and for its juicy avocados, plump raisins and world-class wine. But despite all of its innately health-giving properties, California also possesses a whopping total of 249,000 RNs and 62,000 LPNs to keep its citizens well and happy, and is calling for more.

In such an incredibly diverse and constantly shifting state like this, the demand for care is never satisfied and there exists an entire world of nurses who are responsible for the care of their fellow Californians. These caregivers are paid more than any similarly qualified workers in the nation, and enjoy a wealth of challenging job opportunities.

Positive Outlook for Nurses in California

Not only does California contain the major cities – San Franscisco and LA – whose nurses are paid the most in the country, but it also claims the title of state with the highest annual median registered nursing salary of $91,000. Of course, this high rate of pay corresponds with an equally high cost of living, no matter where you are in the state. The projected growth of nursing professionals is expected to increase by about a quarter during 2010 and 2020, indicating that there may be as many as 75,000 job openings for RNs and LPNs within the next few years.

This incentive means great things for those who want to kickstart their career in a big state with a major need and the resources to compensate its employment very generously. The demand for gerontology nurses, in-home nurses, special needs nurses and children’s nurses is significant, and the number of new and proposed hospitals, clinics and care centers is enormous.

Jobs and Nursing Licenses in California

Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland are in desperate need of acute-care and emergency nurses due to their metropolitan and often crime-ridden atmosphere, while the more rural areas of Northern California are in search of nurses for their many treatment facilities which are often global destinations for the very ill. Nearly 250 schools in California offer the opportunity for nursing training at basic certificate LPN or CNA levels right up to RN or Master’s degree levels.

Universities that run the gamut from Stanford to the UC system of colleges to smaller, community schools like Hancock College give nurses a chance to get accredited and licensed by the California Board of Registered Nursing. The Board allows nurses to acquire and renew their licenses online once they have passed the required NCLEX exam, and even allows endorsed out-of-state applicants to transfer their licenses over to California.

Due to the tremendous amount of collegiate programs, scholarships for nursing degrees are not hard to find, but will be extremely competitive due to the tough nature of the California student market. Big-name healthcare vanguards like Kaiser dominate the west coast lineup of hospitals and care centers, and provide employment for thousands of nurses from the top to the bottom of the long state. Thankfully, the California Nurses Association provides support and information for those professionals who are struggling to break into the career, and for those with inquiries about any aspect of the field.

Average Salaries for Nurses in California

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses $63,490.00 $91,270.00 $136,360.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $36,720.00 $51,150.00 $68,090.00

References:

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Employment Statistics, and Employment Projections http://www.bls.gov/
The American Health Care Association http://www.ahcancal.org/research_data/
Kaiser Family Foundation http://statehealthfacts.org/
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation http://rwjf.org/

Colorado Nursing Programs

The state which offers North America’s premiere view of the splendor of the Rocky Mountains also offers over 40 nursing degree options to those who wish to care for the citizens of Colorado. The Centennial State is home to a plethora of top-notch universities which house acclaimed nursing schools, such as University of Colorado – Denver and Colorado State University – Pueblo.

The Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence is entirely dedicated to boosting the dwindling medical workforce, which currently is not meeting even the standing needs of the many hospitals and clinics within the state, much less meeting future standards. Refer to the Center for an in-depth look at Colorado’s nursing shortage, exactly who is needed to remedy it, and how your education can be a part of transforming the state and meeting the vital demand for healthcare.

Outlook for Colorado Nurses

Colorado has several factors which contribute to its rosy outlook for those in the nursing profession. First, it is one of the fastest growing states in the country, which means that its demand for care is rising in accordance. Secondly, Colorado has not suffered the unemployment downfall as harshly as many of its surrounding states have, and has managed to keep its employees well compensated.

Thirdly, the worldwide nursing shortage has hit Colorado doubly as hard as it has hit most other states. In fact, a third of Colorado’s current RNs will be retiring within the next decade, and the state is desperately seeking several thousand newly graduated nursing professionals to make up for this hole in an otherwise thriving system. Fewer than 50,000 total nurses are currently employed within the state at an average annual pay rate of between $44,000 for the 6000 LPNs/LVNs and $67,000 for the 41,000 RNs. This number must increase drastically in order to sustain the futures of the huge healthcare family of agencies like Centura Health.

Jobs, Licensing and Educational Resources for Colorado Nurses

Though there is an array of choices between LPN/LVN, CNA, and RN programs in Colorado, there are not as many upper-level training programs. Because there is a shortage of nursing instructors similar to that of nurses, the graduate programs in nursing such as the MSN are not as widely available as the more basic training, a factor that hopefully will change in the next few years as nursing and teaching positions are filled. Still, as Colorado’s dozens of hospitals, care providers, and treatment facilities are constantly hiring, a nurse with basic education and standard licensing will find no lack of job opportunities at major statewide institutions like the Memorial Health System.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies is the umbrella organization presiding over the Division of Professions and Occupations Nursing Board. This team serves both consumers and professionals by maintaining licensing standards throughout the state. Colorado is a member of the Nurse Licensure Compact, a multi-state agreement that enables 24 states to recognize and approve each other’s official nursing licenses. This is a convenient and helpful feature for those nurses transitioning into Colorado from another state who is part of the Compact.

Two independent agencies serve the nurses of Colorado by providing a forum and outlet for nursing advocacy and healthcare support specific to the state. The Colorado Student Nurses Association aids pre-professional students in diploma, Associate’s and baccalaureate educational programs to achieve their qualifications and transition into a rewarding career. The Colorado Nurses Association is an organization established by and for those who are dedicated to the profession and can benefit from networking with other individuals in the healthcare arena.

Average Salaries for Nurses in Colorado

Data from BLS 2012 10th Percentile 50th Percentile 90th Percentile
Registered Nurses $49,840.00 $67,010.00 $91,080.00
Licensed Practical Nurses $33,310.00 $44,450.00 $57,610.00

References:

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Employment Statistics, and Employment Projections http://www.bls.gov/
The American Health Care Association http://www.ahcancal.org/research_data/
Kaiser Family Foundation http://statehealthfacts.org/
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation http://rwjf.org/
Colorado Nursing Center http://www.coloradonursingcenter.org/