LPN to RN | How to Become a Registered Nurse as a LPN
March 30, 2012
These days, many people are choosing to change careers or advance in their current careers. The economy is creating an urgency to find positions with job security and financial benefits. One of the popular career changes is from Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN). This career move offers more promise and opportunity for nursing professionals. Becoming an RN after working as an LPN is much easier than most people think it is.
What Programs are Available for LPNs to Become Registered Nurses (RNs)
There are a number of nursing programs available for LPNs who want to become Registered Nurses. Once a nurse has earned the credentials of LPN, becoming an RN is much easier. It is not to say that nursing programs are easy, but once students have trained to become nurses, they are better prepared for the programs because of their current knowledge and skills in nursing.
Many of the LPN to RN programs are called bridge programs because they cover the educational deficits between the two degree programs. These LPN to RN programs focus on teaching current LPNs about nursing science, professional nursing practice, nursing theory, nursing pharmacology, and patient care methods so nurses can become successful RNs. Students may also have to complete certain general education courses such as mathematics, communications, and sociology to earn either a higher degree in nursing.
Nursing students can choose between earning their Associates of Science in Nursing (ASN) or the Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN). LPNs only need to earn an ASN to become Registered Nurses, but many choose to earn the BSN. Those who wish to advance to administrative or management positions as nurses usually opt to earn the BSN.
What is the Difference Between an LPN and RN
LPNs and RNs are both nursing professionals. They both have some of the same responsibilities, but they also have some very different responsibilities.
LPNs are responsible for practical and clinical duties in medical facilities. They care for those who are injured, convalescent, and sick. These individuals work under the direct supervision of doctors and Registered Nurses. Some of the job responsibilities of LPNs include bathing patients, taking vitals, providing basic care, dressing wounds, treating injuries, providing general hygiene, monitoring the status of patients. They can work in a variety of setting, including hospitals, physician’s offices, employment agencies, and nursing homes.
RNs are responsible for treating the injured and sick, and educating patients and other healthcare professionals as well. They work in conjunction with physicians to help patients. Unlike LPNs, RNS make decisions about long-term health needs and treatment for their patients. Registered Nurses play important roles in making administrative decisions, providing patient care, and educating those in the healthcare industry.
The length of time it takes to become LPNs and RNs also is different. Nurses can become RNs by attending school from 2 to 4 years in length, and nurses can become LPNs by attending school from 1 to 2 years in length.
How Long Does it Take to Go From LPN to RN?
The time it takes to go from LPN to RN varies by the program. Some programs are set up so that nursing students only take the nursing courses during the program, but they must complete the general education courses as prerequisites before entering the nursing program. Other programs incorporate the general education courses in the program so it may take students longer to complete these programs.
It takes nursing students one to two years to go from LPN to RN. The associates degree nursing program usually takes one to two years to complete, although some student complete the program in less time. Many bridge programs require that nursing students attend on a full-time basis to expedite the education process.
For those who want to participate in an LPN to RN program to earn their bachelors degree in nursing, it may take a longer time to complete the program. LPNs must attend school for approximately 2 to 3 years to earn their bachelors in nursing.
Upon completing the program, nurses can sit for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN). Most states have a minimum required number of years that nurses must practice before sitting for the examination, which is usually 1 to 2 years.
Going from LPN to RN takes a great deal of hard work and dedication, but it is well worth it for those who want to advance their careers to become Registered Nurses. Bridge programs offer nursing students an opportunity to accelerate their nursing education so that they can become successful Registered Nurses.