For many aspiring Registered Nurses, their career began as a Certified Nursing Assistant. After testing the waters and realizing they truly enjoy this line of work, many choose to advance their career by becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse, or LPN. In many ways, this nursing position is step above a CNA and a step below an RN. So, what happens when you wish to further advance your career? As an LPN, you hold a specific level of knowledge. If you wish to activate this knowledge, and use it to further progress your nursing career, then you’re likely interested in applying for an LPN to BSN bridge program.
While embarking upon this exciting adventure is a major decision, it’s one capable of completely transforming not only your career, but your personal and professional opportunities. Since you’ve worked within the nursing field as a Licensed Practical Nurse, a bridge program is ideal as these unique programs leverage your current knowledge with the new skills required to pass the NCLEX-RN examination.
Regardless of your reasoning, the following considerations are essential when contemplating this life-changing career move. As always, take this information and use it as a fundamental baseline when making your decision. Regardless of how many tips and advice blogs you read, ultimately, choosing to embark upon the challenge of an LPN to BSN bridge program is a personal decision.
LPN to BSN: What are the Requirements?
This is, obviously, one of the most important consideration when choosing this unique educational pathway. While requirements can vary based upon school and state, in general, you must hold an active LPN license for your state. If your license is set to expire soon, then you should either wait to apply until you renew your license, or hurry and send your application.
Along with holding an active LPN license, most programs require previous work experience. Therefore, be prepared to present official employer documentation. Other common requirements include passing an entrance examination, verifiable proof of earning a high school diploma, or GED, as well as meeting minimum high school GPA requirements.
Training Program Duration
While there are many other nursing-related training programs that aren’t as long as a BSN, they aren’t nearly as in demand as nurses with a Bachelor of Nursing degree. One of the main reasons why many LPNs choose a bridge program is because they’re typically faster. Bridge programs are based upon your current working knowledge, previous work experience and current aptitude. Generally, an expedited program is two years. However, it’s a good idea to plan for at least three years. Of course, this also depends on a variety of other factors that may be specific to a particular school.
Online or Offline?
If you’re like millions of other students, you have to continue working while taking classes. Because of this, the proliferation of online schools is greater than ever before. However, choosing an online school requires far more research than an offline, or traditional, training program. Not only should you ensure the program is fully accredited, but you should also introspectively determine if you’re capable of maximizing your learning without being in an official classroom. While online LPN to BSN bridge programs are convenient, you should never sacrifice the quality of your education for convenience.