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The Caring Support Blog

Becoming an RN: RPN to RN Bridging Online and In-Person

July 10, 2024

While nursing and other healthcare-related professions may be fulfilling to pursue, there’s no doubt that these careers may require significant commitment in terms of time, resources, and determination.

Maybe right now, you’re a high school student contemplating on entering the healthcare field as a nurse and thinking about which entry to practice program you’ll be pursuing. Maybe you’re also thinking whether nursing is really for you or not. So, you might consider trying becoming a practical nurse first, then transitioning into becoming a registered nurse once you feel fully committed to the role.

Or maybe you’re already a registered practical nurse (RPN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN) and are already considering taking the next step in your nursing career by becoming a registered nurse (RN). This transition can be a rewarding and challenging journey, as it requires additional education and training.

In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of completing your RPN/LPN program before pursuing an RN designation, as well as the availability of online and in-person bridging programs that can help you achieve your goals.

Will It Be a Good Idea to Finish RPN/LPN Programs First Before Becoming an RN?

The decision to complete your RPN/LPN program before pursuing an RN designation will depend on your personal goals, financial considerations, and the specific program options available in your area. Let’s take a closer look at the potential pros and cons of this approach.

Pros of Becoming an RPN/LPN Before Becoming an RN

With the competitive nature of admissions in the BScN program, it might be an attractive option for aspiring nurses to first become an RPN/LPN before eventually transitioning into becoming an RN. True enough, becoming an RPN/LPN before pursuing an RN offers several advantages and considerations. Here are the pros of opting to become an RPN/LPN first:

Cons of Becoming an RPN/LPN Before Becoming an RN

Despite the advantages that pursuing a nursing career by becoming an RPN/LPN first before becoming an RN, there are also disadvantages that come with following this pathway. Here are some of the factors that should be carefully considered when weighing the decision of whether one should become an RPN/LPN first or directly become an RN:

Are There RPN/LPN to RN Bridging Programs Delivered Online?

Yes, there are RPN/LPN to RN bridging programs available that are delivered online, but most of them are done in a blended format, with the majority of the bridging courses coursework completed online and the clinical rotations conducted in-person. Here are some of the best choices for RPN/LPN to RN bridging programs in Canada:

Programs offered by these accredited post-secondary institutions are designed to build upon your existing RPN/LPN knowledge and skills through relevant pathway courses, allowing you to transition to an RN designation in a more efficient and streamlined manner.

The online component of these bridging programs typically includes lectures, assignments, and assessments that can be completed at your own pace, while the in-person clinical rotations provide the hands-on experience necessary to develop and demonstrate your nursing skills.

It’s important to note that while the online component of these programs offers flexibility and convenience, the in-person clinical rotations are an essential part of the curriculum and cannot be fully replaced by virtual experiences. These clinical placements are crucial for ensuring that you meet the necessary competencies and regulatory requirements to become a registered nurse.

Moreover, one should also take note of some specific limitations that these programs may have, in terms of continuing to the BScN or to employment. Some may require students to only take their BScN or get employed in their partner institutions, so it’s important to also look into the requirements of the post-secondary institution that you’ll be enrolling into for further information that will allow you to make an informed decision regarding this matter.

Steps that RPN/LPN Can Take to Become an RN

If you’re an RPN/LPN interested in becoming an RN, here are the typical steps you can take:

It’s important to research the specific requirements and program options available in your local area, as they may vary across different provinces and territories. Post-secondary institutions may also have different specificities as to their admissions requirement, which you may get to know by visiting their website or reaching out to them about your queries.

Scholarships and Grants for RPN/LPN Looking to Take Bridging Programs

As an RPN/LPN considering a bridging program to become an RN, there are several scholarship and grant opportunities that you can explore to help offset the costs of your education:

Make sure to research and apply for any relevant scholarships or grants that may be available in your area to help make your transition to an RN designation more financially feasible.

Advance within your healthcare career with Caring Support.

Caring Support: Empowering Nurses for Their Career Advancement

Becoming an RN through an RPN/LPN to RN bridging program can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path. While there are both pros and cons to consider in terms of completing your RPN/LPN program first, the availability of online and blended bridging programs can make the nursing transformation more accessible and convenient.

At Caring Support, we’re committed to empowering our nurses and other healthcare professionals to achieve their career goals. Our innovative, healthcare-focused platform is designed to provide our healthcare workers ready access to several resources to enrich their careers, such as an intuitive job search, resume builder, and networking opportunities, among others. Create your free account with us today and together. Let’s work towards advancing your nursing career and making a meaningful impact in the healthcare field.

About The Author
Cam Adajar
Content Writer

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