Online LPN to RN Programs

The LPNs can advance their career by turning into an RN. The RNs have better job prospects as compared to the practical nurses. They can become an RN either through a regular course or by opting an online program. While on-campus classes are opted by some students to stay on track, online classes are chosen by those who are working or have family commitments and can’t attend the regular classes. There are several positive and negative features associated with the online LPN to RN bridge programs that are mentioned below.

Individuals who are employed as the licensed practical nurses can undertake the online RN program to become registered nurses. The program prepares the candidates for the NCLEX-RN test. The degree and license obtained after completing the online course would be equally valued.

Pros of Online LPN to RN Programs

  • The students enrolled in an online LPN program have great advantages as it is flexible and convenient.
  • It is a good option for those who have a busy schedule and can’t attend a regular course.
  • The application process for the online programs is much easier than the regular full-time courses.
  • In addition to this, they are much cheaper than the traditional courses. Attending a regular program requires the candidates to purchase school uniform, driving to school, the cost of fuel, etc. During an online program, the students can comfortably sit at home and gather all the knowledge, putting the entire focus on studies.
  • The students can take the admission in online courses all year round. Unlike conventional on-campus courses, in online programs, it is entirely up to the students that how much time do they want to devote to their studies.

Cons of Online LPN to RN Programs

  • The major drawback of the online program is that the students feel lonely in the absence of human interaction. When we attend the regular classes, discussions with other students regarding various aspects of the nursing boost our enthusiasm. On the other hand, online classes lack the motivation.
  • The students may not get the answer to their doubts at the same time they pop up in their mind. In a regular classroom, they are cleared instantly through discussions.
  • Various online programs are available for the aspirants, but it’s difficult to find the accredited one. Your degree is of no use if it has not been obtained from an approved program. So, ensure about the accreditation of the course beforehand.
  • Certain schools conduct online classes on the contract basis, in which, the students are asked to pay for the classes which were not even attended by him/her. The candidates should read and understand the contract clearly before getting into it.
  • Online programs do not offer clinical experience. For completing the clinical part, the students are required to search the hospitals or health care facility on their own.
  • You can get success only if you properly manage your time between study, family, and work. The habit of procrastination may cause you fail to finish your course.

Suitable Candidates for the Online LPN to RN Program

  • The candidates who are self-disciplined to complete the assignments on time and possess the ability to work independently.
  • Have a very busy schedule and family obligations that cannot be avoided.
  • The students who want to learn while earning.

LPN to RN Admission Requirements

There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled to get admission to an online LPN to RN program. They are as follows:

  • The candidate should possess a valid LPN license.
  • A high school diploma is also needed.
  • The nurse should hold a six-month of working experience as an LPN.
  • Every school conducts an entrance exam that needs to be passed with the minimum score.

Why Become an RN?

Some LPNs wish to switch to the role of an RN so that they can help the people more effectively with better knowledge and greater scope of work. Some turn to RNs to get higher wages. Those nurses who are already employed as an LPN and well-settled in the field need a strong reason to leave the profession and invest money and time to get an RN degree. Here, we give you some best reasons to become a registered nurse.

  • Since LPNs have a limited scope of practice, the ambitious nurses who are looking forward to working in different settings and playing different roles can opt for RN.
  • LPNs get to work in long-term care facilities and home health. As the time passes, a majority of the LPNs get tired of the monotony, and to get change; they can switch to RN.
  • The LPNs are responsible for giving medications to the patients in the morning, noon, evening, and bedtime. In addition to this, they have to dress up the wounds and carry outpatient assessment. Moreover, they have to arrange meals for the patients, help them with bathing and washroom. At the same time, they need to cross-check the status of the patients with the physicians and know about the medications and treatment to be given. The LPNs have to ensure that the patients are safe and taking the prescribed medicines.

On the other hand, registered nurses oversee the situation and perform the supervisory role. They observe the LPNs and nurse aides, make sure that the adequate staff is there to carry out the necessary operations, change the central line dressing and maintain the ports. RNs also get employment in long-term care facilities like LPN, but they can choose to work in a variety of other departments like labor and delivery, rehabilitation, orthopedic, operating room, and oncology, performing varied roles. RNs can get employment in hospitals and doctor’s office. RNs can also work as a legal nurse consultant, clinical instructor, or a travel nurse.

  • RNs earn much more as compared to the LPNs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their mean hourly wage was $34.14 with the mean annual salary of $71,000 (as of May 2015). General medical and surgical hospitals and specialty hospitals are the places where RNs earn the maximum salary.
  • RNs have more opportunities to advance in the career by gaining certifications and experience.
  • RNs receive training and in-depth knowledge of all the subjects/topics like anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, as compared to the LPNs. So, they can manage the patients in a better way.

The LPN education aims at assisting the patients with the basic activities. The RNs are trained to determine the abnormalities, develop the skills needed to make an independent decision, and implement the appropriate nursing interventions.

Course Curriculum

The curriculum provides the students with quizzes, materials, and tests that are delivered online. The students are also provided with videos and simulations. They can even take part in discussions and can ask queries from the professors through e-mail. When the candidate applies for the bridge program, some schools let the students find their own clinical lab whereas others provide a local health care facility to complete the clinical part.

  • Bridge Course
    The students complete a refresher course to learn how to use the LPN skills to begin training as an RN. The program makes the students accustomed to the responsibilities of a registered nurse.
  • Effective and Safe Environment
    The course acquaints the students with the techniques that are required for creating a safe and healthy environment for the patients. They also work on disease control and prevention of infections.
  • Behavioral Health
    Students are introduced to the types of diseases that are the result of mental stress and emotional health. They are also taught the techniques to examine the symptoms of a disease and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
  • Family Nursing
    The students gain knowledge on how to examine the patient’s health and how to measure their blood pressure and temperature along with other statistics. They develop the skills required to provide health care to all the members of the family. The course teaches different techniques to work with different individuals.

Accredited or Not?

When the candidate searches for an online LPN to RN program, s/he should make sure that the college has been accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Accreditation is of great value as it ensures that the program meets the requirements set by the Board. The accreditation agency reviews the program to make sure that the students receive a quality education. If the candidates attend a school that is not accredited by the agency, they are not eligible for the financial aid and sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

How to Find a Job After Becoming an RN?

Once the student completes the LPN to RN program, next step is to find an appropriate job. The nurses can find a job by networking during clinical, working as a nurse intern, or working as an LPN in the hospital.

The clinical lab, an integral part of the RN programs, is important to showcase your learning and skills. If the candidate manages to excel in the field and shine out, s/he can make a good impression in front of the faculty. This is the best way to prove your nursing abilities and the dedication towards work. The last semester of the program includes a one-on-one session with the RNs. The candidates can clear all the doubts by asking questions to them, revealing that they are the safe nurses to work with.

The students should put the patient’s bed at the lowest position, ensuring that 23 side rails are up, the bedside table is in reach, and the call light is accessible. Also, know the medications to be administered before being told by the instructor. These are some of the ways to show that you are careful, responsible, and a safe nurse.

The candidates can further impress the staff nurses by helping other nurses, taking care of the patient hygiene and nutrition, and showing effective time management. Do not forget to ask the contact number and mail ID of the staff nurses that are impressed by your performance and use them as a referral. The students can even ask them to give a good report regarding them to the unit manager.

Next, you should contact the unit manager and explain to him/her that how much inclined you are to comfort the suffering patients by utilizing your nursing skills. Praise the nursing staff and the facilities there. The manager would be glad to hear the feedback. Taking the manager in confidence, you can ask him/her for any vacancy for the registered nurse. If there is no vacancy at present for the RN position, you can ask him/her to mail you in the future, exhibiting a good demeanor.

Some hospitals notify about the vacancies of student nurse externs on their official website. These jobs are meant to be taken by those individuals who want to specialize in a specific field for obtaining the RN licensure. The candidates are employed as nurse aides with an advantage of getting information of RN through the staff nurses and experiencing the interesting things. The students work in emergency rooms, labor and delivery, intensive care unit, and operating rooms, where they get to handle extremely sick patients, code blue, intubation, birth, and death, etc. If the interns perform well in the NCLEX-PN exam, they are generally offered positions in the hospital from where they did their internship. The LPN turning into an RN are much more knowledgeable as compared to the students pursuing an RN degree.

Good Resume and References– Key for a Good Job

The candidates can make their resume either online or get it build at places like career fairs, nursing schools, etc.

The candidate should try to limit the resume to one page, and the important information should be in bold, capitals, highlighting or increasing the font size. Generally, the employers have a heap of resume. To get the job, your resume should stand out from the rest of the applications.

Since nursing profession comes with responsibility, it is desirable to include a list of references. This may appear as a herculean task, but if you have performed well in the LPN to RN transition program and cast a good impression on the staff nurses and instructors, you can use them as a reference on the resume. Only three references are required in a resume with their name, contact number, email address, and residential address.

The Interview Round

RNs should make a good impression on the interviewer. A positive attitude and eagerness for the work can be depicted by the sitting posture. The candidate should dress appropriately as it reflects his/her personality. Answer all the questions confidently with an attitude of wanting to learn more. Reach the venue on time or a few minutes early.

RN Interview Questions

The students can have a quick look at the possible questions that could be asked during an interview.

  • Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
  • Why did you choose to become RN when you were already an LPN?
  • Tell me a situation when you handled a stressful situation effectively?
  • How would you handle a patient’s family that is not satisfied with the hospital?

At the Job

When you bag a job as an RN, try to be a good nurse and be helpful. Follow all the rules. The nurses at the unit do not have many expectations from the new RN. The RN is trained in the processes like basic patient safety, nutrition, diabetes management, vital signs, etc. All these tasks are different from each other, and the staff nurses must teach the new RNs the various roles associated with them.

  • The RN should never pretend that s/he knows everything; otherwise, s/he may end up in a terrible situation. The staff nurses would prefer new registered nurses to ask a lot of questions rather than move ahead with over-confidence. Whenever RNs are questioned by a senior doctor or a physician, they should not feel low if they do not know the answer. Just tell the seniors honestly that you don’t know the answer.
  • To make a good impression in the new unit, it is important to offer help to the nurses with a hectic work schedule. Having a polite and amicable behavior is the technique that never fails in winning the hearts at the workplace. The new RNs can help their colleagues by checking the blood sugar of the patients, answering a call or changing IV tube and central line dressing. This small help can leave a big impression on the staff members.
  • Next, the RNs should follow all the rules. Some of the rules might sound weird, but as a beginner, the candidate shall abide by all the rules of the establishment. The unit nurses and the manager keep a track on the RN’s performance. For example, if the unit has a schedule that requires each of the nurses to work for 2 weekends each month. Do not skip the duty thinking that it will not be known. The scheduler keeps a track, and the next time, the RN requests a day off, it might be rejected, and the nurse may have to work on the requested day off.
  • Besides this, the nurses should know all the information regarding the patient. It is expected that RNs must know the patient history, hospital course, discharge planning, heart rhythm, IV placement, disease processes, and medications. Along with this, the registered nurses must take proper precautions about any adverse effects that may occur.
  • If the nurses encounter a difficult situation such as code blue, s/he is expected to answer the questions like what happened before the event and what is the current situation of the patient. The team of doctors operating the patients would want to know all the queries to give the best possible treatment.