Registered nurses (RN) help prevent and treat illnesses; advocate for better health care with patients, families, and even entire communities; and provide direct patient support by assessing, observing and recording information in order to create a ‘plan of care’ for each individual under their supervision. Many nurses perform day-to-day tasks independently while still working as a member of a healthcare team.
The role of the RN can range from case management and direct patient contact to clinical policy research and the implementation of new standards for practicing nurses. A Bachelor of Nursing degree (BSN) can prepare a nurse for roles beyond direct patient care. RNs may also teach in nursing programs and direct nursing systems, in which nurses collaborate to deliver blended patient care.
Why an LPN to BSN Program?
Choosing from accredited online LPN to BSN programs allows licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to achieve a BSN in a shorter amount of time than traditional programs. Once an RN has been licensed, he/she can land a position in a variety of professional settings, including:
- Traditional health care facilities
- Administrative offices in hospitals and clinics
- Law firms
- Insurance companies
Getting into an LPn to BSN Program
A student must hold a current LPN license to gain admittance into one of the LPN to BSN bridge programs online. In addition, they may be required to complete their training for the LPN license within five years in order for the education to count toward BSN program credits. To gain admittance into many schools, they will need the following:
- LPN training courses including human anatomy, human physiology, and microbiology
- Cumulative NMU score of 2.75 or higher
- Copy of the current LPN license
- Transcript from the practical nurse program
Some programs require previous academic experience, such as a bachelor’s degree in general nursing before admittance. Students may also need CPR certification and a criminal background check for certain programs.
Inside a LPN to BSN Program
Training for a BSN is focused on critical thinking as well as administrative and leadership training. Students will learn about health care policy, pharmacology, and professional issues in nursing, as well as the financial and regulatory components of being an RN in various environments. In addition, their clinical work may take place within a non-healthcare setting, as well as (or instead of) the traditional clinic or hospital setting.
These programs provide education about health assessments for patients, but they also focus on teaching the student how to educate patients and entire communities through lecture and hands-on experience. They will also be trained in research to gather data and participate in studies that analyze and evaluate standards of treatment and the effectiveness of standard practices.
What’s Next for LPN to BSN Program Graduates?
Once the student has graduated from one of the online LPN to BSN nursing programs available, they must become licensed in the state where they intend to practice. They will have to take the NCLEX-RN exam and be approved by that state’s board of nursing. Once they have completed this task, they can choose a specialty where they are most interested in working. Each one has its own requirements for certification and allows the RN to join a professional organization. Some options include:
- Critical care
- School nurse
A graduate may choose to continue his/her studies by enrolling in a master’s of general nursing program. This gives them further opportunities to work in senior level management positions (such as director of nursing) or teach in an academic setting.
The job outlook for RNs is excellent compared to many other occupations. With a projected growth rate of 26% according tothe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are many opportunities for RNs to work with direct patient care. Potential workplaces for these individuals include hospitals, home healthcare agencies, and long-term care facilities; clinics or doctor’s offices; and schools, correctional facilities, or military installations.
The median salary for registered nurses was $64,690 in 2010. Furthermore, many employers , such as hospitals and long-term care facilities provide flexible schedules for nurses , as well as educational benefits. Continuing education is required for nurses to maintain their licenses; it also enables them to stay up-to-date on the latest changes and advances in patient care.