Your education and experience as an LPN in Kentucky serves as the ideal foundation for pursuing s BSN and RN license. And thanks to LPN-BSN programs designed specifically with the working LPN in mind, it’s easier than ever to upgrade your education and your paycheck.
Nationwide efforts to reach the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation that 80% of the U.S. nursing workforce hold a BSN by 2020 are felt strongly in Kentucky. Nursing colleges are making considerable strides in attracting currently licensed LPNs with LPN-BSN programs that take into account their previous education and experience and promise a faster route to the BSN.
But that’s not all. Technology is playing a large part in these programs, with many of them offered entirely online.
While it’s not necessary to complete a BSN program to earn your RN license, for many LPNs, a BSN just makes good sense. Because BSN prepared nurses are able to address the complex healthcare needs of diverse patient populations, their presence in the nursing workforce is critical for ensuring safe, dependable healthcare.
As an RN with a BSN, you’ll enjoy a much larger professional scope of practice and will be able to assume roles in leadership and management. You’ll also enjoy a larger paycheck and the opportunity to easily expand your studies to the master or doctoral level and settle into advanced practice nursing, faculty, and research positions.
LPN to BSN Programs in Kentucky and Online
LPN-BSN programs in Kentucky are designed specifically for practicing LPNs who hold a valid LPN license and the experience that comes with it. Admission to these programs is often dependent upon passing a basic skills examination.
Your previous education and clinical experiences earned through your LPN program may be used to satisfy some of the requirements of a BSN degree. Most programs accept about 20 articulation credits based on your LPN program, which allows you to get a jumpstart on your BSN and complete the BSN core in less time than a traditional BSN.
BSN prerequisite courses usually include:
- Health Promotion
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry
- Nutrition for Health Professions
- Human Growth and Development
After you’ve successfully completing the program’s prerequisites, you’ll complete the nursing core, which prepares you to become a nurse generalist by providing you with study and clinical experiences in a variety of settings and with a variety of patient populations: Courses often include:
- Health Assessment
- Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice
- Nursing Care of Adults
- Research and Evidence-Based Practice
- Nursing Care of Women and Perinatal Family
- Nursing Care of Children/Adolescents
- Nursing Care of Adults
- Leadership and Management in Nursing
Clinical experiences are an integral component to an LPN-BSN program. These local sites are usually arranged by your program coordinator, although some programs may allow you to complete some or all of your required clinical hours through your current employer.
Just a few of the clinical sites in Kentucky include:
- UK Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Lexington
- Elizabeth Healthcare, Covington
- KentuckyOne Heath Jewish Hospital, Louisville
- Methodist Hospital, Henderson
How to Become an RN in Kentucky by Completing an LPN to BSN Program
Upon graduating from an LPN-BSN program, you can apply for your RN license by submitting an online application through the Kentucky Board of Nursing. Once your application is approved, you will receive instructions for making an appointment to sit for the NCLEX-RN.
Incentive Programs for LPNs Pursuing BSNs in Kentucky
The issue of how to finance your LPN-BSN program is a real concern for many working nurses. However, many healthcare organizations in Kentucky, in an effort to attract and retain the best nursing talent, often provide financial incentives to current employees that include everything from tuition reimbursement to nursing scholarships.
For example, the University of Kentucky/UK Healthcare provides tuition payments for LPN employees at Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and U.S. HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital who are pursuing a nursing degree at a fully accredited program of nursing. Tuition payments are dependent upon maintaining a C average. Full-time LPNs can take up to 6 credits per semester in a BSN program.
It’s always beneficial to contact your employer’s human resources department and ask about tuition assistance and other financial incentives for returning to school and earning your BSN.