LPN to RN Fast Track Programs: What You Need to Know
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LPN to RN programs allow you earn an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in nursing as quickly as possible, while working in the field and contributing to a refinement of your experience. Before you apply to an LPN to RN fast track program, make sure you understand the following:
In order to qualify for an LPN to RN program, you must first go through an LPN (licensed practical nurse) program. For you to become an LPN, you need education from an accredited course, which takes about a year. You also need to your LPN license, which you can obtain through taking a national test, along with meeting your state’s specific LPN standards. Some LPN to RN bridge programs also require you to have experience in the field, working as an LPN, so it is important to check these standards before you apply to a program.
Taking this route for becoming an RN, LPN to RN fast track programs help you save time because you won’t have to re-take classes covering topics you’ve already learned as part of your LPN convention. This not only means that you’ll spend money on your education, but it also means you’ll become an RN sooner, making you eligible for high pay rates and better benefits sooner.
If you aren’t currently a nurse at all, there are benefits to becoming an LPN first and then joining an LPN to RN program. It takes a very short amount of time to become an LPN, so you can start your nursing career quickly and then become an RN at your own pace. In addition, some employers will pay for you to go back to school to get an advanced degree, and because of the national nursing shortage, there are many financial aid and scholarship programs for nurses who want to go back to school.
LPN to RN fast track programs aren’t for everyone. As an LPN you probably already work at a hospital or other health care facility, and for some, it can be a challenge to go to school while also working. If you’re up to the task though, there are often scholarships and grants available to students actively working as nurses while pursuing a more advanced degree. Keep in mind that in order to become an RN, you’ll need to pass a licensing exam, so you may also want to consider a full RN program to get a refresher course in basic nursing skills. It all depends on how recent it has been since achieving your LPN and if you think you’re well enough versed in the material that you will be able to tackle the course load.
Choosing the Right LPN to RN Program
If an LPN to RN program is right for you, there are a number of choices available for nurses, both online and off. Make sure you ask questions, finding out if the program offers student services, financial aid, and alumni networking. If the program you’re consider has campus classes, visit the location to get a feel for the atmosphere. This is also important if you go to school online; take a virtual tour of the program, participating in an online lecture if possible. Talk to professors and current students if you can to learn as much as you can about the programs you’re considering. Researching school rankings is also a smart decision when evaluating a program.
After You Graduate
After you graduate from an LPN to RN fast track program, you need to to take the national licensing examination before you can begin working as an RN. After passing the exam, you must also submit your degree information and other documents to your state’s nursing board to confirm that you’ve met clinical hour and licensing requirements. This process moves at a fairly quick pace and ensures that all the standards are met before jumping into the workforce.
LPN to RN College Programs
Indiana State University—Indiana State University offers a robust online program designed for LPNs wanting to become registered nurses and earn their BSN degree. Since ISU's credits transfer to over 80 campus majors, this is an ideal program for people wanting to open opportunities for their career down the road.
The College Network—The College Network is a partnership with several universities and organizations like the National League for Nursing that focuses on online education and programs, with several courses for nurses or those interested in a nursing career. Specifically, TCN helps students prepare for their LPN and RN licensures and move on to earn graduate degrees.
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