Being a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a great occupation choice for a multitude of reasons. However, without a college education or advanced training, there are limits to how far one can be promoted in the field of nursing. Management positions on nursing teams, and other leadership positions within healthcare organizations are most often reserved for those who have completed advanced degree studies and bridge programs, in addition to having passed numerous certification exams.
It is a great idea to consider an LPN to RN bridge program to improve one’s career prospects while gaining new knowledge and skill sets in the field of nursing. These programs are tailored specifically for LPNs, and therefore offer a fast-track path to an exciting registered nurse career. Our guides outline several nursing bridge programs and key information, including:
There are many online options available for LPN to RN bridge programs, but there are always clinical requirements that must be completed in-person. All graduates of these programs should have been given the information needed in order obtain RN certification by passing the NCLEX-RN examination, which is required in order to begin practicing as a registered nurse. Specific courses required in the program vary by academic institution, but some popular courses students might need include:
LPN to RN bridge programs generally take around two years to complete. This time can vary depending on the amount of prior college credit earned. Most colleges will confer at least an associate’s degree upon graduation, but others may offer a bachelor degree. It should be noted that a bachelor’s program typically requires more course hours.
A bridge program offers an accelerated path for obtaining a registered nurse licensure or earning a more advanced degree like a BSN or MSN. It is designed for students who already have a background in nursing whether that is an LPN/LVN or RN license or an ungraduate degree like an ADN. Typical program lengths are anywhere from 2 to 4 years, all depending on previous experience, credit, and desired educational outcome.
Some schools offer online bridge programs for students pursuing their RN licensure or BSN degree (though the actual exam for licensure can usually only be taken in person at a testing site). Below are we have listed accredited options:
Achieve Test Prep
With no waiting lists to get started, free books, and low cost financing options available, Achieve Test Prep provides a great way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn an Associates Degree in Nursing and an RN license. Convenient, instructor led test-out programs allow you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which can then to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100’s of universities nationwide. To find out more, contact Achieve Test Prep.
The MSN programs in General, Adult Health, and Nurse Education at South University provide excellent curriculum for top notch medical care. The adult health program focuses on providing adult health care for a wide range of medical needs while the nurse education program develops teaching and coaching skills to train future medical professionals. The school also offers RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs. These programs advance students' understanding of complex medical theory and also give the skills necessary for advancement into management. To find out more, contact South University.
LPN to RN bridge programs are far from being the only accelerated paths for nurses. In fact, there are accelerated programs for every point in a nurse’s career, including RN to MSN, BSN to MSN, and MSN to DNP degrees. The programs outlined on this site, however, are designed for students new to the nursing field.
LVN to RN programs give licensed vocational nurses an accelerated pathway to becoming RNs. LVNs are often LPN equivalents in states like California and Texas.
LPN to BSN programs are designed for students with their LPN licensure that are motivated to get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Paramedic to RN programs are for paramedics (excludes EMTs) that want to obtain their registered nurse licensure.
RN to BSN bridge programs are for RNs who want to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Hospitals and clinics make up the largest place of employment for nurses. However, nurses can still find many jobs in other fields, organizations, or locations. Responsibilities can vary greatly from research to providing patient care to giving medical advice or consulting.
Nurses are able to provide patient care outside of hospitals and clinics. Some go into the military, providing care to soldiers around the world. Domestically, nurses can work at VA hospitals. Many work in nursing homes or provide family/home healthcare services. Also, some nurses work at correctional facilities, like prisons, or at rehabilitation centers.
Nurses can also choose to work in the research field. These nurses often work with educational researchers or pharmaceutical companies in order to improve the healthcare delivery process. They often study various aspects of health, illness, and health care. This role is often quite rewarding, as these nurses discover ways to nursing practice and achieve better health outcomes.
Many nurses work in positions where they provide medical expertise. For example, some nurses help with legal cases and community/public health issues where nurses work with other healthcare professionals on issues affecting a community or populace, or educational environments where nurses teach students, clients, and even other nurses.