Are you an LPN who is thinking of taking an LPN to RN bridge program? The time has never been better. With the current nursing shortage, which is estimated to reach 800,000 nurses by 2016, your future will be guaranteed. Along with higher salaries and a wider choice of jobs, you will also enjoy the increased respect that becoming an RN will bring.
You are likely already aware of the advantages of taking an LPN to RN bridge program, but perhaps you have been unable to decide whether you should attend a routine traditional program, or pursue your degree through online or distance education. You should first weigh the differences of the two.
Location In a traditional program, classes take place at a set time in a set place, and your physical presence is required. When you take an online or distance learning program, you learn at your own pace, and you study when you have the time, when it is convenient for you.
Cost The cost of traditional programs can be staggering, forcing students to accrue massive debt. Costs are often payable in large increments at the beginning of each semester or year. Online and distance learning LPN to RN bridge programs are often much more economical, and you can pay as you go.
Pace In a traditional program, you are forced to learn at the same pace as the rest of your classmates, according to a set schedule, making it difficult if you wish to work at a faster pace. This can also be a disadvantage should you fall behind. When taking online or distance learning courses, you set the pace of your learning.
Exams In traditional programs, exams are offered at predetermined times. In online or distance learning courses, credit by examination is the norm. Exams are generally proctored, which means that you take an exam, usually online, at a place agreeable to both you and your online program. The benefit to you is that you take your exams when you feel you have mastered the material. Many times, this will be sooner than in traditional programs, meaning that you can complete your degree in a shorter period of time. You also only take one exam per class unlike traditional schools that require quizzes, midterms, term papers etc.
Degrees There is a common misconception that degrees obtained from online and distance learning LPN to RN bridge programs are not the same as degrees obtained from traditional programs. This is untrue; in fact, many well-known and respected universities offer programs and courses online. As more and more people realize the benefits of online learning, more universities will offer programs online to meet this growing need.
Structure Traditional programs are highly structured compared to online and distance learning LPN to RN bridge programs. However, there are programs designed to help you stay on track and complete your online degree in less time than traditional programs. If you are someone who may find it difficult to stay motivated and disciplined, a distance learning program with more structure can help you stay on track in your pursuit from LPN to RN.
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