The Nursing Bridge Program: Building a More Secure Career
When Danielle Gogert became a mom, she knew she wanted a solid career that would set her up for success and job security—and becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) would offer that. At the time, she could not yet afford a four-year university program on a CNA salary, and so she decided to first enroll in the Practical Nursing (PN) program at Carrington College to prepare her for LPN.
“I wanted to get my schooling done quickly, and I knew that getting my Practical Nursing certificate first would mean an increase in pay,” Danielle explains. “My plan was then to go back to school and get my RN while working as an LPN part time.”
Danielle received her Practical Nursing certificate from Carrington College and worked as an LPN for five years before getting her RN. She completed the Nursing Bridge program at Carrington College in August of 2019, and did her clinical work at Vibra hospital in Boise, Idaho.
Danielle is now a Nursing Bridge graduate—with almost a year of experience working as an RN. The Practical Nursing certificate and the Nursing Bridge degree programs can each be completed in as few as 12 months.
“I believe that you get out what you put into something,” Danielle says. “Carrington is a fast-paced program. They give you everything you need to succeed as a nurse, but it’s ultimately up to you to use that education to study and succeed.”
The fast pace of school carried over to her first job as an RN, too—and that suited her well.
“When I graduated from (RN) school and passed my National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), I immediately got a job in outpatient surgery with an excellent wage,” Danielle says. “I’m a nurse who likes organized chaos, so outpatient surgery was the spot. It was fast paced but I always knew what to expect.”
Danielle has a great schedule—Monday through Thursday, with no working holidays. Because she has her compact license, which allows her to practice nursing in multiple states, she recently moved to Arkansas and currently works as a Case Manager in Hospice; her years of LPN and RN experience helped her land a job as a Case Manager.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented one of the biggest challenges for Danielle as a hospice nurse, during a time when most nursing facilities are not allowing outside guests to visit and only allowing essential hospice workers in.
“The hardest thing for me is watching my patients’ loved ones communicate with them through the glass of their bedroom. Hospice is a wonderful resource that allows patients to die comfortably and peacefully. I often say I work in heaven’s waiting room. I get to work with the most fragile of patients and COVID-19 has really put a kink in allowing families to see their loved ones in their last months of life, and that has been the hardest for me to sit and watch.”