A licensed practical nursing degree is a solid first step towards a rewarding and challenging career in the field. But for nurses interested in advancing their careers, additional education is often required. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), LPNs can transition to a Registered Nurse (RN) designation which will mean higher wages and more diverse job opportunities.
Enrolling in an LPN to BSN program is a convenient and practical way to achieve a significant professional boost. Read on to learn more about what a BSN can do for you.
- Program Basics
- Program Length
- Online LPN to BSN Programs
- Obtaining Licensure
- Finding the Best LPN to BSN Program
LPN to BSN programs, such as those offered by Indiana State University and The College Network, are designed to give LPNs the additional skills and training required to move ahead in their field. With a BSN degree, nurses may perform more advanced tasks and have the opportunity to specialize in one area of medicine such as pediatrics or mental health. While you may become an RN with just an associate’s degree, a BSN is a prerequisite for many entry-level positions that offer respectable salaries. Notice in the chart below the mean annual wage for registered nurses in the private sector. With a BSN, nurses can expect above-average salaries:
An LPN to BSN program follows an accelerated path, shortening the time it takes to earn the degree. Traditional BSN programs take about four years to complete but students entering this program already have their LPNs. Students are therefore allowed to both test out of several courses and also transfer their previously earned credits.
Remember that an LPN to BSN program requires students to take general education courses such as English, history, and mathematics in addition to nursing classes and clinicals. Some general education courses might transfer if you completed college-level work at another institution. Contact the school’s admissions department to find more information about transferable credits and equivalencies.
Online LPN to BSN programs are specifically designed for working professionals. The flexible nature of online classes allow you to earn degrees while meeting your career responsibilites. Other benefits of online study include:
- Cost: Online programs often cost significantly less than traditional schools. While tuition may be comparable, you save on room and board, additional student fees, and commuting costs.
- Scheduling: Online programs offer both flexibility and customization. Students can schedule courses around work and other commitments. Many schools offer nursing degree programs that can be pursued entirely from home. Attending classes online also frees up a lot of time by eliminating the commute.
- Quality: Online learning utilizes innovative technology and skilled support to create an educational and collaborative environment. Students receive a top-quality education from highly qualified professionals in the field.
- Accessibility: Distance learning is at an all-time high with more programs being offered online. Students have their choice of online associate’s and doctorate nursing degrees, hybrid online programs, and accelerated baccalaureate degrees. The graph below illustrates just how popular distance learning programs are in today’s education system:
After graduation it’s time to study for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse and start practicing medicine at the RN level in your state. You may take as much time as you need preparing for the five-hour long test.
It’s important to note that each state has its own licensing and certification criteria. Contact you state’s nursing board to schedule the exam. For more information on how to prepare for the exam, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing for a content overview.
Before your search for an LPN to BSN program becomes overwhelming, make a list of your personal criteria. There are many options to consider in both online and campus colleges so be sure to research the program resources, student feedback, and faculty experience. Also, be sure to verify the school’s accreditation so you may qualify for scholarships, grants, federal student loan forgiveness programs and other forms of financial aid.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Program
When you look for degree information online, look beyond each school’s website to find as much information as you can. Your future and your finances are at stake so it’s important to make an informed and educated decision.
- Accreditation: It is important to choose a school that is accredited by one of two national accrediting agencies – The National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission or The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
- Examination Success: Make sure to ask all schools for their record of examination rates for the past few years. If students have a high pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), you know you’ll be well prepared for test day.
- Hands-on Experience: Clinical rotations are a vital component of any nursing program. This is the time to observe doctors and nurses, care for patients, and collaborate with the healthcare team. Therefore, it’s important to know how much time you’ll spend in clinical rotation and what hospitals and clinics schools partner with.
- Tuition: The cost of tuition and other related fees can be a serious hurdle. Tuition varies greatly and not all schools over financing options. When researching schools, contact a financial aid representative to learn more about scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and other aid resources.
As nursing programs continue to expand, both on-campus and online, students have more options than ever before. From accelerated programs to online degrees, you can begin your nursing career in just a few short years. is Our list of accredited schools will link you with the right program to help you get ahead.
Find the LPN to BSN program that's right for you by filling out this short form below: