So, you've decided to turn that Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) degree into a full-on Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree? Great move. Between the increased career opportunities it enables and the higher pay scale it unlocks, the move to BSN has real potential to launch your career to the next level.
Granted, going from LPN to BSN isn't easy. If it was everyone would do it. However, a good plan and little hard work can help immensely. We can't do the work for you, but we can help you work smarter and craft a solid plan.
3 keys to an easier LPN to BSN bridge
It sounds like a given but drive and self-discipline are crucial to success. It's easy to underestimate the time and attention your LPN to BSN bridge program will require. True, conveniences like online courses make scheduling easier, but you still need to focus on getting the coursework and exam prep done. So, brace yourself for some hard work and set aside the time and energy you'll need to attend class, study, and get the job done.
It will also help to understand what motivates you. What's going to help you stay on task? Once you know, act upon that knowledge. Are you inspired by the way your late grandmother encouraged you? Put her picture on your desk. Or maybe you find yourself motivated by a study buddy? Team up with a classmate and drive one another toward success. Whatever gives you energy, find it and tap into it.
Leverage every available resource
Exam day is all on your shoulders but preparing for that day is not. There are countless educational aids available to help you train your brain. Investigate the options until you identify the resources that resonate with you most, then utilize them as much as possible. Here are just a few examples of aids to enlist.
1. MentorsNever underestimate the power of people who've already been there and done that. Seek out advice and assistance from those older, wiser, or just more experienced than you. Too often we don’t want to bother the people closest to us. Forget that. Bother them. This is too important, and most of the time, they're more than happy to help. Ask your nursing supervisor or course instructor any questions you have and entreat them for any advice they might have. Who better to help you than those already invested in your studies and career?
Many schools offer support services that can assist with your studying, course work, and exam preparation. If yours doesn't, or if you just want more, look into educational partners such as yours truly, Achieve Test Prep, who are eager to help you study, plan, prepare, and do whatever else it takes to succeed at nursing school. Perks like access to instructors, exam preparation assistance, and extra assistance for struggling students (such as Achieve Test Prep's own “Achieve 911”) all help make you a well-prepared, successful BSN student.
In case you haven't noticed by now, the internet has quite a bit of knowledge tucked away between all the cat videos and fake emails from Nigerian princes. Whether you're looking to answer specific questions or bone up on pretty much everything, the internet can help. If you're not sure where to start, one of our favorite sites belongs to the American Nurses Association. There is an annual membership fee ($174 at the time of this writing), but the site offers several handy tools, from career planning aids to a job search tool.
Have an Exam Day plan
Treat test day the way an NFL player treats Super Bowl Sunday. You’ve invested your precious time and resources “practicing” by taking classes and studying throughout your LPN to BSN bridge program. Now finish strong. Plan ahead and take all necessary precautions to be on time, comfortable, and focused on “game day.”
1. Take a test drive to the exam site
Know where you can park—including, if applicable, the price and hours of operation of any parking lots or meters you may need to use. If possible, also find out exactly what room you'll be in and confirm that the doors you'll need to use will be unlocked. This will leave you with fewer things to stress about on the day of the exam.
2. Plan to leave early
That way, you'll have extra time for all those unexpected hindrances that pop up: finding your keys, sitting in traffic, parking, using the bathroom … whatever. Being early and comfortable will keep you calm and focused.
3. Eat first. But don't overdo it
You want to be focused on your knowledge during the exam, not distracted by your growling stomach or daydreams of ice cream and pizza. On the other hand, you also don't want to gorge yourself and find yourself lethargic and wanting a nap, either.
4. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes
Today is not a day to wear new shoes that could give you blisters, or tight jeans that are uncomfortable to sit in for hours at a time. It's also wise to dress in layers, so you can adjust if the room is warmer or cooler than you like. Again, it's all about minimizing distractions so you can focus.
5. Bring two pencils and a black-ink pen
Just trust us. If you bring them and don't need them, it's a minor inconvenience. But if you don't bring them and do need them? It's a major hassle.
6. Breathe deeply and relax.
You've got this.
For more information on LPN to BSN bridge programs, Achieve 911, or additional study tools and programs, contact Achieve Test Prep.
*This article has been republished with updated information.