If you are a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and want to become a registered nurse (RN) but cannot for a variety of reasons, you now have the option to study LPN to RN bridge programs online. Several universities offer online LPN to RN bridge programs which take around 2 years of full-time study to complete. These programs help advance your nursing career by helping you prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) or pursue an associate's degree in nursing.
Your exact curriculum will depend on your area of specialization; however you are likely to study a variety of theoretical and clinical (practical) courses such as:
Anatomy & Physiology
Nursing Care for Children
Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare
You may be sent course materials like course outlines, manuals, and books through email. Online students interact with instructors through video conferences or email.
The admission requirements are specific to each university, so you should confirm with the school before applying. Some schools require a minimum of 2.5 GPA in high school or previous college, while more competitive universities ask for at least 3.0 GPA. SAT or ACT scores are required for fresh applicants, applying directly from high school; transfer applicants may not need to provide these scores. Nearly all of the universities also require 2-3 letters of recommendation, a personal statement, an interview, and a letter of purpose. You would also need to prove that you have a valid LPN or LVN (licensed vocational nurse) license.
Why Should You Study Online?
The concept of online LPN to RN bridge programs is based on distance learning. Schools with online programs believe there should be no geographical limitations to learning. Most institutes let you study at your own pace, so you may be able to finish the degree between 1.5 to 4 years. This makes the program convenient for those who want to continue working as a LPN as well as study to become an RN. Online programs are more convenient and usually cheaper than on campus programs, since you do not need to travel to campus or find new accommodation. Since there is a diverse student body enrolled in the online program, you are likely to have a multi-cultural academic experience. Please note that for the clinical courses, you may have to travel to a clinic for practical experience. This practical component is mandatory and cannot be done online.
The nursing sector is booming in America so your future prospects are strong. The expected job growth rate is 22% for registered nurses during 2010-2020, and is higher than the national average of all occupations combined. By 2020 an additional 0.16 million jobs for registered nurses will be added. The median pay for registered nurses in 2010 was around $64,000.