LPN to BSN
"This program will allow me to grow and develop into a competent Registered Nurse who can provide total care to a patient. I want to be able to do it all."
Fellow nurses inspired Tinatra Carr, a licensed practical nurse, to go back to college to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
In 2018, Carr sat by her brother’s bedside while he was in an Intensive Care Unit. The critical care nurses who tended to her brother impressed her with their skill, expertise and compassion, Carr said. She knew in that moment that she wanted to work in the ICU.
She knew she had to advance her education to grow her nursing career, she said. She enrolled in the online L.P.N. to Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program offered by the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing in the College of Education and Health Professions.
“Critical care is the area of nursing that I want to do,” Carr said. “The LPN to BSN program here at the U of A will allow me to exceed the level of competency that it takes to become an ICU nurse. I was placed on this earth to touch hearts, and what better way than to take care of people who are ill and unable to care for themselves?”
Becoming an RN will allow Carr to expand the care she can provide to patients, she said.
“I have been an LPN for over 13 years, and I feel blessed to have been exposed to many different aspects of nursing, but to me, being an LPN is no longer enough,” Carr said. “This program will allow me to grow and develop into a competent Registered Nurse who can provide total care to a patient. I want to be able to do it all.”
Carr, who works at a local hospital in Fayetteville, said the online LPN to BSN program is fast-paced, but it is flexible enough to fit her personal schedule.
“I can’t physically be on the campus because I work for a living,” Carr said. “In this program, I am able to study in the evenings but still spend time with my daughter. It’s easier to keep work, home and school balanced.”
Every day after school, Carr and her 8-year-old daughter, Promisee, have a routine for studying and completing homework. That routine was interrupted in March 2020 by the COVID19 Pandemic, but Carr’s coursework, which is 100 percent online, continued as usual. Her clinical hour requirements at hospitals were canceled, but she made up the required hours through online virtual patient simulations, case studies, Kaplan Assignments, and other tasks.
Throughout Carr’s coursework, U of A nursing faculty were quick to respond to her questions, she said.
“I still reach out to several of them from the previous semesters,” Carr said. “They give me so much insight and provide me with the resources and tools that allow me to pull information from various sources that are useful in the courses. I have been very pleased with my professors in this program thus far.”
The LPN to BSN program at the U of A offers nurses a flexible path toward a bachelor’s degree, Carr said.
“I am thrilled to help advocate for this program because I think that LPN’s need to know that this program exists and the importance of continuing their education,” Carr said.
The BSN program also will provide the foundation Carr needs to continue her education in the future, she said. She plans to enroll in the master’s degree in nursing education after completing her bachelor’s degree in May 2021.