Nursing careers are designed to provide health care for patients, assist with injury and illness prevention, and provide treatment to alleviate pain and suffering. As the American Nurses Association (ANA) says, “Nursing is for the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities.” Nurses work with physicians as part of a team for the optimal care of their patients.
Becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is often the first step toward a long-term career in the healthcare industry. Once they have become licensed, the student may choose to pursue an associate degree that allows him or her to become a registered nurse (RN); these are known as LPN to RN degrees. A nurse who wishes to become registered has several options, including a
A student can choose to obtain an RN license through an associate or bachelor’s degree program, or through an unaccredited diploma course. Even though a diploma takes the least amount of time, it is not as popular of a choice due to changes in employer requirements. It is offered at schools of nursing that are run by hospitals and focuses on clinical experience over academics. Today’s employers are concerned about providing the best patient care and prefer a more in-depth program such as what an LPN to RN program can provide. Both LPN to RN and LPN to BSN provide a combination of academic and clinical training.
Why an LPN to RN Program?
An online LPN to RN program allows a nurse to become registered in less time than other programs. While individual LPN to RN online programs differ, they generally teach client care management and prepare nurses for careers in hospital and clinical settings, as well as home health care or school nursing jobs. Graduates may also continue their education to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in general nursing.
Getting into an LPN to RN Program
For admission into LPN to RN programs online, the applicant must have the following:
- Valid LPN license
- Experience as an LPN
- High school transcript with a minimum GPA of 2.5
In addition, they will be required to have completed certain basic courses like chemistry, general anatomy and physiology, and microbiology during their LPN training. Students may be interviewed by the head of the nursing program or admissions personnel, or be asked to provide recommendations for entrance into certain RN programs. Some LPN to RN programs require that any related courses must be taken within five years of enrollment; due to constant changes in patient care based on advanced research, anything older than that might not be considered.
Inside a LPN to RN Program
The LPN to RN associate degree program provides a faster option for nurses to become registered. These courses often take only a year, compared to traditional programs that typically take two years to complete. This timeline is based upon the number of general education requirements that the student needs.
This program not only continues building on medical knowledge but also includes other key areas that will be beneficial for future employment. For instance, the student may learn how to manage difficult or complex patients and how to transition into a professional role from direct patient care.
What’s Next for LPN to RN Program Graduates?
After completion of the program, the next step is to become licensed as a registered nurse. They must first graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX examination. Each state has its own board of nursing that determines final eligibility for licensing.
Once a nurse is licensed, they can find jobs in healthcare settings to provide case management and daily monitoring of patients. In addition, they can promote recovery and educate patients on proper self-care. They may work in an emergency room, on a surgical floor, or in private settings such as a doctor’s office.
The median salary for registered nurses was $64,690 in 2010. The lowest 10% of RNs earned a median salary of $44,190 and the top 10% earned over $95,130, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Jobs for registered nurses are projected to increase 26% between 2010 and 2020; in comparison, the outlook for all professions is 14% during the same time frame. The strength of the nursing industry is largely due to an increase of outpatient settings in which patients receive treatment and return home within the same day; as more physicians begin to offer this type of treatment, there will be a larger demand for RNs to provide care.