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Is it a better idea to go for a BSN right away or pursue an associate degree and then do another bridge program for a BSN?

Wednesday February 20, 2013
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Question:

Dear Donna,

I am an LPN who is interested in becoming an RN. I am in my 50s and would like to work another 10 to 15 years before I retire. I'm looking at the possible alternatives. Do you know whether the online bridge programs are a good alternative? Is it a better idea to go for a BSN right away or pursue an associate degree and then do another bridge program for a BSN?

LPN-to-RN Seeker

Dear Donna replies:

Dear LPN-to-RN Seeker,

A BSN is becoming a standard in the world of nursing these days, so I would advise you to go directly for that. More and more, employers want to hire only BSN nurses. That trend will only pick up speed.

However, if for some reason you have to go the long route — bridge program to an associate degree and then another bridge to BSN — you can do that and try to make the most of it. But know that you will have fewer opportunities without the BSN.

The challenge with the online LPN-to-RN programs is you usually have less clinical time. That can be a real drawback, because there is more of a difference between the LPN and RN scopes of practice and responsibilities than many realize. Additionally, some state boards of nursing do not recognize all online LPN-to-RN programs for that reason. So check with your board first if you go that route.

You may find this article helpful: “Master the scholarship game”
(www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Scholarship-Game).

Best wishes,
Donna


Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, well-known career guru, is Nurse.com’s “Dear Donna” and author of “Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional” and “The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career.” Information about the books is available at www.Nurse.com/CE/7010 and www.Nurse.com/CE/7250, respectively. To ask Donna your question, go to www.Nurse.com/Asktheexperts/Deardonna. Find a “Dear Donna” seminar near you: Call 800-866-0919 or visit http://Events.nursingspectrum.com/Seminar.