Online LPN to BSN Programs Overview
An online LPN to BSN program is an opportunity for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to earn a Bachelors of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN). This degree prepares them to take on a wider range of responsibilities. It also helps them earn the credentials that are required to qualify for a Registered Nurse (RN) license.
Why Should I Pursue A BSN Degree?
A BSN degree gives an LPN the knowledge that is required to take on a wider range of responsibilities which includes more in-depth patient care, taking medical decisions with more autonomy, etc. It also improves their skill set, their clinical judgement, their physical assessment, their leadership quality, etc. Having a BSN degree also gives them the credentials that are required to apply for an RN licensure. Following are some other reasons why you should pursue a BSN degree:
More Career Opportunities
After getting a BSN degree, you can apply for an RN license and explore various other career options. Once you have your BSN degree you will be able to explore various job options in cardiovascular nursing. You can also become a case management nurse, critical care nurse, LPN instructor, diabetes nurse educator, military nurse, nurse coach, pain management nurse, pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse, etc. All of these doors open once you have your BSN degree.
RNs earn higher salaries than LPNSs. This is because RNs can carry out complex patient care processes and they have advanced training as well. Along with being paid better, they also enjoy greater job opportunities. The average salary in both the professions depends on experience, education and the place where they practice.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs will be experiencing a 16% growth by 2024. There are various industries that require RNs and these industries are extremely well paying. However, they employ a very few nurses. Insurance and employee benefit funds, oil and gas extraction, wholesale electronic markets and agents are some of these industries.
How To Choose an LPN to BSN Program
When you are choosing an LPN to BSN program make sure that the university and the program meet your needs for scheduling, time to completion and cost. Following are some other important factors:
The program that you choose should be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Nursing in Education (ACEN). This will help you find a job because employers consider a degree that is recognized. Along with this, an accredited program also allows you to transfer your credits to meet the prerequisites of a Masters or any other program.
Cost Of The Program
The cost of the program depends on the school that you choose and the number of credits that are required to earn your degree. Public schools are usually less costly than private schools. Full-time and part-time students may get the option to pay differently so it is better that you check with your school and use the information to calculate the total cost.
An LPN to BSN program requires two to three years to complete if you are a full-time student. This also varies according to the program that you choose and the number of credits that you transfer from your LPN program. Attending part time or entering a BSN program with less credits will take more time to complete.
On-Campus or Online Program?
BSN programs are available online and on-campus as well. There are various universities that give you the option to choose between an online or an on-campus program. Some of these programs consist of a mixture of both known as the hybrid program. In this program you will have to attend some meetings on campus, while you can take online lectures. Choosing between an online or an on-campus program depends entirely on the individual. People who prefer to work and study simultaneously can choose an online program, while those who prefer face-to-face classes can choose an on-campus program. Even though online programs are available, you can choose to pursue an on-campus program if you want.
LPN to BSN Curriculum
The early coursework of a BSN program is based on theoretical understanding of biological and behavioural sciences. Clinical work also plays an essential role in it. LPNs will notice that greater autonomy and responsibility will be expected from them during a BSN program. The coursework starts with general education and moves up to clinical training and nursing courses. Some general education courses are given below:
- English composition
Nursing classes consist of coursework that helps you prepare as a professional nurse generalist. Some of these courses are given below:
- Family nursing
- Public health
- Health assessment
- Professional nursing
- Nursing management
Internships And Clinical Practicum
All BSN degrees require internships and practicums. Both of them have the same goal; however, practicums are academically focused, while internships give a more hands-on experience. Students are required to have clinical experiences at different practice settings and with various patients. There is no set number of clinical hours as some schools offer the minimum to meet the requirements of the nursing board, while others require more than that. It is essential that you check the requirements of the state you wish to work in.
The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) is an exam taken by people who want to get an RN license. The goal of this exam is to determine whether it is safe for the applicant to begin practicing as an entry-level nurse or not. The NCLEX-RN exam tests the nursing knowledge of an applicant. It also judges how you use your critical thinking skills to make judgements.
LPN To BSN Admission Requirements
The admission requirements vary from program to program. In general, you will have to meet the following requirements:
- Proof of an active LPN license
- Post secondary transcripts with a gpa of 3.0
- Personal statement of purpose
- In-person interview
- Academic or personal recommendations
- One year of work experience as an LPN (varies)
Online LPN to BSN Programs
LPN to BSN programs are available online and on campus as well. Following are some of its advantages
LPNs who find it difficult to stop working to attend school can choose the online program. It is also a good choice for people who prefer a flexible schedule or those who have family responsibilities. An online program also helps you complete your degree faster as it offers classes round the year, unlike a traditional program. Online programs also save your time and energy.
Some schools offer hybrid programs in which you have to attend all the lectures online but you will have to attend a few meetings on-campus. Some programs may require students to attend lectures at a specific time, while others offer flexibility.