PLAs for Nursing Students: Earn College Credit for Work Experience

PLAs for Nursing Students: Earn College Credit for Work Experience

Nursing students have a chance to make their degree journey shorter by getting credit for their past work experience. This guide explains how to use past learning to your advantage. An RN-BSN degree takes time and money, often around three years or more. Students can save both by earning college credit for their past job training or other non-academic experiences.

To get credit for prior learning assessment (PLA), nursing students must show that what they’ve learned from previous experiences can be applied to college-level courses. Most schools need at least two years of practical experience as an RN for PLA credit. There are four PLA options for nursing students:
1. A portfolio that shows how well you know the subject, evaluated by experts or school faculty.
2. A standardized test on the subject offered by organizations like the College Board’s College Level Examination or Advanced Placement Examination.
3. Exams made by nursing programs to test the content of specific courses.
4. Credits for work, volunteering, or military training from the American Council on Education (ACE) or the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS).

usa nursing papers

Struggling to meet your deadline?

Get your assignment on PLAs for Nursing Students: Earn College Credit for Work Experience done by certified MDs and PhDs in the USA. ORDER NOW!

10 Essential Soft Skills for Nurses

Research in Nursing Education Perspectives shows that a lot of nursing students see PLAs as a flexible and affordable way to graduate faster compared to those without PLA credit. PLA students finish their degree sooner and spend less overall.

Assessing Past Learning in Nursing School

Nursing students might get credit for past learning from various experiences like work, military training, research, and volunteering. But not all experiences count for PLAs. Nursing schools make sure that students have formal knowledge equal to RN-BSN course requirements.

A common PLA used by nursing programs is individual experience assessment. Students make a portfolio for college credit based on their work experience and other learning outside of class. The portfolio shows how these experiences fit college-level courses.

Another popular PLA is assessing non-college education and training. This checks if occupational, volunteer, or military training is equal to college credit. ACE or NCCRS do these checks, or schools may work with employers, like hospitals, to see how good their training is.

PLAs and RN-to-BSN Programs

Some nurses get their RN license after a four-year BSN, but many RNs with an associate degree or nursing diploma go into an RN-BSN program. They can bring in credits, including PLAs, to graduate in three years or less. BSN grads have different healthcare jobs, often in charge and with higher pay than nurses without a bachelor’s degree.

PLA rules change between programs, so nursing students should talk to an advisor about credit limits, costs for PLA credits, and if their past counts. Students can get PLA credits from tests or challenge exams at the start. As they go through the program, they can choose to give a portfolio in one or more nursing areas to show they have college-level knowledge and skills for PLA credit.

Competency-Based RN-to-BSN Programs

Competency-based education (CBE) is becoming more common in nursing programs. It lets students learn at their own speed, which saves time and money. Instead of taking classes on a set schedule, students in these programs earn their RN-BSN degree by showing their skills and knowledge. This is done through assessments that focus on real nursing tasks.

Working nurses might not like traditional classes because they already know the material. CBE programs understand that what you learn at work counts. So, returning students can turn their work skills into college credit.

Unlike getting credit through PLAs, which are usually about specific classes and started by students, CBE is used for whole nursing programs. The CBE program checks how well students know what they need for nursing careers. They use standards set by nursing experts.

The Importance of ABHES and CAAHEP Accreditation in Nursing

Using PLAs for Nursing School

Nursing students often use PLAs to get college credits for work and life experiences. Each nursing program has its own way of doing this. Making a portfolio is a common way to show you have the skills needed for nursing.

In RN-BSN programs, students get clear instructions for making a portfolio. It explains how to show proof for three nursing areas: community and population healthcare, leadership and management, and research and evidence-based practice.

For all three areas, you need at least two years of RN practice experience. If you’re making a portfolio for community healthcare or leadership, you also need proof that you worked in those areas for a year.

According to the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), getting PLA credits, especially through portfolios and tests, helps students stick with their studies and finish their degree. CAEL’s recent study says students who get PLA credits are less likely to stop studying because of personal, financial, or work-related issues. They’re also more likely to graduate, especially if they get PLA credits early on.

Prior Learning Assessments for Nurses during COVID-19

CAEL and other foundations looked at how COVID-19 affected education. They say we need to focus more on PLA to help students and workers get the education they need to find jobs after the pandemic.

People who make the rules and educators need to understand, expand, and support PLA. It’s important for degree programs and job training. Many people lost jobs due to the pandemic and need new skills for new careers. Schools and training programs must respond to what students need, especially those who aren’t traditional students. This means giving more options to finish degrees and changing rules about paying for PLAs.

Giving credit for past learning will make the workforce stronger after the pandemic. It will encourage students to join degree and certificate programs that build on what they already know, which saves them time and money.

The Future of PLAs for Nursing Students

As the need for healthcare workers grows, nursing students will benefit from more ways to use PLAs. The CAEL study has four suggestions to make PLAs better, and these apply to many subjects.

1. Schools should explain how PLAs give credit for work experience and help students learn new skills.
2. Schools should guide students on how to use PLAs at different parts of their education, starting from when they join.
3. Even though PLA credits make degrees cheaper, many students, especially those with less money, can’t afford education. Schools should work with others to change rules about paying for PLAs.
4. COVID-19 showed how sudden changes can hurt the economy. Schools, employers, and governments need to work together and use PLAs to be ready for changes. This will help students and keep the quality of education high.

usa nursing papers

Dont wait until the last minute.

Provide your requirements and let our native nursing writers deliver your assignments ASAP.

You cannot copy content of this page

WhatsApp Us
Our service is 100% Secure & Confidential.
Native USA experts will write you a Top-quality Nursing Paper from Scratch.

WhatsApp Us, We are Live!