Are you a licensed practical nurse (LPN) looking to advance your nursing career and become a registered nurse (RN)? Whether you’re seeking an RN certification to expand your clinical skills, increase your job opportunities, earn a higher salary, or embrace leadership responsibilities, an accelerated bridge program could be the right fit for you. Accelerated bridge programs allow you to complete academic requirements and earn RN licensure more quickly and efficiently.
The time-efficient structure of accelerated bridge programs makes them practical for ambitious LPNs, but just how quickly can you earn your RN license? You may not find a 6-month accelerated bridge program, but these programs are uniquely designed to expedite the transition from LPN to RN, allowing you to complete your education and earn your RN license in as little as one year. The condensed curriculum focuses on building upon your knowledge and skills as an LPN, enabling you to get through coursework and clinical requirements quickly. Read on to see how you can quickly earn RN licensure and begin enjoying the benefits of this essential and fulfilling career.
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Spotlight Schools: Accelerated Online LPN to RN Bridge Programs
Accelerated bridge programs offer an expedited and practical pathway toward greater career options and earning potential. Additionally, these programs allow you to hone the skills and acquire the certifications necessary to play a more integral, hands-on role within healthcare teams. Continue reading as we spotlight three standout accelerated LPN to RN bridge programs that can jumpstart your RN career.
ATA College’s 15-Month Hybrid LPN to RN Bridge
ATA College is a private for-profit institution that offers allied health programming. ATA has campuses in Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and Oklahoma, and is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Among ATA’s healthcare programming is a hybrid 15-month accelerated LPN to RN program offered at the Kentucky and Ohio campuses that prepares students for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Throughout this 90-credit hybrid program, you’ll enjoy the flexibility of online coursework while getting extensive hands-on training through in-person labs and clinical experiences. Core nursing classes cover topics such as advanced pharmacology, medical-surgical nursing, maternal health, and mental health nursing. Before completing this program, nursing students also complete a four-credit integrated practicum.
If ATA sounds like a good fit for you, you can apply online. Your application must include TEAS, ACT, or SAT scores, and a negative drug test. Just keep in mind that ATA College is unlikely to accept transfer credits from prior college-level coursework.
Hutchinson Community College’s 3-Semester LPN to RN Program
Hutchinson Community College is a Kansas-based public institution that houses an LPN to RN online bridge program. In addition to preparing students for successfully passing the NCLEX-RN exam and RN licensure, this accelerated program prepares you to transfer to a four-year institution.
Accredited by both the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and the Kansas State Board of Nursing Accreditation, this 69-credit online bridge program offers the flexibility that working practical nurses need to continue studying while keeping up with professional obligations. Core classes include topics such as pathophysiology, complex care of the adult, and care of the family. While theoretical coursework is completed online, students also gain hands-on experience through various clinical experiences.
Prospective students must hold an active LPN licensure with verification of 1,000 work hours and have a minimum 2.0 GPA in prior college coursework. If this sounds like you, you can submit your application online. Alongside an online application
Missouri State-West Plains’ 1-Year LPN to RN Program
Located in south-central Missouri, Missouri State University-West Plains is a community college that offers an accelerated LPN to RN bridge program that students can complete in just one academic year. For students with the necessary prerequisites, general education, and LPN nursing programs, this program consists of just two semesters.
Throughout this accelerated LPN to RN program, students tackle theoretical coursework and advanced hands-on training, all while gaining the knowledge and skills required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam. Core classes include topics such as nursing care across the lifespan, adult medical-surgical nursing, and pharmacology. Before graduation, students also complete a capstone course that dives into the contemporary trends and issues in the nursing profession.
If you can see yourself pursuing your RN degree here, keep in mind that you must first gain admission into Missouri State-West Plains before applying to the bridge program. Applicants must include academic transcripts, proof of an active LPN license, a background check, and a negative drug test.
Applicant Requirements for Accelerated LPN to RN Bridge Programs
While applicant requirements for accelerated LPN to RN programs inevitably vary between programs, there are some consistencies between schools. From experience and prerequisites to professional references, these elements are key to getting into the accelerated bridge programs of your dreams. Keep reading as we spotlight some of the standard requirements you can expect when applying to LPN to RN programs.
Timeline of Fast-Track LPN to RN Programs
While the specific timeline varies between programs and students’ individual circumstances, many programs offer accelerated options that condense the education and training period. From preparing for enrollment to graduation, this section provides a general timeline overview of the key milestones and stages involved in fast-track LPN to RN bridge programs.
Prior to Enrollment
There are several things you’ll want to stay on top of as you apply to and your LPN to RN bridge program. First, you’ll want to closely examine admission requirements and evaluate your eligibility based on prerequisites, including completed coursework and clinical experience. It’s also essential to gather any necessary documents, such as transcripts, reference letters, and a resume. Additionally, be sure to have any test scores readily available (TEAS, ACT, SAT, etc.) and ensure that your LPN license is current and in good standing.
First 6 Months
During the first six months of your accelerated LPN to RN program, expect to focus on building upon existing knowledge and skills. While requirements vary between programs, this phase often includes core nursing courses such as pathophysiology, pharmacology, and nursing care across the lifespan. Schools such as Missouri State-West Plains also commonly include classes like transitions for the LPN to RN as an introduction to the program.
Final 6 Months
In the final six months of an LPN to RN bridge program, students dive into more specialized and advanced nursing topics. This phase often includes courses such as medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, and psychiatric nursing. For example, Mountain Empire Community College requires students in their final semester to take a course in complex health care concepts. You can also anticipate a degree-culminating capstone course such as Missouri State-West Plains’ current trends and issues in nursing.
Additionally, clinical rotations may become more specialized, allowing students to apply their knowledge in specific clinical areas. Students often gain experience in critical care units, maternity wards, or community health settings. Finally, the last six months also involve exam prep, including reviews and practice for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Upon completing your LPN to RN bridge program, you’ll be ready to take the next step in your nursing career. After all of the coursework, clinical obligations, and preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam, you’ll be ready to sit for the licensure exam. After passing the test, you’ll have the credentials to practice as a registered nurse in various healthcare settings. Be sure to lean on and seek the advice of your network of fellow students, instructors, and clinical mentors when searching for the best nursing job for you.
Strategies for Accelerating Your LPN-RN Bridge Program
Maximizing the efficiency of your time management, utilizing online resources, and enrolling as a full-time student are just some of the strategies you can employ to make the most of your LPN to RN bridge program and expedite your journey to becoming a registered nurse. ., Early Preparation for the NCLEX-RN Exam
Starting your NCLEX-RN test prep early is one solid way to ensure you earn your license as soon as possible. Familiarize yourself with the exam format, content, and study resources well in advance. Additionally, begin integrating NCLEX-style questions into your study routine, regularly utilize practice exams, and consider joining study groups focused on the NCLEX-RN prep. By starting early, you can build a strong foundation of knowledge while boosting your chances of first-time success on the exam.