Once you are an LPN you will have the opportunity to upgrade your qualification and become an RN. You can even get your BSN degree in the process. Because you already possess a wide range of clinical knowledge, a lot of the LPN to RN programs currently available can be completed online.
Doing your LPN to RN online has its advantages as well as its disadvantages and it is in your best interests to be aware of all of the ramifications of such a program right from the outset. Becoming an RN after completing your LPN qualification is a great way to improve your standing in the medical community. You will find it easier to get into an RN school if you already have an LPN qualification and you will also be able to improve your prospects in terms of jobs that you will be eligible and the salary that you will earn.
Information About Your LPN To RN Qualification
The following is a very useful guideline for you to follow if you are considering doing an LPN to RN bridging program.
There are several different degree options to consider when doing an LPN to RN bridge program. Choosing which you would like to do is a very personal choice. Once you are an LPN you will have the options to:
- Become a registered nurse with an Associate’s degree
- Become a registered nurse with a Bachelor’s degree
- Become a registered nurse with a Master’s degree
You will also have the opportunity to eventually move on to more advanced career options, and each different level carries with it different responsibilities, salaries, and workload.
In order to be guaranteed of being eligible of the LPN to RN bridge program you are interested in and in order to be fully prepared for the program it is suggested that you have a working knowledge of most of the following subjects at college level:
- level algebra
- freshman English
You will be able to continue working your job as an LPN while you study for your RN qualification, but remember that even though you are learning new skills in your RN classes, you will still not be allowed to perform those skills in your working life. Until you have actually completed the LPN to RN bridge program you will not be allowed to do anything outside of the basic scope of practice of an LPN nurse, even if you are able to perform the task properly. If you do something outside of your scope of practice then you will be held accountable for your actions. Keep this in mind and be careful about it at all times.
You do not have to first get an Associate’s degree, then a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s when doing your LPN to RN bridge program. You will be able to go directly from LPN to MSN. As this may take quite a long time, many BSN and MSN programs have a point in them where you can write the RN examination and start practicing as an RN while you continue working for your MSN or BSN.
It is possible to go straight to becoming an RN and skip the LPN stage but there are several reasons why students choose to do the LPN qualification first. The LPN qualification is a lot shorter so it takes up far less of your time. This means that you will only have a short wait until the time that you are allowed to enter the job market and start earning money. While you are working as an LPN you will then have the opportunity to study for you RN qualification online so you will constantly be generating an income.
Once you are an LPN you will be working as one, which means that your employer may be more than happy to help you pay for your LPN to RN qualification so that they can have a qualified RN nurse on their staff. The funding options for LPN to RN programs are many and diverse.
How Long Does An LPN To RN Program Take?
In general you will be required to work for three or four semesters which equals about one and a half years if all of the semesters are consecutive.
Tips For Choosing The Best LPN To RN Program
There are a few basic tips to keep in mind when choosing an LPN to RN bridge program. Make sure that the program you choose is accredited. This is a very important choice, so make it wisely.
Firstly it is well worth your while to investigate how many credits you will need to pass the bridging program and to see if there are any credits from previous education or experience that you have completed that may be transferable to your current course.
The next step is to find out where the LPN to RN bridge programs in your area are. Usually LPN to RN bridge programs will be offered by:
Hospitals: If you are already employed at a hospital as an LPN then you may want to see if there are any programs at your own institution that you can take part in. You may also be given preference as you are already working for the institute. This may guarantee you a seat in the LPN to RN program.
Colleges: At a college you may be required to take courses that are not directly related to your nursing qualification, such as programs in the humanities or maybe even science. Look into this before enrolling at a college and make sure that you are happy with the coursework that you will have to complete.
Free-standing academic centers: These tend to be more expensive than hospitals or colleges, but they tend to be more flexible in terms of the times that they offer classes. For example you may find it is easier to take evening classes or weekend lessons at a free standing institution than at a hospital or a college. The cost is something that you will have to consider carefully, however.
In order to become properly licensed as an RN you will have to pass the NCLEX-RN examination. It will be impossible to work as an RN if you do not pass this examination. So when you are considering the different LPN to RN bridging programs out there you will want to focus on those skills that have a high pass rate on the NCLEX-RN. You can ask the school directly about this, but they are unlikely to tell you anything that will chase you away from their program. Search online and inquire with NCLEX-RN examination board. LPN to RN programs with low pass rates should consequently be avoided if you want to be certain of successfully becoming an RN nurse.
Make sure that the course fits in with your schedule. If you are working as an LPN then you may not have the freedom to attend classes or do coursework at set times. Luckily most LPN to RN programs are flexible in this regard so it should be very easy for you to find a program, especially an online one, that will allow you to continue working while you study.
Comparing LPNs To RNs
If you are considering doing an LPN to RN course, you may be interested in comparing these two levels of nursing:
|LPN nurses provide a lot of hands-on care. When people think of nurses it is usually the LPNs that they are thinking about.||RNs have greater responsibilities than this in terms of administration, patient care and management. They also are able to advance to more technical career positions.|
|LPNs seldom have to study for more than one year and they can usually get their qualification at a vocational or a technical college. An LPN receives either a diploma or a certificate once they have finished their course. The LPN is then required to pass the NCLEX-PN examination.||An Associate’s degree takes two years for an RN to earn and a Bachelor’s degree will take about four years. These degrees are normally offered at universities or colleges. RNs can do everything that LPNs can do but they are also specifically trained to fulfill leadership positions. They have to pass the NCLEX-RN examination to become certified.|
|LPNs are responsible for taking blood pressure, pulse and temperature, giving shots, changing dressings, cleaning and bandaging wounds, administering medication and monitoring patient condition and can provide direct or long-term patient care.||RNs are able to everything that LPNs do but they are seldom seen engaged in the basic tasks usually reserved for LPNs. Generally speaking RNs are more involved in developing and enacting a patient care plan, as well as managing and assigning tasks to LPNs and nurse assistants.|
Now that you have all of the key information about LPN to RN programs you should be able to make your decision about whether or not these programs are for you.