Archive for November, 2012

Balancing Life and Schooling

Friday, 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

Friday, 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

Friday, 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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