Online LPN to RN Bridge Programs
The LPN to RN program is designed for working Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who are willing to pursue further education to become Registered Nurses (RNs). The LPN education and experience is very helpful in the LPN-to-RN Bridge Program. The program offers an in-depth curriculum which is necessary to become RN. After the successful completion of the program, the LPN becomes eligible to sit for the national RN licensing exam, the NCLEX-RN. The LPN to RN program is available in two forms: LPN-to-ADN and LPN-to-BSN. The coursework builds upon the LPN's prior knowledge, considering their education and experience. The RN curriculum offers more theoretical learning as it transitions nurses from the LPN arena. The career options for RNs are enormous. They work in several settings and can earn many specialized certificates as well.
Are you working as a licensed practical nurse and want to pursue your education and advance your career to become an RN? Following this path, you can properly utilize all the educational and clinical tactics that you have learned while working as an LPN. To accomplish this, you can enroll in an LPN to RN bridge program. Some of the roles and responsibilities of these two nursing professions are similar, but at the same time, can be very different in scope. Before getting into this, you should be aware of the various elements necessary to transition from a practical nurse to an RN. We are here to elaborate on the LPN-RN bridge program and brief its significance.
1. Indiana State University
Indiana State University delivers the majority of its LPN/LVN programs online. The college has a learning library named The College Network. The program requires 76 -77 lower level credit hours and 51 upper-level credit hours. The Indiana State University online LPN to RN program is only open for United States residents and the program boasts no wait times.
2. Allegany College of Maryland
The Allegany College of Maryland’s online program has an immense range of traditional courses that offer maximum flexibility. The Associate Degree Nursing Program at ACM is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing, the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing, and has received accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The nursing program at Allegany College of Maryland is also known as a Health Manpower Shortage Program.
Campus: Cumberland, Maryland; Everett and Somerset, Pennsylvania – Online
3. Fairmont State University
Fairmont State University in West Virginia offers a 3-semester LPN/LVN-ASN program for LPN/LVNs who have already completed certain prerequisite courses. Courses are delivered online two times a week in real time. In addition to this, students attend clinical labs on campus just twice a month. The Associate Degree Nursing Program at FSU is accredited by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).
4. College of Central Florida
The College of Central Florida offers a 3-semester, 1-year online-hybrid LPN/LVN to ADN Bridge program. The program features both courses delivered online and in-person along with on-campus labs and clinical experiences. The program has been approved by both the Florida Board of Nursing as well as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Following successful completion of the program, individuals will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination.
5. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center: Fran & Earl Ziegler College of Nursing offers a 60 credit-hour online hybrid LPN to BSN program which combines online lectures and face-to-face meetings with on-campus labs and clinical experiences. Individuals who hold LPN/LVN licenses can enter into the program with advanced standing after they've completed the appropriate prerequisite courses and have passed the exams in those subjects. The program has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
6. Palm Beach State College
Palm Beach State College offers students a 72-credit hour online hybrid program that's designed to help LPNs/LVNs and paramedics transition to the role of a registered nurse. Students who complete the program will receive their Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree and then will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Courses are taught online and in-person while nursing clinicals also take place in person. Students can be admitted into the program three times a year.
Programs: LPN-RN Online Hybrid Program
The LPN to RN bridge program allows practical nurses to become registered nurses by introducing courses that act as a bridge to fill the gap between the LPN and RN profession. The bridge program trains individuals in higher level nursing concepts and enhances their critical thinking skills. Registered nurses work more closely with the interdisciplinary healthcare team to make crucial decisions for patients.
Some prominent nursing schools have limited seats for their programs. These schools often have prospective students take entrance exams in order to admit the best candidates. The most common entrance tests conducted by a majority of the nursing schools are:
Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS):
This test is taken to determine the candidate's proficiency in Science, English, and Mathematics, grammar, scientific reasoning, life sciences, and algebraic formulas.
National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination:
The candidates are evaluated through multiple choice format including subjects such as general biology, earth science, algebra, geometry, and health.
Most LPN to RN programs require students to have the following:
The most important thing that makes an LPN to RN transition or bridge program a good choice for an aspiring registered nurse is the comprehensive education they will earn. While programs will vary in their curriculum, most of the concepts that individuals encounter with are same, such as:
Just like other nursing programs, LPN to RN online programs are also available at several community colleges and private nursing schools. The best part of the LPN to RN online program is that it offers schedule flexibility and a great advantage over the traditional program. Working LPNs often opt for the online track as it allows them to continue their studies without taking a break from their current job. As the RN curriculum is based on theory, LPNs often prefer to complete it online by enrolling themselves into an accredited distance-learning program. Online LPN to RN programs may follow a hybrid model, allowing individuals to gain clinical experience in person.
While the school provides the clinical work materials for the LPN to RN online program, students are usually allowed to find their own site for gaining clinical experience. There are some factors to consider while looking for online LPN to RN programs:
The following characteristics of an individual determine whether he/she is fit for the LPN to RN online program:
The online LPN to RN program prepares students for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
A typical LPN to RN program takes 70 credit hours to complete. The duration of the program is 1.5 to 2 years. The length of the program also depends on the educational history of the individual and personal circumstances.
Students are required to search websites and research colleges that offer online LPN to RN programs. They need to verify all aspects of the program to make the best decision. The admissions process varies from school to school but involves some common processes mentioned below:
The first year of the program consists of the foundation classes. The subjects include human anatomy, psychology, chemistry, and microbiology. Students start taking bridge classes that drive into the RN curriculum.
In the second year, students learn specialized topics such as adult health, obstetrics, and pediatrics. Advanced topics such as crisis care and leadership in nursing are covered.
Nursing School Accreditation
It is highly recommended that students pursue an LPN to RN program, whether on-campus or online, through nursing schools accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The accreditation ensures that the school and the program meet the strict criteria for delivering quality education. ACEN accredits certificates in nursing, Bachelor’s, Master's and Doctorate degree programs. CCNE accredits Bachelor’s, Master's, and residency programs. The agencies also offer grants and scholarships to needy students. Schools that are not accredited are not eligible for federal aid. Nursing schools are required to apply for the renewal of the accreditation as it is voluntary and only valid for a set amount of time.
Most important thing that makes an LPN to RN transition or bridge program an easier option to become a registered nurse is the valuable experience that empowers and gives speed to their further education. Though programs offered by various schools, colleges or universities may vary depending on some factors. Still, most of the concepts that individuals encounter with are same, such as -
There is no doubt an increase in the demand for nurses all over the United States of America. As per the statistics, there is an estimated growth of 19% in the job outlook for registered nurses in the country. This rate is faster than many other jobs. As per the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,857,180 employed registered nurses in the U.S. in May 2015. Salaries for RN professionals are also quite alluring. A career in this healthcare profession is considered a beneficial path for those who not only want to serve people in need, but also have a desire for a promising career future.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics' May 2016 report, the annual median wage earned by LPNs landed at $44,090, while the annual median salary earned by registered nurses stood at $68,450. The employment of RNs is reported to grow by 16 percent between 2014 to 2024. Registered nurses with bachelor's degrees will have better job prospects. Employers also prefer nurses with a good amount of clinical work experience.
Here is the salary comparison of LPN and RN:
|Name of the State||LPN Annual Mean Salary||RN Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$53,100||$79,560|
If you have a busy schedule and don’t have time to attend long classroom lectures, you can opt for an online LPN to RN bridge course. Such programs are quite popular in today’s fast-paced world, and they are becoming more and more common. They are an excellent substitute for traditional methods of gaining education. The online LPN to RN program prepares candidates for the NCLEX-RN test.
Along with the many advantages of online programs, there are some cons which make it unsuitable for some nurses. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of online bridge programs are discussed below: