Balancing Life and Schooling

November 23rd, 2012 by RNBP Admin

LPN to RN ClockGoing to school is challenging.  Having a family is challenging.  Being a spouse, parent, or just an adult working a full time job and maintaining a home is challenging.  Though when you put all those things together and decide to start an RN bridge program, you take challenging to a whole new level.

There are people out there who do all those things and manage to be successful in the process though.  How do they do it?  I’m sure that people have many different ways of managing all of the stress and time constraints that come along with going back to school, but maybe there are a few general strategies that can help just about anyone maintain a reasonable balance between schooling and the life that goes on around them.

1. Make sure your family is on board.

As you plan to go back to school, sit down and have a serious discussion with your family about what it may mean to them.  Chances are you will have less time to spend with your spouse or children.  You may have to tighten the budget so you can work fewer hours and spend more time studying.  Other family members may have to take on an increased chore load as you spend more time hitting the books.  In spite of all of this, reassure them that your completion of an RN bridge program will pay off handsomely in increased pay, greater opportunities, and more control over your career.

2.  Make a reasonable schedule and stick to it.

Take an honest look at all of the hours in a day, take out work hours, commute time, and the time it takes you to shower, eat, and sleep, and find the best time for you to carve out an hour or two of study time each day.  Bear in mind the other things that go on in your household on a regular basis and be flexible.  Don’t try to schedule study time during your daughter’s slumber party or your son’s piano lesson; instead, plan to study after they’ve gone to bed.  Or, if you’re fresher in the morning and can retain more of what you read while you’re still drinking your coffee, maybe you can grab some time after the kids leave for school.  The important thing is to find time to study when it is best for you.  Making a smart schedule can provide the structure and balance you will need to succeed.

3.  Consider an RN program from home.

One way to simplify balancing your school and home life is to take an RN bridge program online.  This type of program eliminates the commute time you would have if you went to a traditional school and allows you to choose when, where, and how you take your classes.  You won’t be forced to shape your schedule to the preset schedule of a brick and mortar institution.  Instead, you can mold your school and home schedules into a manageable program that accommodates all of the demands on your time and attention.  Taking online programs is not for everyone; however, there are a lot of resources available so even the most skeptical student may find they are able to successfully complete a distance learning program.

Whether you decide to go to a traditional school or take an RN program online from home, balancing your work, school, and home life can be very challenging.  With a little determination, some creativity, and a little assistance from your family, though, it is possible to achieve your academic goals without letting the rest of your life fall by the wayside.

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Writing the Best Resume As a Nurse

November 16th, 2012 by RNBP Admin

Nurse ResumeObviously there are a lot of reasons to earn an RN degree.  One of the most important would be for the great career opportunities.  RNs are in high demand and as the population grows and ages, that demand is going to increase.  Whether you chose to get your degree from a traditional school or by taking an online bridge program, you now have the option of choosing the career that is right for you.

Finding that career may not be too difficult, but actually getting the job may prove to be harder than you think.  In order to get an interview, you have to stand out from the crowd, and the one sure way to do this is to write a resume that will get you noticed.  There are plenty of resources available to assist you in writing your resume, but a lot of those are pretty generic.  You can use them for your basic outline, but to write a resume as a nurse, there are some specific things you should remember.

First, keep it pertinent.

Your participation in the band or choir at school is not going to matter much to that nurse recruiter who is considering you as a candidate for a position on the surgical floor of your local hospital.  Instead,  highlight your past work experience in an acute care setting or mention any individual research you may have done on various organ systems or diseases.  Look carefully at the description of the job you want and tailor your resume to showcase those areas that are relevant to that position.

Second, focus on current and past certifications.

Are you certified in ACLS or PALS?  Are you an American Heart Association instructor?  Be sure to list your certifications or associations with any specialty organizations early in your resume to let a prospective employer know who you are and what you can do.  If you have held a certification in the past and perhaps let it lapse, you may want to consider reinstating it if you feel it will be important for the position you desire.

Third, don’t forget the volunteer work.

Especially if you have never held a paid clinical position, listing your medical volunteer experience will show an employer that you are at least familiar with clinical processes.  It will also highlight your caring nature and desire to help other people even before you were in a position to do so professionally.

Fourth, be thorough but succinct.

This isn’t the time to test your creative writing skills by writing lengthy paragraphs about how wonderful you are and what a great asset you will be to the lucky company that manages to snag you as their next employee.  Mention every one of your accomplishments and accolades, but do it in a format that is quick and easy to read.  Show your potential employer how much you value his or her time by making your resume amazing, but brief.

Last, have someone proofread the finished product.

If you know someone who is responsible for hiring people, have them take a look to see what they think.  Even if they are not in the health care field, they know what to look for in a resume and can provide valuable feedback regarding form and content.

If you haven’t finished earning your RN degree online, now is the time.  Registered nurses are in high demand and the opportunities are endless.  Once you have that RN degree, write yourself an amazing resume to land the job of your dreams.

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Perks of an LPN to RN Program Online

November 9th, 2012 by RNBP Admin

lpn-to-rn-perksOnce you make that decision to start an RN bridge program, there are a lot of things to consider.  Perhaps the most important of these is which type of program you want to pursue.  There are a lot of different colleges and universities to choose from, many of which have excellent programs, but how do you decide which one is the best?  To find out, the first thing you may want to consider is whether you want to go to a traditional college or enroll in an online program.  Both of these have their strengths and weaknesses, but there are some clear advantages to choosing an online program to advance from LPN to RN.

The first advantage is the time you’ll save.  In an online program, there is no driving back and forth to school, no rearranging your schedule to accommodate classes, and no arbitrary amount of time you have to spend learning the material you need to know.   You decide when you want to take your classes, when and how you want to study, and you can arrange your schedule on your own terms.  You can work a full-time job, take care of your personal business, and do the things you need to do, all while completing an RN bridge program online.  It really is a great option for those who don’t have the luxury of dropping all other responsibilities to go sit in a classroom for 20 plus hours a week.  With an online course, you can study as much or as little as you need to and take the classes you need when you are able to do so.  There is a lot of flexibility inherent in an online program, and that makes it very appealing to those who already have a full schedule.

The second advantage is the money you can save.  Traditional nursing programs can cost thousands of dollars per semester in tuition alone, not to mention books, parking permits, lab fees, activity fees and all the other expenses associated with a traditional education.  With an online program, however, there are no lab fees, no activity fees, no parking permits, and the yearly tuition is a fraction of what you would normally have to pay.  You also have the option to pay as you go, meaning you only pay for one class at a time as you take them.  And here is the really great part.  With certain online programs, you don’t even have to take the class.  That’s right - as long as you learn the material and can pass the exam, it is not necessary to pay for the class itself.  You pay only the testing fee and for whatever resources - books, online study aids, etc. - you feel that you need to master the material to pass the test.  That alone will save you thousands of dollars over a traditional school, and you will never have to fill your gas tank to drive back and forth to class.

The third advantage is convenience.  Online programs are designed to fit into your schedule and allow you to learn at your own pace.  Need a little extra time to master Microbiology?  You’ve got it.  Are you able to learn the intricacies of Psychology faster than the average person?  Not a problem.  You learn at your own pace and take the tests when you are ready.  And you have the added convenience of doing all of your classwork in the comfort and privacy of your own living room.  Not a bad deal at all.  And quite possibly the best way to get from your LPN to RN.

So why wait?  Get started on that RN bridge program today.  The sooner you start, the sooner you can finish and become the kind of nurse you always wanted to be.

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What RNBP Members Have to Say…

May 29th, 2012 by RNBP Admin

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What Is Credit by Examination?

January 10th, 2012 by RNBP Admin

paramedic-to-rn-bridgeCredit by Examination award students credits that go toward earning an associate’s college degree, bachelor’s degree or college and vocational certification. Students take the examinations needed in their chosen field of study, which tests their knowledge in the subject. Testing sites throughout the US sponsor The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) and Advanced Placement (AP) exams at various times during the year. Most colleges consider the credits earned by the Credit by Examination program as transfer credits, so the college policies determine the earned credits for the degree.

The American Council on Education (ACE), approves other examinations recognized for college credit, such as the Excelsior College Exams and Dantes Subject Standardized tests, among others.

Top Benefits for Adult College Students
Most adult students have experience in the workforce that can go toward a degree program, saving them the time it takes to receive a four-year degree. Many adult students earn up to 40 credits toward a degree program through testing.

Another advantage of the Credit by Examination program is the money saved on college tuition. Most adult college student have families to provide for and spending under 100 dollars for an exam, saves thousands of dollars for college courses.

These examinations also help adult students who have already earned a degree but have been in the workplace for a number of years. They can earn continuing education credits for a graduate degree, using their work experience and specialized skills.

Preparing for Credit by Examination
Many adult students lack the confidence to take these exams because they are out of practice with testing and studying. This is especially true of those seeking medical careers, such as nursing because of the technical and medical facts needed to pass the exams.

Programs are available to help prepare for the exams in specific college fields if independent study is difficult or students feel intimidated by text book learning. One of these study programs is RNBridgeprogram.com, an LPN to RN bridge program that provides all the study skills needed to pass the nursing exams and earn credit for a nursing degree. This program allows students to study according to their own schedule using videos, webinars, practice tests and live support.

Programs like RNBridgeprogram.com help adult students remember what they study, boosting the self-esteem they need to pass the Credit by Examination exams. The program actually helps students pass all exams and courses needed to earn an ASN-RN, studying from home.

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RNBP News: Reform for Busy Learners

December 27th, 2011 by RNBP Admin

lpn-to-rn-bridge-programs

RNBP is in the news: The U.S. Nursing Shortage Leads to Training Reform for Busy Learners

With a national vacancy rate for registered nurses at more than 4 percent, the demand for nursing education programs to support the nursing profession, like RNBP , are critical. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "the U.S. will require 1.2 million new RNs by 2014 to meet the nursing needs of the country, 500,000 to replace those leaving practice and an additional 700,000 new RNs to meet growing demands for nursing services."

Read the full news release about (RNBP) RN Bridge Program .

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Social Media Guidelines for Nurses

December 19th, 2011 by RNBP Admin

“Social media use is ubiquitous, but inappropriate posts by nurses have resulted in licensure and legal repercussions. NCSBN has developed guidelines for nurses and nursing students for using social media responsibly. Key points of these guidelines are summarized, along with dramatization of potential scenarios of inappropriate social media use.”

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LPN to RN with RNBP- An Indepth Look

November 17th, 2011 by RNBP Admin

With RNBP you will earn your ASN-RN degree entirely through assisted self study, video instruction, live virtual lectures and by earning college credits through examination. As a healthcare professional you already have clinical experience, practical skills and academic credit that you can use toward an RN degree. After having your past college credits evaluated to see which ones you can transfer in you will bridge the gap of lacking credits by earning credits through examination.  Check out the video for more information.

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Studying for the NCLEX-RN?

October 27th, 2011 by RNBP Admin

The NCLEX is the most important exam that you’ll need to take in your career as a nurse. Need to prepare for the NCLEX review? Follow these tips to ensure that you are getting the most from your NCLEX Review.

  1. Know the exam. Become familiar with topics, format, and types of questions covered on the exam so you know how to focus your preparation efforts.
  2. Study area. Have a dedicated study space where you can keep your study aids and focus on regular basis.
  3. Practice schedule. Set up a reasonable practice schedule that you can complete each day.
  4. Concentrate. Studying with short, scheduled breaks will keep you focused and improve your ability to be sharp on test day.
  5. Study partners. If you can find some study partners, not only can you motivate one another, but you can collaborate on study techniques.
  6. Flashcards. Make or buy a set of flashcards and keep them with you so you always have the opportunity to get in a little extra studying.

As you study for the NCLEX keep in mind that most people are visual learners and can retain more information this way. As an RNBP member you understand how powerful video based learning can be. Our brains are wired to recall information a lot easier when we’ve first heard it using multiple senses. Video-based learning is the fastest way to learn, retain and apply useful information in a way that makes sense.

Thenclexreview.com is also a video based study program designed to feed you the right information in the best way so that you can learn both efficiently and effectively. It teaches you what you need to know to pass this important test. It lets the video be your guide as you test your knowledge through the practice exams. Thenclexreview.com will revolutionize how people prepare for the NCLEX.

Check out more information on the NCLEX Review.

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Your First Job After Nursing School

September 26th, 2011 by RNBP Admin

LPN to RN JobsWhen you transition from a nursing student to a working nurse, it’s important for the process to be as seamless as possible. Consider the following tips before beginning your first nursing job.

Ask About First-Year Nurse Turnover Rates

High turnovers are an indication of how the employer treats first year nurses. Generally you want to work at a facility that has less than a 20 percent turnover rate.

Find Out About Orientation and Preceptor Programs

A preceptor is a trainer or coach who assists nurses with becoming more acclimated with a facility’s routines, procedures and people. New nurses are more likely to stay if they have an experienced guide to inform and nurture their progress. A great question to ask would be “Will a preceptor be available on my shift after the orientation to answer questions and help with clinical decision making?” If the answer is now, then follow up with a question the facility’s orientation process. You want to make sure that you have enough support as a first year nurse to lessen frustrations and uncertainties.

Ask the nurse manager about the level of clinical, social and emotional support available for first year nurses. This support should include having experienced nurses on hand who are willing to help debrief a new nurse when they need help or extra support

Observe the Unit

A walk through of the unit won’t give you a realistic idea of how people work together. It takes a while for people to let their guard down and be their true selves when someone is watching. Therefore, make sure you observe for a few hours so you get a clearer picture of the unit’s interpersonal dynamics. You may even want to come back the next day and observe more. Try to picture yourself operating in the environment. If you’re having difficulty doing so, then this may be a red flag.

Consider Working on a Specialty Unit First

It’s easier for many new nurses to start on a specialty unit, such as labor and delivery or a highly staffed pediatrics unit, because the patients on those units are more standardized than those on a medical/surgical unit where there are a broad range of cases. There environments in these units are more controlled and the circumstances are more consistent.

Get Your Feet Wet

After getting the proper credentials, assessing potential job environments and doing your research, it’s important to just begin working. You’ll find that most of your learning will come from actually performing your nursing duties. The more experience you get under your belt, the better you’ll feel and the more confidence you’ll have.

Ready for a new career as an RN?  Check out our LPN to RN Bridge Program.

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