A licensed practical nurse or LPN is like any other nurse in that they care for the sick and injured. Every nurse wants to go on beyond being a LPN, and to get the coveted registered nurse license because it opens up better work opportunities. LPN bridge programs are special degree programs for licensed practical nurses wanting to obtain their RN license. These bridge programs are designed so that you can skip a few courses, simply because you are already an LPN. Normally these courses would have been mandatory to study.
LPN Nurses Perform Valuable Tasks
LPN nurses are known by other names as well, depending on where you live. Registered practical nurse, state enrolled nurse or Division 2 nurse are some of the names they are known by. The term licensed vocational nurse is the name given mostly when you live in Texas and California for instance. These nurses are an important part of the health care system and you will find them in many different work settings and environments, working diligently in hospitals, mental health institutions, clinics, public health departments, retirement homes and home health care. An essential characteristic is that they should be able to work well in a team.
From physicians to social workers and other medical personnel, licensed practical nurses carry out orders and assignments. Taking temperatures, checking blood pressures, recording a patient’s vital signs, preparing injections and enemas and much more. The comfort of their patients is a prime concern of theirs, as they feed some of their patients, assist with personal hygiene and helping them do exercises. They usually work under the supervision of registered nurses, and report the results to the registered nurse or physician in charge.
With additional training, such as the options provided with LPN bridge programs, they can carry on caring for patients in specialized areas such as pediatrics or psychiatry.
Choose Your Subjects At School
Licensed Practical Nurses, just like other medical professionals, accept the legal and moral responsibilities that go hand in hand with such a job. Just like doctors, once they have completed LPN bridge programs, they can also specialize in a particular area of medicine.
For anyone still in high school who is anticipating a career as a licensed practical nurse, you should look at ensuring that you take some of the following subjects – biology, chemistry, psychology, emergency medical technology, first aid, maths, algebra and computer skills. Employment opportunities for licensed practical nurses are very positive and nursing schools graduate many LPNs in order to keep up with the demand in the job market.
The growing elderly population is going to require many more trained licensed practical nurses working in retirement and nursing homes. To keep up with the medical world, they need to continue with ongoing training throughout their medical careers, and for this reason, many of them consider the value of LPN bridge programs.
Better Working Opportunities With RN Degree
The bridge programs are perfect for students who want more responsibility, and doing it online makes it possible for you to continue your nursing career while preparing for your registered nurse license. If doing your studying online does not appeal to you, you can attend a physical class. Having a RN degree will not only mean earning more money, but you will be able to apply for even more advanced positions in the field. With a serious shortage of trained nurses, there isn’t a better time to look at LPN bridge programs.
Be Your Own Boss With A RN Degree
Many nurses are more than ready to make the transition from working under other medical professionals in hospitals or clinics, and becoming a registered nurse. With an RN degree in your hand, the doors of career opportunities swing wide open, and you can set your own timetable and schedules. With an RN degree, a riveting new career being your own boss is just a step away.
Take On A More Responsible Role
As technologies and medicines change, so does the education for nursing professionals change. The Internet offers fantastic resources for licensed practical nurses, as well as those looking for a career in nursing. The Internet keeps those interested in nursing updated on advancements in medicine. Licensed practical nurses will hit a ceiling eventually, and you need to take steps to improve the situation. A licensed practical nurse can go on to become a registered nurse and take on a more responsible role. Bridge programs can help licensed practical nurses get a bachelor’s degree smoothly. Not only that, the number of available jobs for registered nurses is also likely to increase.
A bridge program allows the licensed practical nurse to take a higher degree in nursing. The degree qualifies the student nurse to take the National Council Licensure Examination, otherwise known as NCLEX. In fact the examination has to be taken by LPN’s if you want to become a registered nurse in the US. Research has revealed that there are far many more patients than nurses, which clearly shows the fantastic job opportunities awaiting registered nurses and the opportunity for a more leading position. With the current nursing shortage, your job prospects are virtually guaranteed.
Choose The Right LPN Bridge Programs
But how do you choose the right bridge programs? If you are looking to earn your degree quickly and easily, you might want to consider an online program.
- there are programs with an active student forum where you can connect with those studying what you are studying.
- you can even enjoy live chat and compare notes.
- you are able to finish your degree faster than taking the same program in the traditional manner.
- you can study at your own pace.
You get quite a few bridge courses which are part time, and this allows you to stay in your current LPN job while studying and attending classes. These classes are mostly in the evenings and even offered over the weekends. For those who find this too inconvenient, there are also online LPN to RN programs. There are a number of online LPN bridge programs available, so it is important to do research to make sure that the one you choose is accredited.
Online LPN Bridge Programs Quick And Easy
You will also be wanting to know whether you should attend a traditional program or try to get your degree online or distance education, as it is also known. With a traditional program, classes will take place at certain places, whereas with an online LPN bridge program you can study from home at your own pace. Some people think that degrees obtained from online programs are not the same or as good as degrees obtained from traditional programs. This of course is not true, because it is these very same respected universities that offer programs and courses online. They realize that there are some people that would never be able to study, were it not for online courses. Universities offer an excellent curriculum, giving students the chance to further their education without having to give up their day job. Bridge programs online give great flexibility and provide a great way for nurses to earn their degree in half the time and cost of traditional programs.
There Are A Number Of Program Options
- An associate degree in nursing which lasts some two or three years is one and which provides entry level education requirements to practice as a registered nurse. Graduates of this degree are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses or NCLEX-RN.
- A Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing or a BSN Degree is a four year program. It provides the basic level of education to practice as a registered nurse. Graduates of this Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing will certainly have better career opportunities than graduates of ADN programs.
Because you already have a certificate or diploma in practical nursing, you can complete these programs much quicker than usual.
The beauty of these LPN bridge programs is that there are financial aid options available to students as well and you can apply for scholarships, student loans or grants. Each university has a financial aid department.
A Well Earned Accredited RN Degree
If you are a Licensed Practical Nurse who is wanting to improve your career options, then LPN Bridge Programs should be well worth considering, and soon you will be changing from being a LPN to a registered nurse with all the accompanying benefits. There are colleges where they allow students to sit for the NCLEX-PN, while still workings as an LPN so that they can build up experience while completing their degree. There will also be a change in work duties. Where the Licensed Practical Nurse usually undertakes the most basic healthcare tasks, the registered nurse supervises more. Nurses who have advanced through the LPN bridge programs have seen the benefits and choices which have become available. After passing all of your exams and finishing all the LPN bridge program curriculum requirements you will earn your accredited degree.