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Just graduated from LPN, how soon should I start RN bridge?


Hi there,

I just graduated from LPN & will be taking my NCLEX-PN in 2 months. I feel burned out from school & in $25k debt (credit card) for living expenses & school. My wife works & pays for everything but we are still in debt. I feel burned out from LPN school & financially overwhelmed because of our debt.

Should I work for a year as an LPN, to atleast help pay down our debt before I do the LPN to RN bridge program (another $30k in student loan) or go straight to the bridge program & suck it up & plug away at it for another 15 months? Thank you very much for your honest advice.

nekozuki, LPN

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 5 years experience.

Aren't most bridge programs online? My local community college offers an online bridge, and I found a home health agency that will do tuition reimbursement. So, I'll be working in the field making money while working on schoolwork as I do 12-hour shifts sitting at the patient's bedside with nothing but time on my hands, and now my schooling will be free. Check out your options!

Thank you! I was thinking of doing that. Im in Tampa, Fl & the online LPN to RN bridge program I found so far is Excelsior but Im not sure how legit the program is. The community colleges around here don't offer the bridge program online unfortunately.

Hi there,

Should I work for a year as an LPN, to atleast help pay down our debt before I do the LPN to RN bridge program (another $30k in student loan) or go straight to the bridge program & suck it up & plug away at it for another 15 months? Thank you very much for your honest advice.

Why does a bridge cost 30K? That's crazy. SCF in Bradenton will have a weekend bridge starting soon, and I'm sure it won't cost 30K. I can't imagine spenting a total of 55K on an associate's degree.

I hope you find a better option.

Thank you for your post. The $25k debt is credit card debt for living expenses (school was $7k). The bridge program includes the pre-reqs since I don't have them. I will check into SCF in Bradenton. I thought you have to be a resident there & have pre-reqs completed? Is that true?

Lucky for those not living in NJ, the state of nj requires you to be licensed for atleast 6 months to even enter a bridge program.

proud nurse, BSN, RN

Specializes in Medical Oncology, Alzheimer/dementia. Has 15 years experience.

I was an LPN for 9 yrs before doing the bridge program. That was wayyyy too long. My advice is to not do that, lol. I think since you have concerns about debt, it would be best for you to find a job and work for a while to pay some of it off. Perhaps a year or so, also that will give you an idea if you really like nursing and want to continue this path. You might find that LPN is exactly where you want to be. Or not, but whatever you choose, you've worked hard and are entitled to a break if that is what's best for you and your wife.

Now you focus on the nclex...good luck!

I would work as an LPN for a few months to a year first. This gives the you chance to pay down some of the debt (after all the longer your debt sits on credit cards, the more you owe). The most important thing however is that it will give you real world experience. This helps a ton in class. It gives you an insider prespective.

Also like someone said, most employers offer some sort of tuition reimbursement to help. My particular facility only offers 2,000 a year, but it helps!

Are there any grants you can apply for? I had grants for the majority of my nursing education until the last year, and then my tuition remibursement covered most of that. That will help with college costs as well.

I know many people dont work during the nursing program, but it is possible to do both. I am the primary provider in my family (with 2 kids) so I didnt really have a choice. I was busy, but did both. In the end I provided for my family, had real work experience, have current work experience, and graduated last week.

BTW Im an unusal LPN bridge as I entered into the RN program, did the first year and the LPN option then took some time before going back (which also meant I only had two semesters left, not 15 months). However for our college, to enter as an LPN bridge you had to have worked as an LPN for 6 months to even apply. So make sure that isnt a requirement at your school of choice.

I graduated in 2011 from LPN school and started working part time and started right up again with my prereqs at my local CC, applied for their bridge program and started the 3 week LPN mandatory classes in June of this year and then started the "real" semester with the rest of the students in September, med surg. I am still working part time while in school and none of it's online. CC are way cheaper and you may be able to get financial aid or grants, so look into that too. I only have 1 more semester to go now and I will graduate with my ADN. Because I didn't wait and jumped right back in, most of the material I am learning I still remember from LPN school, which is great! Good luck.

Thank you very much everyone for the wonderful advice. I will take some time & evaluate what will be best for my wife & I.


Specializes in LTC, Agency, HHC. Has 8 years experience.

If I were you, I would work and pay down that debt. That cc interest rate is gonna kill you!! If you can work it out so just one of your paychecks goes to the cc and you can use the other paycheck for expenses, do it. And cut up that credit card!!!


Specializes in pediatrics. Has 1 years experience.

To back as soon as you can, the longer you wait the harder it will be to give up the rise in income.

Edited by sosopretty08
Misspelled words