The majority of early career nurses have an eye toward advancement in some form. Many are interested in a wider scope of practice and greater autonomy. Most are interested in improving patient outcomes. And naturally, everyone’s interested in earning a higher salary. Does this sound like you? If so, your ticket to getting there is to earn a BSN and become an RN.
A review of job reports published by the New Jersey Department of Labor makes it very clear that RNs benefit from more job opportunities, better pay, and roles that allow for more autonomy.
A quick review of a few statistics helps tell the story:
- Employment in 2016: 79,4000
- Average Salary Range: $67,950-$94,300
- Online Job Postings: over 33,000
- Annual Job Openings for 2014-2024: 3,000
- Education: Bachelor’s Degree
Licensed Practical Nurses
- Employment in 2016: 16,360
- Average Salary Range: $47,450-$60,420
- Online Job Postings: over 5,000
- Annual Job Openings for 2014-2024: 700
- Education: Postsecondary Non-Degree Award
LPN-BSN programs were created especially for working practical nurses like you, which means that schools offering them also provide students with flexible course schedules, part-time enrollment options, financial assistance, and flexible options for completing clinical requirements while working. These programs make it easy to transfer credits from nursing courses previously completed during your practical nursing program, which will drastically cut down on the time and costs typically associated with earning a BSN.
It’s also important to remember that RNs may be legally required to hold a BSN in the future. According to the New Jersey Collaborating Center for Nursing, there are current bills in the state and assembly that would compel newly licensed registered professional nurses to earn a BSN within the first ten years of licensure. Why not stay ahead of the game?
What to Expect from an LPN to BSN Program
Nurses looking for on-campus LPN-BSN programs in New Jersey will find a limited selection, but this fact should not deter you from looking elsewhere. For greater convenience, many choose to pursue accelerated online degree options where the majority of coursework is completed at your pace and on your time.
Of course, the primary and universal criteria for getting into an LPN-BSN program is that you hold a valid LPN license and a substantial amount of work experience.
You can expect LPN-BSN curriculum to heavily emphasize the more advanced aspects of nursing theory and clinical care, preparing you for the NCLEX-RN examination and RN licensure.
Core LPN to BSN Coursework Requirements
Since all LPN-BSN programs promote your professional transition to an RN license, nursing core requirements remain fundamentally similar. Here are examples of core courses found in programs offered online and those located New Jersey:
- Community Health Nursing
- Advanced Adult Health Nursing
- Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice
- Transition to Professional Nursing
- Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
- Advanced Mental Health Nursing
- Nursing Leadership and Management
- Advanced Maternal-Child Nursing
A huge chunk of your LPN-BSN program is dedicated to clinical training completed at local facilities. The school offering your LPN-BSN degree has likely established practice partnerships with nearby clinical sites where they regularly place students. In many cases, you’ll find many of your hours can be completed right where you currently work.
Some examples in New Jersey include:
- Capital Health System
- Hunterdon Medical Centers
- Francis Life
- Princeton Medical Center
- Visiting Nursing Associations
- Bacharach Rehabilitation
- AtlantiCare Home Care
- Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
How to Migrate from an LPN to RN License Through the New Jersey Board of Nursing
You can begin the process of RN licensure in New Jersey before you even graduate from a LPN-BSN program. So if you are already getting antsy, get started by following these easy instructions:
- Register to take the NCLEX-RN exam with Pearson Vue.
- Complete an online application and pay $200 in fees.
- Submit proof of legal status and criminal history documents.
- Grant authorization for a criminal background check and get fingerprinted.
- Request your official nursing school transcripts get sent directly to the Board.
- Await your Authorization to Test notification.
- Schedule your NCLEX-RN exam. Test sites are located in Princeton, Piscataway, Staten Island, and Atlantic City.
- If successful, you will receive a RN license from the Board.
For more details go to: New Jersey Board of Nursing.