Bridging is an academic pathway that expands the existing knowledge, skills, and experiences of the students. In Ontario, Canada the registered practical nurses (RPNs) who would like to become registered nurses (RNs) must take a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) degree via a certified RPN-to-RN bridging program. Several studies have been conducted in relation to transitions from RPN to RN. Various findings have emanated from these studies. For instance, a systematic review study conducted by Suva et.al (2015) found out that RPN-to-RN bridging can be regarded as situational transitions. These transitions entail changes in position, functions, and responsibilities and these are some of the changes which RPNs undergo in their progression to RNs via the bridging programs. The paper reflects on the personal meaning of RPN-to-RN transition using scholarly references.
Transitional conditions uncover individual, or community situations that enhances and limits successful transitions. According to Suva et.al (2015), the crucial RPN-to-RN transition conditions are time-based and thus can be classified according to the desire of pursuing the program, admission in the program, and adopting the new RN responsibilities. On the other hand, the patterns of response relate to the processes and the outcomes that are characteristic of a certain transition. When this construct is applied to the RPN-to-RN transition experience, the process indicators defines the successes encountered as one enters and progresses through the bridging program. Outcome indicators are the resulting measures of a fruitful transition obtained upon completion of a bridging program which includes the acquisition of knowledge and skills, achievement of professional goals, and RN licensing (Suva et.al, 2015).
According to research, the transition from RPN-to-RN is regarded as a situational transition which commonly describes educational and professional role transition, and transitions that occur throughout the educational programs. Situational transitions entail changes in positions, functions, and responsibilities, and RPNs who pursue the bridging course to become RNs experience the changes. A study conducted by Linda et.al (2010) found that there are various challenges encountered by Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) as they take steps to enroll in transition option programs. The perception of many LPN students is that they execute the roles of RN in their current practice in absence of RN license. The process of changing this thinking paradigm with respect to the scope of practice in relation to the RN and LPN comprises one of the main challenges encountered by such students.
Majority of the LPN transition students prefer working for full-time to maintain their earnings and benefits inclusive of educational benefits. The LPN transition student is obliged to work full-time to fulfill his or her financial obligations due to changes in the nationwide economic climatic change. Most LPN students are single parents or primary supporters of their family. The students are forced to work for long hours, usually, 36-40 hours per week to cater for tuition fees and health insurance coverage (Linda et.al, 2010). Other problems include experiencing difficulties with dosage calculation tests that must be completed at the onset of the semester. A study conducted by Jones et.al (2017) found out that 1.4% of the LPN population underwent an LPN-to-RN transition. The rate of transition remained relatively stable, ranging from 1.1-1.9% during the 13 year period the study was based on although the LPN-to-RN transitions utilized a small portion of the total LPN population.
There are various meanings of transition from RPN to BScN prepared RN. The first implication I will get from the transition is increased payments. In most of the cases, the RNs are more advanced in knowledge and receive much more payments as compared to RPNs. The transition from RPN-to-RN requires one to pursue a 4-year nursing degree and must pass the national licensing examination for the individual to qualify for RN position. As a consequence, this transition implies that I will gain more knowledge as I interact with my bridging course from RPN to RN.
There are various similarities between the transitions I am undergoing through from RPN-to-RN and the one I underwent to RPN several years ago. Some of these similarities include school workload, learning new knowledge, application of critical skills and following the same delegation guidelines. In the transition from RPN-to-RN will expose me to new knowledge which is similar to what happened several years ago. I will be required to apply critical thinking skills in my day to day operations which drives the decision-making process and impacts the quality of care in both transitions.
The transition from RPN to RN is much different than the one I underwent through to RPN. Maturity is one of the differences because I was very young during my transition to RPN but now I can show maturity in several aspects such as age, execution of responsibilities among others. My experience was limited several years ago as I was new to the nursing profession but now I have several years of experience. The school work is much more challenging than the one I was reading in the transformation to RPN and thus this is also another difference. The transition to RN also means more pay hence I will be able to boost my earnings. An RN has more responsibilities as compared to RPN which calls me to dedicate more time and be committed to executing them. Other differences come in the fact that in RPN-to-RN transition I will have a good foundation of background knowledge, less traumatic, increased scope of practice and will have more opportunities as compared to RPN transition.
Bridging is an academic pathway that expands the existing knowledge, skills, and experiences of the learners. RPN-to-RN transition conditions are time-based and can be categorized according to the desire of pursuing the program, admission in the program, and adopting the new RN responsibilities. Working for long hours, usually 36-40 hours per week to cater for tuition fees and health insurance coverage is one of the challenges faced by LPN students (Linda et.al, 2010). School workload, learning new knowledge, application of critical skills and following the same delegation guidelines are some of the similarities I encountered between RPN-to-RN transition and transition to RPN which took place several years ago. The differences manifest themselves in terms of maturity, increased school work, a good foundation of background knowledge, less traumatic, increased scope of practice and more opportunities.