Surviving LPN to BSN Online Programs

Supplies for an LPN to BSN Online Bridge Program

quote image with info on lpn to bsn online classesIt may seem like an LPN to BSN online program would require different supplies than an in person program. However, online programs generally require the exact same supplies as an in person program. Online programs work with local hospitals to bring you into a clinical environment. An online program will always need a computer, but an in person program may not. Other common supplies include…

  1. Scrubs, nursing shoes, and white socks. Sometimes your program will send you school specific scrubs with their logo. Sometimes you will need to buy them yourself at a store. Nursing shoe requirements are often specific. You will need to pay close attention to your school’s uniform requirements.
  2. A reliable stethoscope.
  3. Bandage scissors specially shaped to protect skin.
  4. A penlight.
  5. A pocket notebook for taking notes on clinical days.

These are all nursing program specific supplies. In addition, you need supplies like textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, and binders. Most of your homework will be online. However, physical notebooks and textbooks make studying much easier.

LPN to BSN Online General Classes

In addition to clinicals, LPN to BSN online programs require many basic or general classes. Almost every bachelor’s degree in the US requires some form of general classes. These classes include…

  • Two English classes.
  • Two Math classes.
  • Two Life or Earth Science classes.

There are also science classes that every nurse must take. These are much more specific to nursing knowledge.

  • Anatomy and Physiology 1 & 2
  • Microbiology
  • Lifespan Human Growth and Development

These classes are often given different names, but they all teach the same material. Some colleges will leave out the Lifespan Human Growth and Development course because the material is included in Anatomy and Physiology. This all depends on the program. You need to speak with your academic counselor to know which specific courses you have to take for your program.

Taking LPN to BSN Online Clinicals

accreditation blue graphic for nursesThe clinical portion of the LPN to BSN online program varies depending on the school that you attend. Some schools require that you find your nurse preceptors yourself. Other schools have partnerships with local hospitals which will work with you directly. Always be wary of programs offering “no clinicals”. These programs are often not accredited. That means you can't get your RN certification. The only program that doesn’t have clinical classes is the ADN to BSN program. Nurses with an ADN degree have already completed their clinicals. After you’ve gotten your clinical classes sorted out, you will practice in 4 general areas. These include…

  1. Fundamentals
  2. Medical/Surgical
  3. Pediatrics/OB GYN
  4. Psychiatric

Some programs will require additional clinical study areas, like gerontology, or critical care.

Prepping for LPN to BSN Online Courses

Nursing school is hard, but you can alwblue image with blue text giving tips on getting good gradesays make it easier by preparing yourself properly. Preparation for your courses begins at the start of every semester. You will receive a syllabus for every class you are attending online. After you’ve received the syllabus, there are 3 things that you can do to prepare for the class properly.

  1. Study the syllabus to understand how the professor grades the course. Many students lose important grade points by forgetting or misunderstanding how their professor grades. Make special notes if tests are weighted, quiz grades dropped, or if extra credit is available.
  2. Create a calendar for ALL the due dates outlined in your syllabus. Use the notes that you took on how the class is graded to keep yourself up to date on what each due date means. Make sure that the calendar is something you can access easily and often. There are several calendar apps for your phone which you may want to use if possible.
  3. Buy all the textbooks that you will need before you attend your first class. Showing up to class without the necessary materials is a big mistake for any degree. You may want to start studying the first few chapters.  This will familiarize you with the way the material is formatted. Doing this helps you better understand how to study for the rest of the semester.

Once you’ve taken care of each of these things you will be properly prepared for the school workload.

How to Study for LPN to BSN Online Tests

LPN to BSN online tests are difficult. The nature of BSN online programs mean less hands on and more academic work. It is also difficult to know where you are going wrong. Some professors do not respond to their emails quickly enough. However, with enough studying, you can always make a passing grade on your tests. There are many guides on study strategies for BSN degrees, which can easily be applied to LPN to BSN programs. We’ve compiled some of them here for you.

  1. The guide on the How to Study website is a great place to start. It is 12 chapters long and summarizes the basic approach that everyone should take for studying. Every student should be familiar with this approach. It explains not only how but WHY you should study.
  2. There are several guides for studying at the Straight A Nursing Student website. Each of them are highly recommended. Nurse Mo, who runs the blog, even has a paper nursing school planner that she designed herself.
  3. Nurse Amy ran the blog Amy47 while studying for her RN licensure. The blog hasn’t been updated in a few years, but her thorough study notes is a good option to work with. Use the dropdown at the top of the page to select which notes you’d like to use. 

How to Work While Attending an LPN to BSN Online Program

Time management is key if you are working while attending a nursing program. You will need to work out a time conscious system for yourself. You need enough time to study AND enough time to work and support yourself. This can be extremely difficult for a number of reasons.

The main reason is that studying for nursing school properly takes an estimated 40 hours a week. Working full time is another 40 hours a week. If you sleep 8 hours a night for 7 nights a week, that’s another 56 hours. That leaves exactly 4.5 hours a day to get ready in the morning, eat breakfast, run errands, eat lunch, exercise, eat dinner, socialize, and take care of yourself. It surprises most nursing students how little 4.5 hours will feel to take care of things.

You can utilize time management systems such as apps, physical planners, and spreadsheets. Ultimately, the perfect system for you will be one that you understand and use every day.

Ellen Garmon

About Ellen Garmon

Officially, I'm a writer. Unofficially, I connect people with each other in honest, unique, and beautiful ways.