The LPN to RN bridge program is the bridge to professional opportunity. It is designed to fill the gap between educational requirements of LPNs and RNs. This program provides you with the opportunity to advance your education and advance in the nursing field with an RN certification. The LPN to RN bridge curriculum is structured to provide a thorough understanding of professional nursing practice, patient care methods, nursing science and nursing theory. It also prepares students to take the state NCLEX licensure exam for an RN. According to the Nurse Journal, the LPN to RN bridge programs are also ideal as a stepping stone for those who want to further pursue a BSN or MSN.
Admissions and Curriculum for LPN to RN Bridge Programs
Although each school has different requirements for admissions into an LPN to RN bridge program, many require an unencumbered LPN license and a preadmission test like the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The admission tests are for the purpose of measuring basic essential skills in academic areas, such as science, mathematics, reading and language. Other requirements may include a GPA of at least 2.5, two years of active practice as an LPN, completion of pre-requisite courses and letters of recommendation.
Depending on the school, bridge programs can take anywhere from one year to a year and a half to complete. The LPN to RN bridge program can be taken online or in a traditional classroom setting. The curriculum includes lecture, labs and field experience. Like any other medical-allied field, not all the requirements can be met online. Typically, online programs have relationships with local medical healthcare organizations to arrange for required praticums. During practicums, aspiring RNs gain hands-on experience under the supervision of a qualified professional. Common courses in an LPN to RN bridge program include:
- Patient Management
- Pediatric Nursing
- Clinical Nursing
Whatever school you sign up for, it’s important to ensure that its LPN to RN bridge program has accreditation from a recognized body, such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, U.S. Department of Education or the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. This will make your degree fully recognized by future healthcare employers.
Job Role, Salary and Job Outlook for RNs
On a whole, RNs are more involved in treating patients than LPNs. RNs can specialize in certain types of work and treatment at specialty facilities, while LPNs provide the same type of care to patients in any setting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs earn an average of $62,000, while LPNs earn only $39,000. The BLS also projects a job growth rate of 22 percent through 2018 for RNs. Nursing is one of the fastest growing job fields in the medical domain, and RNs are in demand on a national level.
With a healthy salary and positive job growth, it’s never been a better time to sign for an LPN to RN bridge program. It’s the surefire way to transition into a better paid career.