KLAMATH FALLS — Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN) has approved a proposed bridge program at Klamath Community College to allow active Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to now pursue Registered Nursing (RN) certification.
As staffing permits, KCC intends to recruit up to four practicing Licensed Practical Nurses as well as four active LPN students to begin the second year of KCC’s RN Program, beginning in the Fall 2023 term. Last July KCC was approved to revive its LPN program by OSBN, effectively doubling the number of nursing program graduates produced at KCC each year.
Previously offered as a fast-track licensure to begin seeking employment as a nurse after one year, the LPN program was deactivated at KCC in 2015 per OSBN mandate when KCC petitioned to launch a Registered Nurse (RN) program. Following the reactivation of the LPN program this year, a bridge program opportunity for currently practicing Licensed Practical Nurses to advance to Registered Nurse licensure was also sought and recently approved. Licensed Practical Nurses operate in a team-based supervised practice under guidance of a Registered Nurse, with the trend being that LPNs care for stable patients while RNs treat more severe or unstable patients. At KCC LPN cohorts undergo one year of coursework followed by state licensure testing, while RN students participate in a two-year program. Both cohorts require a rigorous pre-requisite course load and scoring system prior to entry into the KCC Nursing Program as well as practicing LPNs seeking entry into the program through the newly-approved bridge.
There presently is no work experience path for an LPN to advance to RN status, necessitating the need for a bridge program to provide career advancement opportunities for active LPNs to return to school. The typical annual salary difference between an LPN and RN is around $20,000-30,000.
Acceptance into the KCC Nursing and Bridge programs require minimum completion of pre-requisite general education coursework while maintaining a 3.0 GPA or higher, and passing a 10-panel drug screen and criminal background check. Preference is given to students who are multi-lingual. Practicing LPNs accepted into the bridge program will be required to take an eight-week transition course during the summer term prior to the start of fall courses.
With KCC’s Nursing Program growing, there is also a need for qualified faculty. Experienced nurses interested in participating in the KCC Nursing Program should contact Allison Sansom for instruction opportunities at 541-880-2223.
For more information about the KCC Nursing Program visit www.klamathcc.edu. Additional information and an application for the bridge program will be available starting in January.