Because so many of us got into nursing with the intention of eventually becoming an RN, LPN to BSN programs and other types of so-called “bridge” programs are undoubtedly appealing. After all, how can you beat the opportunity to earn a degree that improves your career prospects without having to give up your current job and become a full-time student? It is undoubtedly an ideal solution for anyone who wants to cross the bridge from LPN to RN, but there are definitely several things you should consider before running off and signing-up for classes.
Four Questions to Ask Before Signing-Up for LPN to BSN Programs
What Is Your Long-Term Career Goal?
Earning a BSN degree opens many doors in the nursing field and is also likely to lead to higher pay, but it also isn’t necessarily required to work in every niche in healthcare that may interest you. Before making the decision to pursue higher education, it is important that you first map out your long-term career goals. You may very well find that there is a shorter path to your objective. Then again, you may also find that a BSN won’t be enough and that you should actually pursue an MSN.
What Is Your Timeline For Finishing School?
The typical LPN to BSN program lasts between two and four years – depending, of course, on whether or not you are able to attend full-time. The classes are generally offered online, which does make them easier to fit them into your schedule, but you’ll still need to decide how hard you want to push yourself. I’m assuming here that you’re already working full-time, so remember that even online programs can be time consuming and stressful if you don’t allow yourself ample time for them.
Do You Meet LPN to BSN Program Prerequisites?
It may sound overly-obvious, but a surprising number of people actually overlook the fact that they may not be able to meet the admission requirements for an LPN to BSN program right away. The prerequisites are typically similar to those you would expect from any college (e.g. specific classes taken in high school or a community college, minimum test scores, etc.). Work experience and previous LPN schooling completed will satisfy certain requirements, but probably not all of them. You may very well need to take a few basic science courses or other general education classes before becoming eligible to enroll.
Accreditation for LPN to BSN Programs
Lastly, as is the case with all types of LPN programs, you should make sure that any LPN to BSN bridge program you consider is properly accredited by either the NLNAC or CCNE. Ensuring that the institution you plan to attend complies with the requirements and regulations of these important accrediting bodies will guarantee that the degree you earn will be recognized by employers everywhere.