If you are a Licensed Practical Nurse considering the next step of becoming a Registered Nurse, invest in your future by pursuing the right LPN to RN bridge programs.
The four main differences between these two nursing professions are:
- Schooling requirement
- Amount of direct and indirect patient involvement
- Necessary fieldwork experience
- Earning Potential and median salary
Becoming an LPN requires a two-year associate’s degree. You can also obtain an LPN Diploma which takes only 12 months. Depending on your schooling, your LPN to RN bridge can take anywhere from one to four years.
LPN to RN accelerated programs are available as well, and we’ll cover that in detail shortly!
RNs often handle the following responsibilities:
- Identifying patient requirements
- Creating and execute nursing care plans
- Providing emotional, spiritual and psychological support to patients
- Adhering to all standards set by state nurse practice acts and the state board of nursing
- Maintaining and clean and safe work environment
- Resolving patient problems
- Advocating for patient rights and needs
- Documenting all related care
- Ensuring equipment is clean and working properly
- Administering medications and certain treatments
- Working to resolve medical emergencies
- Performing certain diagnostic tests
- Consulting with physicians and other members of the healthcare team
- Supervising subordinates
While LPNs can enter the profession with 12-24 months of education, RNs have significantly more responsibilities and require no less than four years of education and fieldwork experience.
Salary is another motivator for people considering LPN to RN programs. How much does an RN make, you ask? According to Payscale.com, RNs can earn up to $90,000 a year! The median salary for an RN is $63,393.
An LPN can earn up to $59,000, and the median salary is $43,528.
On top of that, Travel RNs make significantly more!
How to Become an RN
Taking full advantage of LPN to RN bridging ensures that your process of becoming an RN is quick and effective.
There are two types of LPN to RN bridge programs:
You can find these 1-2 year programs at community colleges, vocational schools, and some universities. Obtaining an Associate of Science in Nursing degree allows you to work as an entry-level RN.
You can find these 2-4 year programs at four-year colleges and universities. If you are interested in becoming an RN and beyond, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a strategic growth choice.
Nurses with bachelor’s degrees have more opportunities to explore specific specialties and will inevitably receive higher pay and open more doors for promotions.
Tips for Success with LPN to RN Bridge Programs
To support you on this path, we gathered a series of tips to help you achieve your goals.
1. Disconnect During Study Time
LPN to RN bridge programs are a mix of:
- classroom learning,
- self-driven learning, and
The amount of time you will spend learning new topics means you will need to make studying a priority. The key to doing this is disconnecting from use of your phone or social media.
You will want to find a comfortable and quiet place to study, such as:
- Libraries or local community centers
- A quiet park (or even the backyard)
2. Set Clear Expectations
Putting hard expectations on yourself may hurt you more than motivate you. Setting clear expectations is a great way to stay on track without overdoing it.
Because you will be working while going to school, managing the time spent on each of your major responsibilities will lower the risk of burning out.
- Consider taking time off from your job when you have a scheduled exam.
- If you know that certain times of the year are busier for you, consider lightening your course load during this time.
3. Lean On Friends and Family
Your friends and family are here to support you! A strong support system will step in when you request help.
No matter what, you don’t have to juggle everything at once. It won’t always be simple, but it will be worth it!
4. Make Time To Recharge
Finding time for yourself is crucial. Create a “recharge schedule” that is part of your overall plan before you even begin your LPN to RN bridge program that will cover work time, school time, personal responsibilities, study time, and recharge time.
Taking at least one 30 minute break every day is a must! Whatever it is that you do during this break, make your break as important as everything else on your list.
5. Keep Your Superiors In The Know
It’s important that your managers and supervisors know about your LPN to RN bridge program. Because this effort will further your skill set and make you more effective at your current job, it only makes sense to share your intention of returning to school.
Supportive managers understand these programs will help all involved and should accommodate you if you need to take time off for school by allowing some flexibility.
Know That You Are On the Path to Success
By implementing all of these tips, you are guaranteed to find an LPN to RN bridge program that works for you. You are one step closer to advancing your career!