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It’s true that becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) takes only a year of studies. But it’s also true that LPNs earn less and work less independently than Registered Nurses (RN). That’s why many LPNs are considering the option of becoming registered nurses, and online LPN to RN programs are proving to be quite helpful in their career transition.
Getting enrolled in an RN program from scratch can be quite tedious, time-consuming and expensive. LPN to RN programs provide bridge courses which cover the gaps between the educational requirements of LPNs and RNs. From courses in Nursing Theory, Nursing Science and Nursing Practice, to general education courses such as English, Communication or Math, these programs prepare students thoroughly to help them qualify for either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, depending on the program applied for.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, LPNs earned a median salary of $40,380 per year. The comparable pay for Registered Nurses was $64,690 per year. Besides the difference in salary, the job duties of LPNs are much limited relative to those of RNs. For example, in many states, LPNs cannot work in specialty units such as ICU, Emergency Room, etc. Furthermore, prospects for career advancement are quite limited for LPNs as opposed to registered nurses.
The great thing about LPN to RN programs that are conducted online is that you don’t need to attend classes on campus. You will be assessed at the time of admission for the courses you’ve already taken, and the admission body will decide if you ought to be given credits for some courses you may have taken in the past or for prior experience.
Clinical courses for these programs can usually be taken close to home.A clinical facility close to a student’s home offer the opportunity for clinical work, under the supervision of an adjunct faculty member. The student’s progress may then be reported to the course instructor.
Because you don’t need to attend classes on campus, you have the flexibility of studying at your own schedules, without leaving your job. Because your past education and experience may earn you credit, one can complete the LPN to RN program in 18 months or less to qualify for a registered nurse degree. However, make sure that the LPN to RN bridge program you enroll for is accredited by the individual State Board of Nursing and by a particular state’s Higher Education Commission.
Once you’ve fulfilled the educational requirements for becoming a registered nurse through one of these programs, you’ll also need to apply for licensure by passing the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN.
Are you working as a Licensed Practical Nurse? Do you wish to pursue this program from an accredited online school to improve your career prospects? Do share your thoughts.