Information Guide to BSN Degrees
Welcome to LVNtoBSN.org. If you’re a licensed vocational nurse (known as a licensed practical nurse in most states), and looking to enhance your nursing skills, going back to school to get your bachelor of science in nursing can prepare you for a career as a registered nurse (RN). To learn more, click on each link below to jump to a more detailed overview.
- What are nursing bridge programs?
- What bridge programs are available to LVNs and LPNS?
- What are the benefits of earning a BSN degree?
- Which bridge program is right for me?
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What are nursing bridge programs?
Bridge programs are designed to “bridge” the time gap between an RN diploma or an associate’s degree to a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. In order to shorten the time it takes to earn a BSN degree, students can test out of certain courses and transfer previously earned credits. Typically, these programs are intended for LVNs who are currently practicing and have a valid license.
Depending on how many classes you need to take, bridge programs often take a year to complete, sometimes more. Each program is different and not all schools structure their programs the same. It’s important to research each program carefully to find one that best suits your needs.
What bridge programs are available to LVNs and LPNS?
If you’re interested in applying to a bridge program, you have a few options to choose from. Your career and academic goals will determine which program is right for you. Bridge programs make it possible for students to continue working while pursuing their degree. Online programs are also available, allowing students to take classes and complete assignments when it’s most convenient for them.
Below are popular bridge programs in nursing:
What are the benefits of earning a BSN degree?
Once you complete your degree program, you have the opportunity to take the NCELX-RN and become a registered nurse (RN). Once you’re a registered nurse, your career options widen. You can also choose to pursue a master’s degree or possibly advance in your current nursing position. Both often lead to a higher salary and professional recognition. Wages depend on location and industry, and may differ slightly depending on your experience and where you’re located.
Which bridge program is right for me?
Finding the right program can sometimes be challenging. With so many options it can seem a bit overwhelming, however there are many resources out there that can assist you in this process.
The first resource is you. Knowing what kind of education you wish to obtain is an important step in deciding on a school’s program. Start by going online and doing some research—visit social networking sites, blogs, and forums that connect you with students who know more about the LVN to BSN programs you’re considering. Find the answers to questions such as:
- Do I have the time and financial resources required to be successful in this program?
- Have I investigated my options thoroughly through online research, visiting institutions and speaking with admissions representatives?
- What type of nursing job am I seeking when I graduate, and does the school offer the specialization I’m interested in?
- Is the school accredited, and if so, by which accrediting body?
- What are the clinical hours required in order to graduate?
- What percentages of students have jobs within six months of graduation?
- Does the school have an alumni networking association?
- How much is tuition and other student fees?
- Does the school offer financial aid or scholarship programs?
- How helpful are staff members and professors?
Program rankings are sometimes helpful when researching your options. There are many publications and organization that rank degree programs based on financial aid options, professor experience, student achievements, percentage of students accepted, average standardized test scores, activities available, and class size. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offer two of the most popular accredited college program rankings and are valuable resources to check. NIH’s rankings are organized by state, hospitals, and medical schools, which make it easy to narrow down however you prefer. Although rankings are important, they shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You need to look for the program that best fits your needs.
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