Did you know that Philadelphia is a hub for healthcare services and pharmaceutical firms? This city has expanded its economy by concentrating on important sectors such as healthcare and education. According to data provided by the United States Department of Labor, the healthcare sector generated over 2800 jobs from 2012-2014, in the city. The ever-increasing demand for healthcare services has stressed the need for nursing professionals in Philadelphia. If you are choosing a career that offers stability and growth, nursing can be a suitable choice for you.
Nursing Schools in Philadelphia
Once you have decided to become a nurse, the next step is to choose a nursing school in Philadelphia. The city is home to many private and public universities. These offer a wide range of nursing degree programs such as the following:
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Each nursing program aims to prepare students for a nursing position in the industry. You must therefore decide which nursing program suits your career-goals and academic needs. The curriculum may vary slightly from program to program.
In a nursing program, you will start off with basic nursing concepts that will help you develop a strong foundation in nursing knowledge. Further in the program, you will also gain hands-on experience and learn how to practically apply theories in laboratory settings. Training is an important part of becoming a nurse at any level.
Prior to enrolling in any nursing school, make sure you check the following factors:
Learning/educational facilities (labs, libraries)
Accreditation is important to check before enrolling in any institution. If you earn a degree from an unaccredited college, you may face difficulty when applying for a job. Most universities in Philadelphia are accredited by the regional board, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). Apart from regional accreditation, you must also make sure that the nursing programs have been approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing.
Licensing is critical to becoming a nurse. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing is responsible for issuing licenses and conducting the nursing licensing examinations. Once you complete a nursing degree from an accredited college in Philadelphia, you must pass the NCLEX exam, which will evaluate your nursing skills and knowledge.
Working as a nurse in Philadelphia
With an LPN qualification and license, you can apply for entry-level nursing positions in Philadelphia’s growing healthcare sector. On the other hand, ADN, BSN and MSN degrees will help you apply for advanced nursing positions in the city. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses earned annual mean wage of $67,140 in 2013. The employment growth rate for nurses is high in this region. You can also choose to specialize in different nursing specialties such as pediatric nursing, oncology nursing, and emergency nursing.