If you have already been practicing as an LPN, then you can opt for various LPN to RN bridge programs in a very convenient and cost-efficient manner. These programs take up only half the time required for traditional programs and increase your career prospects by a great degree. These programs are undertaken under highly professional instructors and allow you to learn at an accelerated pace. You will receive professional guidance for the examinations which can be highly helpful in earning credits and licensing.
The transition from an LPN to RN
Regardless of your field of career, it is always better to have brighter career prospects. When you are in nursing and already a Licensed Practical Nurse, the first step in doing so is by taking up programs that bridge the LPNs to RNs. Although LPNs and RNs perform a similar type of duties, their roles vary greatly in terms of the responsibilities they are assigned at the workplace. During the transition from an LPN to an RN, the candidates are given academic as well as practical courses to increase their level of knowledge and accountability.
Similar to the LPN nurses, even the scope of practice for the Registered Nurses can vary significantly depending on the location of the medical care facility along with the rules maintained by the facility themselves. However, the standard scopes of practice and the educational level required to be licensed as an RN remain the same.
The basic education involved during these bridge programs are a better understanding of the human anatomy and its working as well as special training on problem-solving and high level of critical thinking. This ensures that the nurses are able to act promptly and with a presence of mind, which is important, since they are mostly assigned supervisory positions thereafter. Registered nurses are also trained for developing better communication skills for an efficient interaction with the patients, other fellow nurses, doctors as well as the families or guardians of the patient. The bridge programs also train the nurses for better care planning and patient assessment.
Things to know before you opt for LPN to RN bridge programs
LPN training is often the first stint at patient care for most students. After the completion of the course, most students start work as laboratory technicians, nurse aids or take up various roles in the health care industry. During this period they take care of patient care needs and work under the strict supervision of doctors and registered nurses. They are well acquainted with basic medical care but are entirely new to complex medical care and wound care. In any case, they do not and are not mean to be dealing with the dying and the gravely ill. The LPN to RN programs is aimed at bridging this unfamiliarity in working with more serious patients. The program is accompanied by a steep learning curve and by the completion of the course, the nurses will have acquired higher skills and better opportunities at advancing the career.
During the LPN training, the nurses are taught with the assumption that they have no prior experience in dealing with the medical emergencies of any kind. During this period, they are taught basic patient care, advanced patient care, hygiene, nutrition and safe administration of medicines. They have an RN as a supervisor to whom they are required to report any advancements and findings. LPN nurses are also required to make regular and timely medical assessments which, then, should be notified to the physician or an RN. Therefore, when a candidate goes for LPN to RN bridging programs, it is expected that they are already well versed with all of this knowledge and the training is carries out accordingly for greater autonomy and more advanced knowledge.
The areas covered in the bridging programs include complex nursing assessments, care planning, wound care, advanced physiology, advanced pharmacology, advanced pathology and more. They are trained for an efficient handling of critical and acute clinical care and receive special classes for undertaking procedures such as IV insertions, central line care and assistance with central line placement. By the time of graduation, they are also well versed with the ACLS or Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support. The education and practical training received during this period can be exciting as well as challenging. However, to make the experience more enriching, candidates should have a strong foundation with LPN training.
There are various educational options included under the LPN to RN program, each one of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. The criteria required for each program are as follows.
- GED or a high school diploma
- LPN licensing from a state accredited program
- A certain required number of hours delivering clinical service
The students are, then, provided assistance in taking up and passing the NCLEX RN exams for obtaining an RN license.