The Demand for Qualified Nurses Continues to Increase

Posted On April 14,2022

Long before the arrival of COVID-19, the U.S. had been experiencing the effects of a nursing shortage. This is largely due to an aging population and retiring nurses, but the shortage worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. The demand for nurses greatly outnumbers the supply, with a projected need for 3.6 million registered nurses (RNs) by the year 2030, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Nurse and doctor helping a patient who is lying in bed.

The impact of this nursing shortage on patient care can have a debilitating impact. It means there are fewer nurses to care for more patients, possibly leading to an increase in errors and higher rates of emergency situations. In addition, the impact on patients leads to lower patient satisfaction rates. 

As the nursing shortage intensifies, there will be an unprecedented number of nursing opportunities available. After working and gaining experience as an LPN, you may feel it’s time to move up to the next level and become a Registered Nurse (RN). You can accomplish this by enrolling in an LPN to RN program, like the one Athena Career Academy offers. The benefits of becoming an RN are plentiful. Not only will you get better financial rewards, but there are more skills you can gain, and more opportunities for advancement. 

Benefits of Advancing from an LPN to an RN: 

Broader Scope of Practice

Scope of practice defines what duties a healthcare professional is qualified to perform. An LPNs scope of practice varies by state, but they usually perform basic patient care under the supervision of an RN or other healthcare professional. Bedside care is the primary scope of LPN duties which may include feeding, dressing, or bathing patients, monitoring vital signs, maintaining accurate health records, and applying or changing bandages. 

While LPNs are more task-oriented, RN’s have a broader scope of practice and have more responsibilities than an LPN. They can even work independently in many areas, while LPNs must always perform their duties under the supervision of a doctor or RN. 

Higher Pay and Benefits 

RNs can earn significantly more than LPNs, although pay can vary depending on where you work or live. According to recent data, registered nurses earn approximately $34 per hour, while LPNs earn $22 per hour. This means the average annual salary of an RN is $70,335, while the average salary of an LPN is $46,282. 

An experienced RN can earn up to $93,500 annually, which is much higher than that of an experienced LPN earning up to $58,500 per year. 

Greater Opportunities for Advancement 

Registered nurses can choose from many specialty areas, like critical care or medical-surgery nursing. These specialties come with benefits like higher pay and a better shift schedule. They also give nurses an opportunity to work in areas of interest, which leads to higher job satisfaction. 

LPNs are more limited in their options as many specialty areas require nurses to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. That’s not to say that LPNs can’t focus on specializations such as long-term care, but the options are more limited than those of an RN. 

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Is an LPN to RN Path Right for You? 

Those choosing to advance their nursing careers from an LPN to RN at a time when nursing professionals are in high demand can feel good in knowing they’re stepping up and making a difference when it’s needed most. Athena Career Academy offers an excellent program for those with an LPN license to become an RN in just one year. There has never been a better time to make the transition, so contact us today to get started.