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By: Jason Lom
In case you haven't heard, nursing is a great field to get into these days. Well actually, it's pretty much always been a good career to be in, but even more so today. The reason is that western populations have a greater number of elderly people than ever before. And the ever aging population will require more health care workers. So if you want to become a nurse, the next step is finding a practical nursing school that's right for you. 

When it comes to choosing a nursing program, there are several options out there. You have traditional and community colleges, online schools, and specialized nursing schools. Depending on which type of school you choose, there are various programs they offer. Some offer CNA (certified nursing assistant) programs, others offer LPN (licensed practical nursing) programs, and still others offer RN (registered nursing) programs. The one you choose to enter will depend on your individual situation and your goals for the future.

The CNA program is the quickest way to get into the medical field. Schooling only takes a few weeks, then it's just a matter of getting certified and going to work. Once on the job, the pay is around $15 an hour, and you'll be working with and assisting nurses with their various duties. It's really a good way to get some experience working in a medical environment. And if you decide that you like this kind of work, then you can enroll in an LPN program and move toward becoming a licensed practical nurse.

LPN training isn't quite as easy and quick as becoming a CNA. To become an LPN, you need to go to school for about 1-2 years. Still, this is a much shorter time in school then if you go for a four year liberal arts degree. And after you come out of school and pass your board exam, you enter a lucrative job with stability and great benefits. Not only that, LPNs are in demand pretty much everywhere, so whatever area of the country or world you want to live, chances are you can get an LPN job there.

If you do complete an LPN program and go to work, you may decide that you want to aim even higher. Becoming an RN would be your next step, and would require a one to two more years of school. This schooling can be done part time while working as an LPN, or if you prefer, you can always go straight into an RN program if you can afford to wait a little longer to go to work.

All three nursing program options have their advantages, and the one you choose will really depend on your own needs and ambitions. For example, if you need immediate income, then becoming a CNA first might be best. But you're already working somewhere and don't mind waiting a year or two, then LPN training may work best. And of course, the RN program is for those who want to reach the top position in the nursing field.


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