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Did you work during your bridge program?

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I'm plugging away at my LPN to RN program (part time student), I also though work full time during the day and have two kiddos 2 & 4 years old. Financially I can afford to not work (or perhaps gain PRN employment) for the remainder of my time in the bridge. After a year of carrying 9-10 credit hours per semester and working full time, I'm hitting a wall and would like to quit but am worried about job chances after graduation. I have a 4.0 but it is becoming tougher to maintain as the classes become harder, I just simply run out of hours in a day. What do you all do during your bridge, PRN, etc? If you do not work are you afraid you will not gain employment as easy after you pass RN boards?

Ella26, BSN, RN

Specializes in Allergy and Immunology. Has 3 years experience.

I graduated LPN to RN in Dec. 2012. I worked full-time M-F 830-5pm and went to school full-time (12credits). Class was 6-10pm on Thursday nights. I would work 830-5pm then class. And clinicals were on weekends 7-3pm sat + sun, and sometimes Monday and Tuesdays nights 3-11pm. I would work from 830-130pm and use vacation time for the other hours (I was lucky to have a job that let me do that). I do not have kids so that made things a heck of a lot easier.

Ella26, BSN, RN

Specializes in Allergy and Immunology. Has 3 years experience.

I would say though if you feel overwhelmed and can afford not to work as much go for it. I could not afford not to work.

PaintedWings♥

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home health. Has 3 years experience.

If you are able to, I would recommend going PRN. That is what I did and I am very happy with my choice. I have more time to focus on my schoolwork. I am doing very well. I have 2 other friends that are also LPNs and also in the program. Both of them are working full-time. Our program is full-time and does not have a part-time option. One is going to be going part-time at work since her grades are slipping and she is worried. The other is working full-time and has 3 young children. She does not have the option of cutting back hours, but she is managing very well. Do what is best for you. Good luck!:)

SquishyRN, BSN, RN

Specializes in ER, Trauma, Med-Surg/Tele, LTC. Has 10 years experience.

I worked full-time (3 12s during night shift) during my bridge program. My grades suffered (mix of As, Bs, and Cs) and I didn't sleep every Friday for 3 months (clinical 0630 to 1530, work 1900 to 0730), but it was worth it because I'm employed as a new grad RN in the LTACH where I worked. As an ADN new grad in Southern California, though I've applied to hospital positions, I haven't even been offered an interview because the competition is so tough. I've been offered positions in LTC, since that's where most of my LVN experience lies, but I'd rather be in acute care while I'm young.

BSNbeDONE, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, LTACH, LTC, Home Health. Has 34 years experience.

Definitely keep a foot in the door at your current job until you are absolutely certain you have that first RN job locked down. I dropped down to the BARE minimum before receiving my degree 4 years ago, sometimes only clocking in once a week. Good thing, too, because one agency that I worked for as an LPN said they were going to have to let me go unless I continued on as an LPN because the facilities wanted the RNs to have at least 2 years of experience. It didn't matter that they were used to seeing my face. My 20+years as an LPN were acceptable; but my zero years as an RN was not. Fortunately, I still had my hospital job and I remained there for another year and a half after passing the NCLEX until I got a job near the ocean. I clocked out for the last time on Saturday morning, drove the 3+ hours to my new location on Sunday, and clocked into orientation on Monday. Did not miss a beat on the clock...

beckyboo1

Has 30 years experience.

I dropped back to working 12s every weekend and is working well for me.

Cuddleswithpuddles

Has 11 years experience.

I worked full-time (3 12hr shifts) during my full-time bridge program. I had no other choice, really. I had no family support, scholarships only did so much and the job market is extremely tough in Southern California.

My LVN work experience made me marginally more marketable but, ultimately, my personal connections and preceptorship were what landed me an acute care job after graduation. If I was able to stay afloat, I probably could have stopped working and still gotten the same job prospects through networking. Staying employed during my bridge program did not seem to give me an edge in the job market.

drkncurly1

Has 7 years experience.

I can relate, I am getting ready to start the nursing program in July and I am trying to decide if I can work full time or not. I have kids who participate in sports and a husband who travels for his job.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 14 years experience.

What do you all do during your bridge, PRN, etc?
I worked 32 hours per week while attending the LPN-to-RN bridge. I would work 16-hour weekend double shifts every Saturday and Sunday from 6:00am to 10:00pm and attended school every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.