Online LPN to RN Bridge Programs

The LPN to RN Program is designed for the working Licensed Practical Nurses who are willing to pursue further education and become registered Nurses. The LPN education and experience is very helpful in the LPN-to-RN Bridge Program. The program offers an in-depth curriculum which is necessary to become RN. After the successful completion of the program, the LPN becomes eligible to sit for the national RN licensing exam, NCLEX-RN. The LPN to RN programs is available in two forms: LPN-to-ADN and LPN-to-BSN. The LPN find the coursework quite simple as a lot of the previous practical knowledge makes the understanding easier. The RN curriculum offers a more theoretical part that we find in the transition from the LPN course. The career options to the RN is enormous. They work ins several setting and can earn many specialized certificates as well.

If you are working as a licensed practical nurse and want to pursue your education and career further as an RN? Following this path, you can properly utilize all the educational and clinical tactics that you have learned while working as an LPN. To accomplish this, you can enroll in an LPN to RN bridge program. Some of the roles and responsibilities of these two nursing professionals are similar, but at the same time, they are different on account of numerous measures. Before getting into this, you should be aware of various facts and procedure that one needs to follow in order to transit from a practical nurse to an RN. So, we are here to elaborate the LPN-RN bridge program and brief its significance.

Purpose of LPN to RN Bridge Programs

The LPN to RN bridge program allows the practical nurses to become registered nurses by making them study some beneficial mandatory courses that also act as a bridge and fills the gap between LPN and RN profession. This program is said to the best way to become an RN. The bridge program trains the individuals and enhances their critical thinking skills. Registered nurses are more interactive with the staff and follow the instructions of the doctors closely. They are indulged in making health care plan for patients.

LPN-to-RN Entrance Exams

Some prominent nursing schools have limited seats for the program. So, they take entrance test in order to intake best learners. The popular entrance test conducted by a majority of the nursing schools are:

Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS):

This test is taken to determine the candidate’s proficiency in Science, English, and Mathematics, grammar, scientific reasoning, life sciences, and algebraic formulas.

National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination:

The candidates are evaluated through multiple choice format including subjects such as general biology, earth science, algebra, geometry, and health.

LPN to RN Education Options

There are three options available to go for LPN to RN educational bridge programs with certain merits and demerits. Irrespective of whichever you opt, some things are common among them. They are as follows -

  • You must have a GED or high school diploma
  • You must be a graduate from an accredited education program and must have an unrestricted and current licensed practical nursing license.
  • Must have completed a minimum number of clinical hours (as determined by the respective nursing board) and instructions.
  • In the end, all the options make you eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and gain the licensure as a registered nurse.

LPN to RN Classes & Courses

Most important thing that makes an LPN to RN transition or bridge program an easier option to become a registered nurse is the valuable experience that empowers and gives speed to their further education. Though programs offered by various schools, colleges or universities may vary depending on some factors. Still, most of the concepts that individuals encounter with are same, such as -

  • Understanding the basics of various systems of the body (reproductive, nervous, skeletal, muscular, integumentary, endocrine, digestive, lymphatic, urinary, cardiovascular, and respiratory).
  • Knowledge about the defense mechanisms of the body
  • To know why exercise is important
  • Evolve the general view of the molecular as well as molecular mechanisms of a cell.
  • Knowledge of diversity, evolution, and ecology and their roles in the human physiology.
  • Knowledge of the patterns of evolutionary change that occurs in alleles.
  • Converse about the diversity of living organisms and the way it is related to evolutionary processes.
  • To completely understand human traits, evaluate natural selection as applied to invertebrates, plants, and vertebrates.
  • Go through the evolution completely comprising mechanisms of extinction, adaptive radiation, speciation, and phylogenetic.
  • Knowledge of the structure, development, physiology, and classification of animals that start with protozoa and terminate with vertebrate mammals.
  • Analyze relationships that organisms hold, specifically microorganisms, with each other and their environment not only on the micro but also on macro levels.
  • Advance the practices (evidence-based) related to person- and family-centered care.
  • To maintain strong relationship bonds with patients and their families.
  • Evaluate that nursing has a crucial role to play in the quality feedback cycle as it is related to care.
  • Examine the system, insurance, hospital and policy stakeholders.
  • Analyze work-flow of nurses in different medical conditions.
  • Evaluate top ethical and decision-making models who can guide the aspirants for patient care of high standards.
  • To be a part of a variety of clinical settings with advisers and partners, initially as an observer, and finally with numerous opportunities for autonomy
  • Evaluate and examine various aspects of clinical settings

Availability of LPN-to-RN Online Programs

Just like other nursing programs, the LPN-to-RN online programs are also available at several community colleges and private nursing schools. The best part of the LPN to RN online program is that it offers schedule flexibility and a great advantage over the traditional program. The working LPNs opt for the Online track it allows them to continue their studies without taking a break from their current job. As the RN curriculum is based on theory part, the LPNs prefer to complete it online by enrolling themselves into any accredited nursing school. The online LPN to RN program follows a hybrid model allowing the individuals to gain clinical experience in person.

The school provides the clinical work materials in the LPN to RN online program. The students are allowed to find their own site for gaining clinical experience or the school finds one local health care facility. There are certain guidelines while looking for LPN-to-RN programs online.

  • If your schools ask you to find the clinical site, then find it at first and get the approval of the school
  • Check some reliable websites for the programs which range from hospitals to school system
  • The course materials and quizzes will be displayed online. You can take help of online videos and simulations
  • The professors assist online through email

The following characteristics of an individual determine whether he/she is fit for the LPN-to-RN online program:

  • Get assignment done according to deadline and loves to work independently
  • You need to manage time with work and family
  • You have separate space in home for study
  • You are not interested in networking with other students

The online LPN-to-RN program prepares you to qualify the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Timeline for Online LPN to RN Program

A typical LPN to RN Program takes 70 credit hours to complete. The duration of the program is 1.5 to 2 years. The length of the program also depends on the educational history of the individual and personal circumstances.

Application Process:

The students are required to search websites and research on the colleges that offer the online LPN to RN Program. They need to verify all the aspects and then make the decision. The admission process varies from schools to schools but involves some common processes mentioned below:

  • Official transcripts to be submitted to the college
  • Qualify the entrance test
  • Fulfill prerequisite coursework, 2.5 GPA or higher is preferred
  • Submission of application attached with letters of recommendation, proof of LPN licensure, current CPR card, employer verification letter

First Year:

The first year of the program comprises of the foundation classes. The subjects include human anatomy, psychology, chemistry, and microbiology. The students start taking their bridge classes that drive into the RN curriculum.

Second Year:

In the second year, the students get to learn specialized topics such as adult health, obstetrics, and pediatrics. The advanced topics like crisis care and leadership in nursing are covered that is precisely dedicated to registered nurses.

Nursing School Accreditation

It is highly recommended that students pursue their LPN-to-RN program, whether on-campus or online through the nursing schools accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The accreditation ensures that the school and the program meet the strict criteria for delivering quality education. ACEN accredits certificates in nursing, Bachelor's, Masters and doctorate degree programs. CCNE accredits Bachelor's, Master’s, and residency programs. The agencies also offer grants and scholarships to the needy students. The schools that are not accredited are not eligible for the federal aid. The nursing schools are required to apply for the renewal of the accreditation as it is voluntary and it is valid for a certain period of time.

Top Nursing Schools in the U.S Offering Online LPN to RN Program

1. Indiana State University

Indiana State University delivers majority of its LPN/LVN programs online. The college has a learning library named The College Network. The students get the required credit hours to complete the program. The program requires 76 low level credit hours and 43 hours upper-level credit hours. There are no waiting times and that is the benefit of this system. The Indiana state University online LPN to RN program is only open for the United States residents and closed for residents of other nations including U.S. territories, or Canada.

  • Campus: Terre Haute, Indiana - Online
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: NLNAC
  • Degree requirements: LPN/LVN
  • Programs: Nursing (LPN/LVN to BS)

2. Allegany College of Maryland

The Allegany College of Maryland have requirement for practical course but the students need not to visit the college. The college organises around their specific location. ACM's online program has immense range of traditional classroom courses that offers flexibility as per the requirement of the students. The Associate Degree Nursing Program at ACM is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing, the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing, and received accreditation from the Accreditation commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The NUrsing program at Allegany College of Maryland is also known as a Health Manpower Shortage Program. The non-resident of Maryland are also eligible for the in-country tuition rates.

  • Campus: Cumberland, Maryland; Everett and Somerset, Pennsylvania - Online
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Minimum time commitment: 18 months
  • Degree requirements: Entrance exam, LPN/LVN license, English proficiency, Academic transcripts
  • Programs: LPN-RN Online Program

3. Rue Education

Rue education is one of the established entity in providing online education for adult learners. Rue Education provides only online programs. The system offers tutor help to each and every student. The support network works efficiently in providing academic support services to the nursing students. Rue Education also offers low monthly payment and grants for active LPN license holders. The institute take students feedback on a regular basis in order to upgrade its interactive education system. It provides on-time test-taking tips, study skills, time management tips and motivation.

  • Campus: Online
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: NLNAC
  • Degree requirements: LPN license
  • Programs: LPN to RN online

4. Hutchinson Community College

The LPN to RN Online Bridge Program offered at Hutchinson Community College is designed for LPNs with valid license who want to pursue education to become Registered Nurse. The LPN to RN Bridge program is delivered in an interactive manner completely online. The applicants are required to qualify in the Kaplan Entrance Exam. The necessary subjects for admission include Maths, Reading, Writing, Science.

  • Campus: Hutchinson, Kansas - Online
  • Type: Community college
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Minimum time commitment: 70 credit hours
  • Degree requirements: PN program accepted in Kansas, IV therapy certified, prerequisite courses, HESI entrance exam
  • Programs: LPN to RN Online Bridge

Job Outlook for LPN's Going to Become RN's

There is no doubt in increasing job demand of nurses all over the United States of America. As per the statistics, there is an augment of 19% in the job outlook for registered nurses is estimated in the country. This rate is quite faster than the other jobs. As per the data of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2,857,180 employed registered nurses in the U.S. in May 2015. Other than this, the salary of RN professionals is also quite alluring. Thus, a career in this healthcare profession is considered as a beneficial path for aspirants who not only want to serve the people in need but also, desire to set a bright future. Obviously, the candidates who get into registered nursing through the bridge program have their greatest strength as experience. They don't need to fight against the odds of the job role of a registered nurse. Thus, such candidates have more scope to explore their potentials.

LPN to RN Salary Comparison

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics May 2016 report, the annual median wage earned by the LPNs stood at $44,090, while the annual median salary earned by the Registered Nurses stood at $68,450. The employment of RNs is reported to grow by 16 percent between 2014 to 2024. The Rgistred nureses with Bachelor of nursing degree will have better job prospects. The employers also prefer nurses with good amount of clinical work experience. Here is the salary comparison of LPN and RN:

Name of the StateLPN Annual Mean SalaryRN Annual Mean Salary
District of Columbia$53,100$79,560
New Hampshire$47,800$67,190
New Jersey$53,300$79,840
New Mexico$46,760$66,030
New York$46,500$78,950
North Carolina$41,940$60,460
North Dakota$41,250$58,890
Rhode Island$55,230$76,410
South Carolina$39,410$61,110
South Dakota$36,270$55,100
West Virginia$35,680$58,010

What To Expect From LPN to RN Online Program

If you are going through a busy schedule and don't have time to attend long classroom lectures, you can opt for an online LPN to RN bridge course. Such programs are quite popular in today's scenario, and they are getting popular with each day. They are an excellent substitute for traditional methods of gaining education. Individuals who are employed as the licensed practical nurses can undertake the online RN program to become registered nurses. The program prepares the candidates for the NCLEX-RN test. The degree and license obtained after completing the online course would be equally valued.

But, along with many advantages of online programs, there are some cons which make it unsuitable for the expecting nurses. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of online bridge programs are discussed below -

Pros of Online LPN to RN Programs

  • The students enrolled in an online LPN program have great advantages as it is flexible and convenient.
  • It is a good option for those who have a busy schedule and can't attend a regular course.
  • The application process for the online programs is much easier than the regular full-time courses.
  • In addition to this, they are much cheaper than the traditional courses. Attending a regular program requires the candidates to purchase school uniform, driving to school, the cost of fuel, etc. During an online program, the students can comfortably sit at home and gather all the knowledge, putting the entire focus on studies.
  • The students can take the admission in online courses all year round. Unlike conventional on-campus courses, in online programs, it is entirely up to the students that how much time do they want to devote to their studies.

Cons of Online LPN to RN Programs

  • The major drawback of the online program is that the students feel lonely in the absence of human interaction. When we attend the regular classes, discussions with other students regarding various aspects of the nursing boost our enthusiasm. On the other hand, online classes lack the motivation.
  • The students may not get the answer to their doubts at the same time they pop up in their mind. In a regular classroom, they are cleared instantly through discussions.
  • Various online programs are available for the aspirants, but it's difficult to find the accredited one. Your degree is of no use if it has not been obtained from an approved program. So, ensure about the accreditation of the course beforehand.
  • Certain schools conduct online classes on the contract basis, in which, the students are asked to pay for the classes which were not even attended by him/her. The candidates should read and understand the contract clearly before getting into it.
  • Online programs do not offer clinical experience. For completing the clinical part, the students are required to search the hospitals or health care facility on their own.
  • You can get success only if you properly manage your time between study, family, and work. The habit of procrastination may cause you fail to finish your course.