What You Need to Know About LPN-to-RN Programs
What are LPN-to-RN Programs?
LPN-to-RN programs are designed specifically for licensed practical nurses looking to further their education and career path. Using your LPN education and experience as a starting point, LPN-to-RN programs offer a more in-depth curriculum at an accelerated pace. Upon completion of this program, a licensed practical nurse has the qualifications to sit for the NCLEX-RN, the national RN licensing exam.
You can find LPN-to-RN programs in two forms: LPN-to-ADN and LPN-to-BSN. Many LPNs find that their practical knowledge helps with RN coursework while the RN program fills in nursing theory that isn’t included in LPN programs.
Fast Facts: Earning an associate s degree will allow you to work as an entry-level RN. You may also have opportunities to manage LPNs.
Program Length: One to two years
Where can I find these programs? Community colleges, vocational schools and some universities
Fast Facts: RNs with bachelor s degrees are more likely to receive promotions and autonomy, manage other nurses and receive higher pay. Nursing students in BSN programs can also choose specializations, such as pediatrics.
Program Lengths: Two to four years
Where can I find these programs? 4-year colleges and universities
As a licensed practical nurse (or licensed vocational nurse in California and Texas), you re an integral part of a health care team. Your experience working with patients each day has prepared you for more responsibility. However, unless you re a registered nurse, your career options and salary increases can be limited.
For a busy LPN, an LPN-to-RN bridge program is a perfect way to advance.
LPN-to-RN Bridge Programs
While the main purpose of an LPN-to-RN bridge program is to transition you to professional nursing, your education will include some non-nursing courses.
The bridge between LPN and RN is a collection of classes that fill the gap between the two career levels.
Before you can begin higher level nursing courses, you ll first have to complete a number of prerequisites. The specific courses and amount will vary depending on your educational background. The length of your program will also be affected by how many prerequisites you need to complete.
Prerequisites typically fall in the general education category:
English composition, Anatomy and physiology, Biology, General chemistry
Be sure to check with your school regarding time limits for prerequisites. In some cases, if you took these courses more than five, seven or 10 years ago, they won t be considered valid.
If you choose the BSN route, some schools will allow you to use some of your LPN experience as credit. In this case, the length of your program is shortened since you ll jump into the BSN track around junior year.
Once you start the nursing curriculum, your courses will vary based on the degree you re earning. If you re working toward an ADN, you ll learn about adult health nursing and transitioning to the role of RN. As a BSN student, your coursework will be more comprehensive including studies in public health, leadership and nurse management. Here s a sample of classes you may encounter during your time in an LPN-to-RN program.