Advanced Placement Nursing


Happy Friday! I am currently a LPN and full time RN student in an Advanced Placement Nursing Program. Over the past few years I have realized many people don’t know how a program like this works, so I thought I would share some information about the Advanced Placement Nursing Program. In this post, “traditional students” are the students who are doing the full two year nursing program.

A transition nursing program, also called a LPN-RN bridge program or transition nursing program, is a RN program that allows a person who already holds a health care license to obtain their RN in a shorter amount of time by receiving credit for past schooling and work experience. In my program, we will earn an Associate Degree in Nursing when we graduate. Paramedics, Respiratory Therapist, and Licensed Practical Nurses are accepted into my program. In order to apply, you must:

  • Hold a current license in your field
  • Have 6 months documented work experience in your field
  • Complete all the same prerequisite courses as the traditional students
  • Take the TEAS test
  • Letters of recommendation from employer or school of nursing

My program accepts 8 students, four times a year. The first term (7 weeks) you take Transitions Nursing, Physical Assessment, and a Fundamental Skills class. Transitions Nursing is the challenge for sure, it is all three of the Med-Surg classes the traditional students take, with a dash of fundamentals and pharmacology, in 7 weeks. It is rough! Many instructors who teach traditional students come to teach us their subject area, and they would tell us they are teaching four days of material in one day! You also have to pass the Fundamentals and Med-Surg ATI in two tries during that seven weeks. If you don’t know what ATI is yet, it’s basically an NCLEX prep/predictor standardized test to see if your knowledge is sufficient to have a high chance of passing the NCLEX in that content area. Luckily, as an LPN, I had taken Fundamental and Med-Surg in my practical nursing program, so a lot of it was review for me. Even with that, I still spent hours a week in the library, Starbucks, and home studying. We also did clinical on a post-op orthopedic floor.

The physical assessment class is a way to make sure you are up to date on your assessment skills. The instructors for my class are both very experienced nurses and now nurse practitioners so they were absolutely amazing in this class! We spent a lot of time in lab practicing on each other and they really made sure you knew how to do a proper assessment of all of the systems. The skills class was simply a lab based class where we proved competency on skills like wound car, catheters, tracheotomy care, and NG tube placement.

After passing these three classes, the school grants you 21 credit hours for phase 1 and 2 of the program, which brings you to the last phase of the nursing program.  We then join the traditional nursing class and follow through the last phase of the program with them. That means psych, OB, pediatrics, advanced med-surg/critical care, and leadership/preceptorship. Essentially, they allow you to “skip” the first year of the traditional program. Don’t get me wrong though, you EARN those credits in the transition class and through your previous degree!

I am currently entering my second semester of the program. I have completed Transitions, Physical Assessment, Fundamental Skills, and Psych. So far, I love the program! I can really say my experience as an LPN is helping me with my classes. I feel like I already have a firm grasp on a lot of my med/surg and fundamental knowledge so it is helping me to better understand what I am learning in a more in-depth way. Clinical is also a lot less scary this time after working as a nurse for the past three years (although I still get nervous!) I definitely would encourage any LPNs (or other specialty) that is interested in continuing your education to look into an Advanced Placement Nursing program! I am very excited for the new opportunities this program will provide for me and I am loving everything I am learning. It is definitely tough and requires a lot of time and dedication, but I think it will be worth it.

If you have any questions about Transition Nursing or Nursing School in general, please ask!

3 thoughts on “Advanced Placement Nursing”

Laiyah B.

Hi Megan I found you Instagram and when I saw the advance placement post I thought it was interesting and came to your website. I would like to know what advice could you give me going back into the nursing program. First I would have like to say that i started out as a medical assistant then a nurse assistant . I went to school for Lpn then changed my mind with the encouragement of some teachers to be a rn. With my credits I transferred to chamberlain college of nursing as a sophomore in 2014. I had a house fire and a baby so I stopped. I started back then I lost a love one which changed my lifestyle as for living situation and my job so I stopped again. I really want to start back because I want to do it for me and my kids and I don’t find another professional that fits me. I would like to be a L&D travel nurse, but I have lack of motivation when I see everyone in nursing school graduating except me. I’ve been working towards my career for about 5 years now and I was 23 at the time of starting now that I’m 27 going on 28 I feel it’s too late for me because my scheduled graduation date was March 2016 and now I’m looking at June 18. Any advice

Megan W

I absolutely think you should continue your education and go back to school! Being a CMA and CNA are great experiences and will make nursing school a lot more understandable for you! I know nurses who it literally took them 20 years to become an RN so you are definitely not to old and have not taken to long! Nursing is a rewarding career and an amazing way to support a family because of the flexibility it provides! Please let me know if you have any more questions! Good luck to you!


Thank you sooo much for this post!! I have been searching for any information about the bridge program. I was just accepted and wanted to see what I was getting myself into.

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