What You Ought to Know About LVN to ADN Programs
Like many who work in the nursing field, you may have earned your licensed vocational nursing, or LVN, license, and after getting some experience under your belt, you may be ready to progress in your career. Fortunately, you don't have to earn your BSN to become an RN from here. You can get there more quickly and easily by earning your associate degree in nursing, or ADN. The best part of it is you don't have to start from scratch. The right LVN-to-ADN program will take your previous experience into account, so you can qualify to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam more quickly.
What are LVN-to-ADN Bridge Programs?
An LVN-to-ADN bridge program is essentially an ADN program that is conducted on an accelerated basis. Students are typically given credit for about one semester's worth of education that they acquired during their previous, lower-level nursing education like LVN, so they are able to complete this training more quickly than they would a traditional ADN program. Many programs also take previous work experience into consideration, so you may be able to save even more time that way. To be considered for this type of program, you must meet a number of requirements.
LVN-to-ADN bridge programs don't admit just anyone. Prospective students must meet a number of admission requirements. Just like to earn your LVN license, you needed a high school diploma or GED. Most programs require students to have at least six months of experience working as an LVN. You must have a valid LVN license at the time of admission. In most cases, you must also undergo a background check and a health assessment, and your immunizations must be up to date. Finally, you can expect to have to take and pass an entrance exam to be officially admitted.
Choosing an LVN-to-ADN Bridge Program
It is important to choose an LVN-to-ADN bridge program that is accredited by an officially recognized accreditation body. Stick with programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, or ACEN, or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or CCNE.
You must also decide whether to complete a traditional program or one that includes an online component. Please note that it is not possible to complete an LVN-to-ADN bridge program entirely online, as clinical training is required.
Since you have already completed your LVN training, odds are that you have already completed the prerequisite courses that are required for admittance into an LVN-to-ADN bridge program. These are typically general education courses, and most programs require you to have completed them within the last five to 10 years. Such courses include English composition, chemistry, biology and anatomy, and physiology. In the unlikely event that you have not completed all of the required courses, you should be able to do so through a local community college.
Typical LVN-to-ADN Bridge Program Courses
By completing an LVN-to-ADN bridge program, you get to skip at least one semester's worth of required courses for ADN program. Most students are able to skip the Fundamentals of Nursing requirement as well as Medical/Surgical I. Please note that such courses may have different names depending on the program in question. Also, every program is different. Some may give you credit for work experience too, so you can skip even more required courses.
During your LVN-to-ADN training, you can expect to complete the following courses:
- Transition to Professional Nursing
- Adult Health Nursing
- Health Assessments
- Nursing Research
- Community-Based Nursing
- Women's Health
The NCLEX-RN includes a written portion and a clinical skills portion. For the latter, you will need to complete clinical training during your bridge program, and it must be done in a local healthcare facility. Some programs arrange the clinical training for students. Other programs require students to locate and sign up for their own training. Either way, on-site clinical training, which is held in doctor's offices, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities, is a crucial part of this training and will ensure that you are ready to take on the more challenging role of an RN.
Transitioning from being an LVN to an RN is easier than you probably think. By taking advantage of the LVN-to-ADN bridge program, it is possible to complete your training a lot more quickly. This means that you can sit for your licensing exam and become an RN more quickly too.