Now that you have been working as an LPN for some time you may feel the need to move on and advance your education. One of the best things to do in this situation is to become an RN, or registered nurse, and the best way to do this is through an LPN to BSN (Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing) program.
If you are a little unsure about studying further, don’t be. There are numerous advantages to becoming an RN by getting a BSN, and it is also a very good career move to make, especially considering how much the nursing industry is growing at present. If you think that you don’t have the time to study, remember that there are online LPN to BSN programs for you to do as well without having to quit your current job. Once you have read through the information here you should be well-equipped to make a decision about whether or not you want to do an LPN to BSN, as well as what type of program is best for you.
LPN to BSN Facts
There are some very basic facts regarding an LPN to BSN program that you need to be aware of before making any decisions in this regard. The facts below are generally applicable to most states, but you need to remember that certain states have different requirements and so on to others. It is important that you know which state you would ideally like to work in once you have completed the LPN to BSN program, and then do further research into the facts and figures for that particular state.
What Will a LPN to BSN Qualification Achieve?
- A BSN is a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, which means that you will have a more advanced qualification that will open up many doors for you in the job world.
- You will experience an advanced sense of personal satisfaction and you will have the opportunity to grow in your career.
How Long is a LPN to BSN Program?
An LPN to BSN program is likely to last anything from 3 to 4 years depending on the exact course that you elect to take and the place where you choose to take it.
Where can I Do My LPN to BSN Qualification?
LPN to BSN qualifications are offered by:
- Nursing schools
It is well worth noting that many of these institutions also offer online programs making your educational experience that much easier.
The Salary for a BSN
One of the main advantages of completing an LPN to BSN qualification is the major increase in salary that you will be guaranteed of achieving. On average a BSN earns about $15,000 more than an LPN. This is one of the driving forces behind becoming a BSN in nursing.
The Main Advantages of Doing Your LPN to BSN Course Online
Generally speaking there are few more good points then bad points in favor of getting an LPN to BSN qualification. There are a lot of facts in favor of doing your LPN to BSN qualification in an online format. Some of the more obvious ones are listed below.
- Most of the online courses you have to choose from are accredited, which means that you will not have to do anything extra in order to make the qualification meaningful. However, as you will see below, ensuring that the qualification is indeed accredited is one of the most important things you should do when deciding on the LPN to BSN qualification that is right for you.
- The materials used in your education will not be second rate. Remember that you are not compromising on quality when you do an online qualification. LPN to BSN programs lend themselves to be taught online as there is usually not a lot of clinical work that you will have to do in order to complete the qualification. This makes it easier, and in fact, more sensible and convenient to teach these programs solely online, but at a high standard.
- With an online program you will get academic support. Some people are a little afraid to take the leap and engage in online learning because they worry that they will be left too much on their own with no one to turn to if they have a problem. This is simply not true. With an online LPN to BSN program you will still receive all of the guidance and interaction that you could possible need.
- Not having to attend campus classes is one of the advantages that most online learners quote as their primary motivation for engaging in an online LPN to BSN course. Not having to go into campus comes with many obvious advantages. For example, you will not have to worry about transport costs to get to campus every day. If you happen to live in an area that is very far away from the nearest campus that offers an LPN to BSN program you will still be able to study. You will not have to give up your dreams, and you will not have to pay the large sums of money required for long distance travel or the money needed for rent in another city or state. You will also not be tied down by a campus timetable as you will be able to work at your own pace and decide on your own timetable.
- As touched on in previous points, the convenience of online study is one of the big advantages. A lot of people end up not working for the qualifications that they want because they simply are unable to find time for them, or struggle to fit them into an already full schedule. With an online LPN to BSN program you will not have these problems, and you will even be able to continue working while you study.
- Financing your online LPN to BSN course should not be a problem. There are many universities and colleges where financing is guaranteed for holders of an LPN qualification who would like to move on to a BSN. Even if they college of your choice does not offer this there are many other ways to get financing. Bear in mind that online courses are generally cheaper than on-campus ones, so you may find your financial burden is significantly lessened when considering this option.
- With online LPN to BSN programs there is no waiting list. Traditional universities have limited room and can only handle a certain number of students at a time. With an online course, however, these issues are not a problem.
What Will I study In a LPN to BSN Program?
A very important consideration to keep in mind when deciding on whether or not an LPN to BSN program is the best choice for you is whether or not you are prepared to deal with the coursework that is common in these kinds of courses. If you are not willing to complete the required coursework, or if you feel that you do not have the ability or skills to complete the required work, then you need to seriously reconsider whether or not this is the best course of action for you. The exact coursework may differ from university to university, but the basics that you will cover in an LPN to BSN program are:
- Nutrition Science
- Nursing Science
- English and Communications
- Introduction to Algebra
- Professional Nurse Caring
- Human Development
The BSN is basically a follow up form what you have already done in your LPN program. There are certain basic skills that you are expected to have before beginning your qualification to convert your LPN to a BSN. If you feel that you have not achieved as well as you would have liked during your LPN qualification, or if you feel that you are unable to clearly remember the various things that you were taught as an LPN, then you may want to consider refreshing your memory on these various topics before applying for an LPN to BSN program. The things you should already know from your LPN qualification are:
- first aid
- patient care
- medical terminology
- medical equipment
You will need the following to apply for an LPN to BSN program in most situations:
- Application form with application fee
- Official transcripts from LPN program and other posts-secondary schools attended (Note: Make sure to request an evaluation of previous coursework for possible LPN transfer credits.)
- Official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), depending on the program requirements
- Letters of recommendation
- Statement of purpose
What Are the Differences Between a LPN and BSN Qualification?
An important part of deciding whether or not an LPN to BSN course is the right way for you to go is deciding whether the two qualifications are significantly different, or whether they are very similar. If they were similar you would effectively be wasting your time doing the bridging program, especially if you are able to do the same things and earn the same money with an LPN qualification as you are with a BSN. You will soon realize that this is not, in fact, the case.
Similarities between a LPN and BSN qualification
You are required to be appropriately licensed to work as either an LPN or a BSN (although the types of licensing requires for each differs substantially).
Differences between a LPN and BSN Qualification
- Duties: The biggest difference between LPNs and BSNs, or RNs, is the duties that they are allowed to perform. One of the main reasons that nurses choose to extend their education in this way is because they want to move on from the basics. The basic duties that an LPN will perform are basic bedside care, recording vital signs and administering medicine and injections. They are also sometimes allowed to collect samples and perform basic lab tests. Now RNs with a BSN are able to perform most of these duties. But in addition to this they can also do a number of other things. A nurse with a BSN has more freedom. An LPN needs to do practically everything under supervision, while an RN has the ability to work more independently and can make decisions about the best ways to care for a patient. They are also responsible for working with the families of patients as well as with the patients themselves in deciding on the best course of action for after hospital care and what measures should be put in place in order to ensure a speedy recovery from their illness or operation.
- Level of Education: One of the main differences between these two qualifications is the amount of education you need to qualify. A BSN requires a much more advanced level of education and understanding than an LPN. An LPN is not required to get a degree, and is merely obligated to receive a certificate or diploma at the state level in order to work in the nursing field. To receive a BSN, however, you need to go through an accredited university or college and earn the degree.
- Licensing: Although both qualifications require that you be licensed before you can work in the field, these licensing requirements differ depending on the level of education you have achieved. The main difference is that after studying a BSN you will have to take the NCLEX-RN examination, and after completing an LPN qualification you will have to take the NCLEX-PN qualification. The test for the nurse hoping to work with a BSN covers more scientific content, while an LPN will write on basic nursing practices.
- Salary: It is one of the most well known facts, and also the main supporting reason that an RN will give you regarding their choice to do an LPN to BSN program, that nurses with a BSN earn more money than an LPN. The difference between a BSN salary and an LPN salary is quite substantial and well worth the extra work that you will have to put in to achieve it.
As you can see from the above information, there are far more differences than similarities. You will also note that these differences are favorable. They are all about how being an RN with a BSN is better than being an LPN. With this information in mind, it is no wonder that so many nurses out there have chosen to change their standing in the nursing profession by doing that little extra work to get a BSN. Of course the work will be harder, and many people say that RNs are under a lot more pressure than LPNs, but these are very small sacrifices to make in order to achieve more in your career and to advance yourself.
Best Places to Work
Once you have completed your LPN to BSN bridging course you will be able to work as an RN. The best places to work as an RN are:
- New York
Why is it a Good Idea To Do My LPN to BSN Qualification Online?
If you already have an LPN qualification, than that means that you have already done most of your clinical training. Consequently you can easily catch up with the academic and theory side of things online. It is far more convenient to study for a BSN in nursing online as you will be able to control the pace at which you study and you will be in control of your time. You can even continue working as an LPN while studying for your BSN degree. In some cases you may need to do a few more hours of clinical practice, but usually you will be able to do this at any of the local hospitals in your area easily and quickly. You needn’t view this as a bad thing – after all you will be given an introduction to a new working environment, and you will have the chance to gain more experience in your chosen field of nursing. This type of study method is great for driven and motivated students who are looking to advance their careers.
To summarize, the main advantages of doing your LPN to BSN qualification online are:
- You can work according to your own time constraints.
- You will be in complete control of your own schedule, making it a far more convenient option than travelling to classes every day.
- You will be able to redo any lectures that you missed or that you would like to hear again as online programs are usually recorded and therefore reusable – this means that you can review work that you are struggling with as much as you like.
- You will be able to interact online with a wide variety of other students as well as your lecturers, making it easy for you to get a second opinion or two on your ideas about the coursework.
- You will not be constrained by the fact that the colleges in your area do not offer LPN to BSN qualifications.
- You will not be constrained by travelling distances as online classes can be taken from the comfort of your own home.
- You will most likely pay less for an online LPN to BSN qualification then you would for a face-to-face, on-campus qualification.
Choosing a LPN to BSN Online Qualification
There are some very important things to consider when choosing an LPN to BSN qualification online. Make sure that you have considered all of the following factors before committing to a program:
- You need to be completely sure that the online school that you are hoping to study through has the appropriate qualifications and accreditation to turn you into a genuine BSN. If the university you study through is not accredited, than you will have wasted your time and money for no good reason.
- Check out the quality of the professors and lecturers at the various universities that you are considering. Read about them online and try to find out what other students have said. The quality of the professors is a very important aspect to consider when choosing an LPN to BSN qualification. No matter how good the course work is you may still lose out if the lecturer is bad.
- There are number of things to consider in terms of flexibility. Luckily many RN to BSN programs are online, making them highly flexible for you and allowing you to fit them easily into your schedule.
The Top LPN to BSN Online Programs
According to numerous sources, the best LPN to BSN programs out there can be found at the following universities:
- Indiana State University
- The College Network
- University of Phoenix
- Kaplan University
- Liberty University
- Utica College
- Walden University
- Herzing University
- Grand Canyon University
Reasons Not To Do Your LPN to BSN Qualification Online
Remember that online learning does not suit everyone. If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you may want to consider doing an on-campus qualification instead:
- Are you extremely comfortable in a classroom situation, and do you dread the transition to online learning?
- Do you feel that you need interaction and conversation with other students in order to achieve the levels of motivation needed to complete an educational qualification?
- Do you feel the need to get to know your professors on a personal level not attainable in an online qualification?
- Do you feel that you would prefer to be part of the larger community provided by the on-campus experience?
With all of the information you now have, you should be in a good position to make your final decision about your LPN to BSN program. This is not a light decision to make as it will take time and effort to do this. Do not embark on this course unless your heart is in it. Make sure that you are aware of what you are doing. If you are 100% sure that doing an LPN to BSN course is the path for you, make sure that you choose a course that will be beneficial to you and that is properly certified. Take your time in order to make sure that you choose the best LPN to BSN program for you.