Online LPN to BSN Bridge Programs
BSN is an acronym for Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It is the most in-depth program among all the LPN to RN bridge courses. There have been many attempts to make this degree compulsory for all the registered nurses. However, they couldn't be successful till now. The LPN to BSN bridge program is offered to the Licensed Practical Nurses who are already working in the health care centers and want to acquire a bachelor degree to get the better job opportunities.
To help such students, online LPN to BSN programs are also available. Most of them are bridge programs, which means that candidates will get an RN license on associate level and complete their baccalaureate later. The students of the BSN program are prepared with extensive knowledge and comprehensive skill set. The abilities like critical thinking and problem-solving help them practice in different work settings.
The demand of an RN with BSN degree is more than that of an RN with an ADN degree. It is because a bachelor's degree student is imparted with an in-depth knowledge in comparison to an associate degree student. BSN nurses are also able to make patients understand the importance of healthy living and can manage difficult medical conditions with ease. After completing your Bachelor in Nursing degree, you can further pursue master's degree and specialize in the fields like diabetes educator, school nurse certification, critical care nurse certification, etc.
Duration and Admission Requirements of LPN to BSN Bridge Program
When you pursue a bachelor degree directly, it takes four years. The bridge programs somehow shorten the length of your degree. If you have earned credits in your LPN program, then that can be utilized in the LPN to BSN bridge program. However, it is not applicable to all the colleges and universities. The prerequisites for admission to this bridge program are:
- A minimum of 2.0 GPA in LPN education
- Previously earned college credits
You need 120 credits to earn a BSN degree, but it may vary from one institution to another. To get into a BSN program, you have to fulfill the admission criteria. Most often, there is an entrance test to enter the course. Both part-time and full-time classes are offered to the students. An LPN to BSN bridge program usually takes 3 years with an average tuition fee of $17,000. You can get the financial aid as well.
What Does a BSN Degree Offer?
As said earlier, in a BSN program, you get to learn more than what you learn in an LPN or ADN program. With a bachelor degree, better job options with higher salary package are accessible. Your responsibilities change when you see a transition from a PN (Practical Nurse) to an RN. These transitions are described during the classes.
How to Select an LPN to BSN Bridge Program?
There are many options available for such programs, so it might be a bit difficult for you to choose one among them. You can consider the following criteria to pick up the right program:
- The authenticity of the university, duration of its establishment, accreditation of the program, the percentage of students getting employed and passing the licensure examination
- The mode of education, i.e., on-campus or online, whether you can join the college anytime or it follows a regular semester system, the amount of time faculty members give to the students
- The cost of the program, the mode of payment- whether it needs to be submitted at the beginning of every semester or it can be deposited in installments, availability of the financial aid
- Average class size and teacher-student ratio, resources available for the extra help with the subject, the length of the program
- Whether you can appear for the RN boards after obtaining the associate degree and can continue your education to get the bachelor degree?
- Try to communicate with the current students of the college as they can give you the most honest feedback about it.
- For how much time you need to be on-campus if you are not a local resident? What facilities are available while living on-campus?
- Affiliated health facilities in the college, in what kinds of settings the program lets you work? Does it suit your interest? How much emphasis is laid on practicum?
There could be many other things that you can analyze before taking admission in a college. However, it is very important to do all the research beforehand as your future depends to a great extent on the program you choose.
LPN to BSN Courses and Classes
The coursework of a BSN program comprises of theoretical knowledge of behavioral and biological sciences. There is less emphasis on the practicum, especially in the beginning. However, the clinical experience starts soon, which is good for the LPNs who are already working as a nurse in the health care centers. The students pursuing BSN are endowed with many responsibilities and autonomy. The most common courses and classes that are included in the LPN to BSN programs are:
- Study the structure and organization of the immune system along with the immunological technologies
- Understand the development process of animals at molecular and organism level
- Learn to analyze the gene expression
- Assess and examine all the aspects of the clinical experience
- Analyze the roles and content of different genomes and their implications & identification
- Examine the diagnostic tools along with the production of recombinant vaccines
- Know about the various medical settings and learn to practice accordingly
- Assess the evolutionary process in different living organisms
- Understand the cellular and molecular foundations of immunity, autoimmune disorders, histocompatibility antigens, and the role of sanitation.
- Practice in different clinical settings with your mentors and partners as an observer in the beginning and holding the higher responsibilities later.
- Interact with the patients and their families in an affable way.
- Understand the ethical and legal aspects of the patient care and nursing profession to meet the medical standards.
- Study the evolution along with the mechanism of speciation, adaptive radiation, phylogenetic, and extinction
- Analyze the Human Genome project including the tools used in distinguishing the sequences in a specific genome
- Understand the sequential morphological changes and gene expression during evolution, the aging process and sexual maturation in plants, humans, and animals
- Study bodily systems like reproductive, lymphatic, integumentary, respiratory, skeletal, urinary, nervous, digestive, endocrine, muscular, and others
- Participate in the practices related to person-and-family-centered care
- Evaluate the biological synthesis of commercial products and how it relates to the genetic engineering of animals and plants
- Study ecology, evolution, and diversity and their roles in human physiology
- Understand the physiology, structure, development, and classification of animals- from protozoa to vertebrate mammals
- Evaluate the theoretical and current models of health care system along with the role of insurance, hospital, and regulatory stakeholders
Career Opportunities for BSN Graduates
Being an LPN, you get to explore less of the nursing profession while acquiring a BSN degree opens up many doors for you. Here are some of the best career options for a Licensed Practical Nurse with a BSN degree.
- Critical Care Nurse
Getting a BSN degree along with acquiring an RN license broadens your horizons. It is not likely that you get to play an important role in a critical patient care while working as an LPN. However, an RN with the BSN degree works more responsibly with the other medical team members in the critical conditions.
- Cardiovascular Intensive Care Nurse
In CVICU (CardioVascular Intensive Care Unit), there are cases that are too critical to be handled by an LPN. There are vast opportunities for RNs in these units. Having a BSN degree can help you make a career in the cardiovascular nursing.
- LPN Instructor
An LPN instructor is a professional who educates the practical nurses. These educators work for colleges, institutes, universities, and other educational centers. They teach clinical skills and theoretical concepts to the students. If you have a passion for teaching, you can opt for this job profile. There are many professional and personal benefits along with the higher salary package.
- School Nurse
If you have a knack for the nursing profession but do not want to work under pressure and in odd shifts, being a school nurse is the best option for you. A school nurse needs to have an RN license and a bachelor degree as well. These nurses provide medical services to the students of the institute.
- Nurse Coach
The job of a nurse coach is to teach people about a healthy lifestyle. They work with the patients having a chronic illness like diabetes or cardiovascular health problems. They help the patients choose the lifestyle options that would reduce the risk of health problems. Apart from coaching the individuals, they can also start their own business or can work for corporations or insurance companies.
- Case Management Nurse
The Case Management Nurses coordinate with the medical team to provide the best suitable and available medical facilities and care. According to payscale.com, a Case Manager earns $27,000 to $69,000 on an average. They work at hospitals and other health care centers to monitor the acute care settings.
- Public Health Nurse
There is a wide range of services that are provided by the public health nurses. Most of them are employed in the government offices. Some of these nurses may also work at the federal level and plan short or long-term programs to promote the health of the citizens of the nation. They might also be involved in the research work. The best perk of being a Public Health Nurse is that you have a fixed Monday to Friday schedule and get all the holidays as well. However, the wages are not satisfying if we compare it to the other nursing jobs.
- Diabetes Nurse Educator
With the increase in diabetic patients, this field of nursing needs more and more RNs to serve those who require care. These professionals are bound to take care of the proper nutrition and blood pressure, healthy habits, regular check-ups, etc., of the patients. You need to earn a bachelor degree along with an RN license to work as a Diabetes Nurse Educator.
- Military Nurse
A Military Nurse serves as an officer in the military. Only RNs with a BSN degree are eligible for this job. It offers benefits like health coverage for you and your family at no or negligible cost along with the dental coverage and life insurance coverage. You can also participate in the continuing education programs while working with the military.
- Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurses provide medical care to the children who are chronically ill. You need to have an experience of working with children in other settings before entering this field. It is a must for these nurses to be an RN. Apart from taking care of the children, these nurses lend emotional support to their families.
- Perianesthesia Nurse
In Post-Anesthesia Care Units, these nurses take care of the patients who have been recently sedated and are recovering from it. To become a Perianesthesia Nurse, you need to have the knowledge of operating various medical equipment used in these units.
- Pain Management Nurse
There are patients who are unable to lead a normal life because of poor management of pain. These nurses may work in an inpatient or outpatient setting. It is the job of the Pain Management Nurse to educate the patients and their families and tell them the benefits of healthy nutrition to get rid of the chronic pain. They also assist the physicians in surgical settings.
Other LPN Bridge Programs