Bridge Nursing Careers with LPN to RN Programs

LPN to RN programs, also called LPN to RN bridge programs, allow licensed vocational nurses (LVN) or licensed practical nurses (LPN) to bridge the gap between them and registered nurses (RN) in terms of education and training.

Registered nurses, by virtue of their longer time spent in nursing school, generally occupy supervisory positions and earn more than LPN’s. This is the reason why many LPN’s want to enroll in LPN to RN nursing programs. Moving up the career ladder for LPN’s to earn more and get recognition drives the demand for these programs. Once they complete the program and successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam, they are able to get their RN licenses and be offered the same benefits of a higher salary and more professional opportunities available to registered nurses.

There are a lot of LPN to RN programs being offered by traditional nursing colleges as well as online schools. Full-time, in-campus bridging programs still exist but are getting rarer. Since many LPN’s have busy work and family schedules, the online or distance learning method is becoming a more attractive option for them. These online nursing programs allow the LPN to study at home at whatever time that is most convenient for them. They are not forced to quit working while they attend the program.

LPNs would still need to sort out their working schedules with their employers since they need to be physically present for the clinical portion of LPN to RN nursing programs. Some employers would be helpful to their LPN’s in this endeavor to become RN’s. They may offer to adjust the working hours in such a way that the student can attend clinicals. However, some facilities may not be able to extend this assistance. This and other factors like family obligations, finances, and personal preference will need to be considered by the LPN.

The duration of the program often lasts between 1 and 2 years. LPN’s attend classes to earn credits toward an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). Credits earned from their LPN program would be evaluated to meet requirements to trim the workload and the time needed to complete the program.

Nursing concepts which were introduced in the LPN nursing program will be expanded by the bridge curriculum. Some subjects such as medical-surgical nursing and pharmacology may be repeated or offered as refreshers. But subjects like acute care, nursing leadership, transcultural nursing, and nursing research are added in the program. Additional clinical hours must be completed as well.

Generally, the aim of LPN to RN programs is to round out LPN education and training to bring it up to the level of that of registered nurses which emphasizes not just bedside skills but leadership ability and clinical decision-making acumen. Once they become registered nurses, LPNs become eligible to be promoted as managers or supervisors. They also get a substantial boost in their salaries. Finally, they will enhance their status and reputation as a nurse within their organizations as well as in their communities.

The promise of increased earnings, career advancement, and heightened status as a registered nurse motivate LPN’s to enroll and complete LPN to RN programs.

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