For LPNs who want to advance their career, and earn a higher salary, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree may be the best next step. BSN degrees can help LPNs become registered nurses (RNs) and open doors to leadership opportunities down the road. Registered nurses earn a median annual salary of $75,330 as of May 2020, and growth in job openings is expected to hit 7% between 2019 and 2029.
What’s more, many schools have LPN to BSN programs designed specifically for experienced LPNs. These programs build on their LPN experience and focus only on the elements they need to prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN. Online LPN to BSN programs can make career growth even more convenient for LPNs. The online format is often asynchronous, which means students can finish their coursework whenever and wherever they see fit. There may be some real-time elements, as well, although many programs and courses keep student needs first.
Ready to explore an online LPN to BSN program? Review EduMed’s top schools for LPN to BSN degrees online in 2021.
Best LPN to BSN Programs Online in ‘21
For LPNs looking to move up, it can be hard to find the time for education. Going to school while working requires dedication from the student, and flexibility from the program. To help, more and more schools are beginning to offer LPN to BSN bridge programs with online components. These opportunities allow you to take advantage of online learning for the academic portions, and schedule the hands-on elements on campus or a nearby third-party site. But which online LPN to BSN programs stand out?
EduMed.org has researched and analyzed online program data from more than 7,700 accredited schools across the U.S. The goal was to identify the LPN to BSN programs with the best combinations of online coursework, affordability, and student and career services. The following schools made top marks this year.
|#||School Name||Type||Cost||Online Programs||More Details||School Information||Online Students||Academic Counseling||Career Placement||Students w/Institutional Aid||Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry||Accreditation|
|1||Indiana State UniversityTerre Haute, IN||Public||$$||1||
Indiana State University’s LPN to BSN program is available entirely online, except for clinical requirements that can be completed in the student’s community. No campus visits are required. Students must already be a licensed LPN/LVN to apply for the program. After successful completion of the required courses and clinicals, students will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Some of the required courses include microbiology, chemistry and society, rhetoric and writing, human anatomy, human physiology, mental health nursing, nursing leadership, and nursing care of adults. Online students, regardless of where they reside, will be charged non-resident tuition.
LPN/LVN to BSN
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
|2||University of ArkansasFayetteville, AR||Public||$$||1||
The University of Arkansas offers an online LPN to BSN program that has no required on-campus visits. Students choose a six- or eight-semester study plan that consists of 120 credits. Academic courses are typically eight weeks long, and practicum courses run a full semester. Fall and spring program starts are available. Students must have an LPN/LVN license in good standing and have certain prerequisite courses to be admitted. Courses students may take include older adult nursing, informatics for the professional nurse, health promotion across the lifespan, child and family nursing, pathophysiology in nursing, and critical care nursing.
LPN to BSN Online Program
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
|3||University of MaryBismarck, ND||Private, Not-for-Profit||$$$$||1||
The University of Mary offers a two-year blended LPN to BSN program that allows students to complete most of their coursework online, with a minimum requirement of 23 residency days on campus. It is CCNE accredited, costs $605 per credit, and is available to those in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Students looking to apply must have an LPN license in good standing and must have completed 1,000 hours of direct patient care within the last two years or have graduated within the last six months. Courses included in the 126 required credits include nutrition, pathophysiology, pharmacology, concepts of intravenous therapy, clinical judgment in nursing, medical/surgical bridge, critical care nursing, and community health nursing.
LPN to BSN
|AccreditationHigher Learning Commission|
Explore Online LPN to BSN Programs in Popular States
- LVN to BSN Programs in California (Online & On-Campus)
- LVN to BSN Programs in Texas (Online & On-Campus)
- LPN to BSN Programs in Florida (Online & On-Campus)
Profiling LPN to BSN Programs Online
When it comes to online learning in healthcare, so many questions come up. How does it work? How long will it take? Can I afford to go back to school? The best way to answer these questions is to dive into the details of a program. To help, we’ve collected information on two of the most popular LPN to BSN online programs available today.
How Online LPN to BSN Programs Work
Online LPN programs work by allowing practical nurses to leverage their existing training and experience. This allows them to obtain a bachelor’s degree and become registered nurses more quickly than a student without a nursing background. But since many LPNs will want to continue working while in school or have family obligations to honor (or both!), online programs offer the flexibility busy students demand. Even if some hands-on work is required, the bulk of the courses can be completed online. Many schools go a step further and design their curriculums so that they can be completed at either a full-time or part-time pace. Here’s a look at a full program, from prerequisites to graduation.
How Long Are LPN to BSN Online Programs?
How long a program lasts depends on two major factors: the type of program a student chooses – whether full-time or part-time – and the number of credits a student has when they come into the program.
In most full-time LPN to BSN programs, students should expect to take about 18 months to earn their bachelor’s degree, assuming they have already completed all of their general education and prerequisite courses. However, this time frame will lengthen to two or more years if the student is only taking courses part-time.
In some instances, students may be able to earn their BSN in less than a year, depending on which semester they begin, if they pass the programs nursing entrance exams (allowing them to skip over certain nursing courses) and have previously completed the prerequisite and general education courses.
How Much Do These Programs Cost?
There is no general rule when it comes to calculating how much it will cost to complete an LPN to BSN program. Each school has its own tuition policy concerning tuition and fees for online nursing students. Some schools will charge them a special online rate, while others may charge them a rate based on their state of residency, such as a lower in-state rate or a higher out-of-state rate. Some schools might also offer financial aid that is more robust than what students will find elsewhere, which can change the bottom line quite a bit. Therefore, students interested in a particular school’s program should be extra careful when calculating cost of attendance and never assume a certain tuition rate applies to them, and should never discount the opportunities for financial aid. The best bet is always to speak to a financial aid advisor before enrollment.
Does the LPN to BSN Online Bridge Prepare You for the NCLEX-RN?
The vast majority of LPN nursing students enrolled in a BSN program will want to become registered nurses. Any quality LPN to BSN online bridge program will fully prepare its graduates to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam, which is a requirement to earn the right to work as a Registered Nurse.
However, this may not be important for those who want a BSN, but don’t wish to become registered nurses. Regardless of the future career path, it’s important that these students still look for an LPN to BSN program that will provide adequate training and instruction to pass the NCLEX-RN. That’s because preparing students for this very important exam is a mark of a high-quality program, and any job that requires a BSN will probably expect the BSN holder to have received a level of instruction that is adequate enough to pass the NCLEX-RN.
What Are the LPN to BSN Admission Requirements?
The precise admissions requirements will vary based on the specific LPN to BSN program. But for most prospective nursing students, they should expect to comply with the following admission requirements:
- Completion of an admission application.
- Up-to-date resume or curriculum vitae.
- Copy of the applicant’s LPN or LVN license.
- Graduation from an accredited or approved practical nursing program.
- A short list of professional references.
- Completion of certain nursing-based prerequisite courses with a minimum GPA.
- Pass one or more school specific nursing entrance exams, such as the National League for Nursing (NLN) Acceleration Challenge Examinations.
- A minimum amount of practical nursing experience.
Are Online LPN to BSN Programs Accredited?
Accreditation refers to the independent review of a school’s curriculum to determine if it meets the standards of a solid, high-quality education. In other words, it confirms a degree is more than a piece of paper. It helps ensure a graduate’s hard work doesn’t go to waste.
When it comes to accreditation, there are two primary types. There’s regional, which refers to accreditation of the school itself. Then there’s programmatic, which deals with the accreditation of a specific program. When it comes to LPN to BSN bridge programs, there are two accrediting bodies, either of which will ensure graduates are prepared to pass the NCLEX-RN and practice as registered nurses after graduation. The first is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, or CCNE. The second is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, or ACEN.
To become a licensed registered nurse, applicants must graduate from a nursing program approved by their state nursing board. In many instances, accreditation will ensure the program meets this requirement. Additionally, accreditation helps students obtain financial aid. Most private scholarships and government-based aid requires attendance at an accredited post-secondary institution.
What Can You Do After an LPN to BSN?
When it comes to earning a BSN, many people might think it means they’re locked into a future career as a registered nurse. While it’s true that many BSN graduates will start their career as a registered nurse, there are a number of different careers available that can be just as challenging and fulfilling. Here are a few of the options: