LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
Becoming a licensed practical nurse, or LPN, is one of the quickest ways to break into the nursing field. Like many LPNs, however, you may aspire to become a registered nurse, or RN. Luckily, there is a way to apply the training and education that you've already received toward a nursing degree. By enrolling in and completing an LPN to ADN bridge program, you can progress from being an LPN to an RN in as little as one or two years. This is a much faster option than earning a BSN, which takes three to four additional years, but it doesn't open up quite as many opportunities. Learn more about LPN to ADN bridge programs to make an informed decision.
1. ADN vs BSN
As an LPN, you can move up to become an RN by either earning your associate degree in nursing, or ADN, or your bachelor of science in nursing, or BSN. The main advantage of the latter is that it only takes a maximum of two years. However, should you decide to move into more advanced roles later, you will probably have to go back and earn your BSN anyway. For those who can't devote the three to four extra years that go into earning a BSN, an LPN to ADN bridge program is a logical solution.
2. Prerequisites and Eligibility
If you have your LPN license and have worked professionally as an LPN, you shouldn't have any trouble being accepted into an LPN to ADN bridge program. Such programs typically require a minimum GPA, so you will probably have to provide the official transcripts from your LPN program. You must provide your valid LPN license, and you may have to take and pass an entrance exam. Some programs also require students to provide proof of employment in the field.
LPN to ADN bridge programs are generally quite similar to LPN programs, as they are designed to prepare students to pass a standardized test. In this case, it is the NCLEX-RN. The curriculum will look a lot like that of your LPN training program, but you will be learning more advanced topics. Much of the training occurs in the classroom, where you listen to lectures and participate in labs. Clinical experiences are a huge part of any LPN to ADN bridge program too, and they tend to be more varied and comprehensive than those that are required for LPN programs.
4. Clinical Experiences
During your training, you will learn precisely how the responsibilities of LPNs and RNs differ by participating in clinical training outside of the classroom. Some programs allow students to earn clinical training credits at their places of employment, but most assign students to shifts at local health care facilities. Just like earning your license to become an LPN, your RN licensing exam includes a clinical portion in which you must demonstrate proficiency in various skills.
5. Online LPN to ADN Bridge Programs
Like many working LPNs, you may not have the luxury of quitting work to focus on your studies. In fact, that may be why you're earning your ADN instead of your BSN, which takes a lot more time. If time is an especially pressing concern, an online LPN to ADN bridge program may be the answer. Other than clinical experiences, which must be completed on-site, most of your training will occur online at your convenience. Most programs use sophisticated online learning management systems to facilitate this, allowing students to attend virtual lectures, complete virtual labs and more.
6. Earning Your RN License
Upon successfully completing your LPN to ADN bridge program, you will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. Between your initial LPN training and the additional skills and knowledge that you acquire through your bridge program, you should have no trouble passing the exam. Once that is done, you can apply for your RN license. In no time, you will receive it and will be able to start applying for RN jobs in your area.
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