Becoming a Nurse: Mobility Programs (page 2)
Those of you who desire a BSN but cannot afford the time or money to attend a four-year college can consider starting at the LPN, diploma, or AD level and entering a mobility program after obtaining your nursing license. Another benefit of choosing this route is that many of these programs are online. Accredited online programs offer the same education as accredited brick-and-mortar programs, but are more convenient for many students, especially for those with full-time jobs and/or families. However, you do need to be self-motivated and self-directed with good time management and organizational skills to do well in an online program. If you are interested in an online program, ask them how they handle the clinical practicum courses. Some have residency requirements, while others allow you to complete clinical practicums near where you live.
Is an Online Program for You?
|Advantages of Online Programs||Disadvantages of Online Programs|
|Accessibility: you can attend class from virtually anywhere||Occasional technological problems|
|Need to be self-directed|
|Flexibility: you work at your own pace, on your own time||Limited access to faculty|
|No or minimal travel expenses||Limited interaction with peers|
|Diversity of student population||Employers may still view online degree as inferior to brick-and-mortar degree|
|Most documents are readily available||Some courses may not be offered online|
LPN to BSN
LPN to BSN programs allow LPNs to graduate with their BSN in two to three years. These programs provide students with professional foundations and health assessment as well as promotion, pathophysiology, nursing research, informatics, community health, critical care, and leadership. Prerequisites usually include: Introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II, Psychology, and Chemistry. Some LPN to BSN programs allow LPNs to earn as many as 30 credits by taking advanced placement tests, which validate their previous knowledge. Students sit for the NCLEX-RN upon completion.
RN to BSN
Earning a BSN opens more avenues of opportunities for nurses, especially in specialized practice and management. RN to BSN programs enable RNs to assume roles that demand critical thinking, decision making, and leadership skills. Advanced standing is granted to RNs when they enter BSN programs, but the nature of this advanced standing is typically individualized based on the RN's previous educational (and sometimes experiential) background. Admission requirements usually include official transcripts from the diploma or associate degree accredited nursing program; all other college transcripts; a GPA of 2.5 or equivalent; high school transcript; letters of reference; and a resume.
RN to MSN
The RN to MSN option (also called "bridge program") is ideal for RNs who have baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines, or RNs who wish to progress rapidly once they obtain their BSN. These programs are highly selective and typically require the RN to successfully complete a certain amount of the BSN before being considered for admission. But the advantage is that you complete your MSN in a shorter period of time.
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