Many licensed practical nurses have a strong desire for advancement in the nursing field, specifically to the position of registered nurse (RN). Becoming an RN is typically the next step in a nurse’s career and has greater career advancement opportunities after expanding their knowledge base and becoming more credentialed. However, since a university degree is not required in order to practice as an LPN, many students do not know where to start. One excellent thing to consider is an LPN to RN bridge program.
Use the links below to quickly answer some common questions about LPN to RN programs:
- What is an LPN to RN program?
- Who are LPN to RN bridge programs designed for?
- How long does it take to become an RN?
- Are there online and other bridge programs available?
What is an LPN to RN program?An LPN to RN program is an accelerated-degree option for LPNs, or licensed practical nurses, who want to advance their careers. These programs are specifically designed to help LPNs acquire further qualifications in a short time. The curriculum consists of traditional courses as well as hands-on training through practicums or internships.
When researching your options, consider the following questions when determining what program is right for you:
- Is the program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or both?
- Does the program prepare graduates for licensure examinations and transition into practice?
- Does the program match your career goals and suit your lifestyle by offering flexible scheduling and online options?
The following online programs fulfill these criteria and can be excellent options for LPNs. Click on the program name to request more info.
Indiana State University - Indiana State University offers a robust online program designed for LPNs wanting to become registered nurses and earn their BSN degree. Since ISU’s credits transfer to over 80 campus majors, this is an ideal program for people wanting to open opportunities for their career down the road.
The College Network - The College Network is a partnership with several universities and organizations like the National League for Nursing that focuses on online education and programs, offering several courses and prep programs for nurses or those interested in a nursing career. Specifically, TCN helps students prepare for their LPN and RN licensures and move on to earn graduate degrees.
Click here to see a list of more nursing degrees.
Who are LPN to RN bridge programs designed for?
LPN to RN bridge programs are geared specifically towards LPNs who are currently practicing and wish to be properly prepared for their National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). This exam can be quite challenging, so taking courses specifically designed to give students information and problem solving techniques that will be useful for the test can be a huge benefit.
These bridge programs sometimes offer students a way to obtain an associates degree, which will further increase their nursing credentials. Additionally, some of these programs will allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. While this type of program will be longer, the higher degree level can often result in a significant earnings increase for the nurse.
How long does it take to become an RN?
LPN to RN bridge programs typically take about two years of study for completion. This time can be decreased with prior credit, or if the university allows you to test out of certain subjects and courses. On the other hand, the period of study may be increased if you decide to attend class on a part-time basis, have to take a term off, or change your major. Online programs, from schools like Indiana State University or The College Network, usually take the about same length of study.
Are there online and other bridge programs available?
Distance education can be an excellent choice for nurses who don’t want to stop working as an LPN in order to become an RN. The flexibility offered by online LPN to RN courses can also be helpful for anyone who has family commitments. While a majority of the coursework may be completed online, it is important to note that clinicals will still need to be completed in person.
The nursing education field has many bridge programs available, including bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) to master of science in nursing (MSN) and MSN to doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs. However, our guides below cover the bridge programs that would apply to those who are interested in becoming RNs specifically and do not exceed the bachelor’s degree level.
- LVN to RN Bridge Programs — Licensed Vocational Nurses are the LPN equivalent in some states. This program offers an accelerated path to becoming a registered nurse.
- LPN to BSN Bridge Programs — LPN to BSN bridge programs offer an accelerated path for LPN who are interested in becoming RNs and obtaining their bachelor’s degree as well.
- Paramedic to RN Bridge Programs — Paramedic to RN bridge programs offer paramedics an accelerate path to becoming an RN.
- RN to BSN Online Degree Programs — RN to BSN bridge programs are accelerated educational path for RNs to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing, especially useful if the ultimate goal is obtaining a master’s degree in nursing.