Advancing Your LPN License
Hollis Forster, RNC-NP
Having a career as a Licensed Practical Nurse is a great start to immerse you in the nursing field relatively quickly, however, it can be limiting in the types of positions that are available to you. You may have found yourself with this license because you have never been able to take time enough away from your family or your job to get a more advanced degree. You may be feeling now is a better time, maybe the children are older or you are not as dependent on full time work, to get the degree that you really always wanted. A BSN would offer more job growth and movement potential. It would prepare you for work that you have perhaps only dreamed of in the past.
There are many possibilities, currently, for advancing your education, even if you still have to work and care for your family while getting your degree. The LPN is a great license to start with when thinking of moving toward a more advanced degree. You already have courses in nursing practice completed, and you have real life experience in the field where you want to practice. You are a superb candidate for an A.D.N. or a B.S.N. degree.
Many schools now offer online opportunities for this educational path. There are variations between schools about how it is actually done, but you can find:
• Schools completely online for coursework with some clinical preceptor hours in local hospitals or physician practices.
• Schools that offer both campus based and online approaches which some people may find advantageous.
• Schools that allow you to “test out” of coursework because of your previous education and life experience.
• Schools that will allow “advanced placement” by giving you credits toward your degree for your licensure. (You must have a license in the state where this particular school is located).
I found one organization that gives coursework entirely through online study modules. After completion of the modules, you take a standardized test at a local testing site. The results of the tests can be submitted to a University or other nursing educational facility within their “network” (and of your choosing) to count toward your final degree.
These options for advancing your education from the LPN level to a degree that can lead to a professional registered nurse position will open many doors for aspiring RN’s. Having the ability to complete most course work at home means that you no longer have to sacrifice so much family time to further your career and offer more to your community. Perhaps more programs like this will help alleviate the severe nursing shortage that, according to recent studies, will only become worse in the coming years as the population ages and so many experienced RNs reach retirement age.
I found these possibilities by exploring the internet. Try it, you may find a program that is a perfect fit for your lifestyle and ambitions.