LPN to RN bridge programs allow nurses to pursue better education without repeating classes that they’ve already taken. There are both scholarships and grants available to qualifying nurses who choose to enter these programs, and other financial aid options also exist to allow students in need to go back to school.
Scholarships are forms of financial aid typically based on merit (talent, skills, grades, etc.), and some are also based on other factors, such as religion, ethnicity, financial status, and so forth. You can find scholarship applications specifically for nurses or scholarship applications for any type of qualifying student participating in an accredited program. Some of the organizations that have provided scholarships for nurses in the past include the following:
In some cases, you can also find nursing scholarships directly from colleges.
Unlike scholarships, grants are usually given based on financial need, rather than just merit. They are offered by schools and private organizations to students who may not otherwise be able to pursue advanced education. Grants are also available to qualifying nursing students from the Department of Health and Human Services and some of the other organizations that may have nursing grants available include the Emergency Nurses Foundation Association and the Gerontological Society of America.
Facilities across the United States are in dire need of nurses, especially nurses with advanced education. To help attract workers, many employers offer tuition assistance programs, where you can get advanced education in exchange for working at the facility for a certain number of years. Student loans are available for students who qualify. Luckily, the government provides loan forgiveness programs for some nurses, if you’re willing to work in areas where need is especially high and meet other prerequisites, so this is also an option if you need money for school. The chart below shows the percentage of all financial aid that was occupied by different types, such as loans and grants, between 1998-2008.
The United States government awards students billions of dollars in financial aid every year. There are many ways to get educational funding from the government. Some of the biggest governmental student funding opportunities are the following.
There are a couple of ways to get financial assistance for an LPN to RN program that aren’t quite the same is financial aid, because they involve working or volunteering for a period of time, or making other promises about what you will do after you finish the program. These are:
Since you’re looking into courses that can help you move from being an LPN to an RN, it seems likely that you already have a job in healthcare. This is a great position to be in if you want to upgrade your education. Many employers, especially in nursing, have incentive programs or assistance available for their employees who want to go back to college. They may offer a certain amount of loan repayment assistance or a limited number of courses that you can take on their tab, which can take a big chunk out of your personal expenses for college. Ask your employer about their financial aid offerings for employees who want more education. You might have to commit to working for them during and after your schooling, but having a job while you’re in school can really ease your mind about the financial burden that college usually represents.
The most expensive part of any LPN to RN program is likely to be tuition expenses. The cost of higher education has been rising across the board in every discipline, and the more credit hours that you take, the more expensive your degree will be. Testing out of courses or getting credit for previous work experience, or even just transferring credits from a previous school you have attended, can all be useful tactics for minimizing the financial pain of going back to college. You may need to meet certain requirements to even be accepted into an LPN to RN bridge program, such as:
LPNs have a lot of room for career growth, and the doorway to much of that growth is through becoming an RN. From there, it is possible to become an advanced practice nurse or nurse practitioner, and take on a much more specific clientele of your choosing. Some nurse practitioners provide primary care, and many choose a specialty such as gynecological nursing or pediatrics.
Growth can come in a few forms for a nursing career. It is possible to continue going back to school for higher degrees until you have a Doctorate in Nursing Science (DNS), which is the highest degree available in the field, and will qualify you for nearly any nursing job, as long as you have work experience too. Another path is to become an RN and eventually an advanced practice RN and look for a leadership or administrative position at a medical facility. This might mean doing less direct care and more managerial tasks, though it is unlikely that you would ever transition completely away from working with patients.
LPN to RN programs are meant to offer a slight boost in skills and qualifications to nurses who want more of a challenge and the ability to earn more money in their careers. To this end, a good program should focus on certain types of skills that are necessary for taking higher level nursing positions, such as: