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LPN to BSN Programs in Ohio: Online & On-Campus

Take your practical nursing skills, responsibilities, and salary to the next level by completing an LPN to BSN program in Ohio. This page tells you about these unique nursing bridge programs to help in your program search.


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As an LPN in Ohio, your skills are already in demand, but earning your BSN and becoming a registered nurse can boost your job prospects to an entirely new level.

“According to the state Office of Workforce Transformation, there are nearly 9,000 open positions for registered nurses,” Dr. Suzanne Smith, dean of nursing for Arizona College of Nursing’s Cleveland Campus, recently shared in an interview about Ohio’s shortage of RNs.

So how can you take the skills you already have as a practical nurse and quickly level them up to make yourself eligible for jobs with higher salaries and more meaningful contributions to patients? You can consider one of Ohio’s LPN to BSN programs that become a registered nurse and earn your bachelor’s degree at the same time.


Best LPN to BSN Programs in Ohio for 2024

You have options when it comes to choosing from among the quality LPN to BSN programs in Ohio, and those options come with abundant time devoted to research. We’ve made this step easier for you by identifying a few of the top accredited LPN to BSN programs in Ohio. These schools offer a solid mix of affordability, challenging academics, flexibility, and the student support you need to advance your nursing career. Use this list as a starting point for your search.

The University of Akron LPN to BSN Program

The University of Akron Nursing School is one of the top nursing schools in Ohio, making it a great choice for students looking for a high-quality education. Its LPN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and has a track record of higher-than-average passing rates for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) test. The program consists of 121 credit hours and can be finished in about three years (full-time) after prerequisites are completed. There is also a part-time option for increased flexibility. The school offers many resources for its students, including scholarships, technology support, and assistance with career placement. In addition to the LPN to BSN program, the University of Akron also offers several other nursing degrees, such as MSN and DNP graduate programs.

Kettering College LPN to BSN Program

The LPN to BSN program at Kettering College offers an accelerated way for nurses to earn four-year degrees. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and comprised of 125 credits. It takes three years for full-time students (fall, spring, and summer semesters) or five years if taken part-time. Whether your goal is to complete the program as soon as possible or take classes while balancing work and family, Kettering College offers options. Students begin clinical placement in their very first nursing class, so they’re well-prepared for life after graduation. Kettering has a 91% NCLEX-RN pass rate and an impressive 100% job placement rate.

Kent State LPN to BSN Program

The LPN to BSN program at Kent State University is unique in that it is one of the few schools in the nation that admits allied health professionals (e.g., EMTs, paramedics, physical therapists) to its bridge program. The program is also split into two parts to allow for increased flexibility. The first portion is comprised of 59 credit hours of prerequisites, and some students can transfer previously earned credits. This portion of the program takes a year or longer depending on enrollment status and transfer credits. The second portion of the program is comprised of 63 credit hours, takes 15-18 months, and is focused entirely on a nursing curriculum. This LPN to BSN program offers flexible learning options like online courses and weekend, evening, and daytime cohorts. Kent State University’s nursing program is accredited by CCNE and the Higher Learning Commission and is a three-time designated Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing. Graduates have a 95% NCLEX-RN pass rate, and almost 100% of Kent’s BSN graduates were employed within six months of graduation.

FAQs About LPN to BSN Programs in Ohio

What additional nursing skills and knowledge will I gain in an LPN to BSN program in Ohio?

In an LPN to BSN program, you can build on the skills you already have and deepen your knowledge of the nursing profession. For example, graduates of Kettering College focus on academic-based learning outcomes and practical skills. Students learn to synthesize knowledge from the arts and sciences along with nursing theory and practice to provide the very best care for patients. They do this while also performing technical nursing skills such as physical assessments and safe transport of patients. Students at Kent State’s program are paired with an experienced nurse for a preceptorship to gain exposure to research and evidence-based practices. Whether you want to specialize in a specific area of nursing or move into a leadership role, a BSN opens professional doors.

How long does it take to complete an LPN to BSN program in Ohio?

The length of most LPN to BSN programs is two to three years, but that varies depending on if you enroll part-time or full-time, if you’ve completed any prerequisites, and what cohort you’re in. For example, once students complete the necessary prerequisites at The University of Akron the program can be completed in three years. At Kent State, the LPN to BSN program is divided into two segments. The first section takes about a year and the second, nursing-focused section takes 15-18 months, depending on if you’re in a daytime or evening/weekend cohort.

How much do LPN to BSN programs in Ohio cost?

The cost for an LPN to BSN program varies a bit depending on the type of school and your background. If you already have some undergraduate classes under your belt, you may be able to transfer those credits and save some money. In general, it’s also usually less expensive to enroll in classes full-time. Part-time students often end up paying more in fees throughout their education. Finally, consider programs offering online courses. If you can take some prerequisites remotely, you may be able to save some money as well as wear and tear on your car.

Below are three real-life examples of the costs associated with LPN to BSN programs in Ohio.

What are the admission requirements for LPN to BSN programs in Ohio?

Successfully graduating from an LPN program is the most universal requirement for admission into a BSN bridge program. Schools vary in how selective their admissions processes are, but most require a GPA of at least 2.75, especially in previous science courses. Kent State requires applicants have a 3.0 high school GPA or a minimum 2.7 GPA and at least a 1,100 SAT or 22 ACT score. Depending on the program, students may be required to earn a certain grade in certain courses (e.g., a C in Biology and Chemistry) to stay enrolled.

Common admission requirements:

  • Graduation from an LPN program
  • Unrestricted LPN license
  • Clean background check
  • A 2.75-3.00 GPA or above (high school)
  • Completed admissions application

What should I look for in an LPN to BSN program in Ohio?

If you’re going to invest time and money into a nursing degree, ensure you’ll graduate with a quality education. The best way to do that is to choose an LPN to BSN program that is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing and accredited by the CCNE or ACEN and that demonstrates a high NCLEX-RN pass rate. It’s also a good sign when a school is institutionally or regionally accredited.

Can I get financial aid to help pay for my LPN to BSN program in Ohio?

Choosing an accredited school is important because it’s the only way to become eligible for federal and state grants and loans. LPN to BSN students have several ways to pay for their degrees, including loans (which you need to pay back) and grants and scholarships (which you do not need to pay back). There are also state-specific scholarships, like the ones available through the Ohio Nurses Foundation, for LPN to BSN students.

For more general information on financial aid and for tips on starting the process, don’t miss our nursing scholarship guide and our main financial aid guide.

A Look at Online and Hybrid LPN to BSN Programs in Ohio

Perhaps you’re thinking that an LPN to BSN bridge program is right for you, but you’re concerned about balancing your job or home life with your education. If so, consider finding an online LPN to BSN program in Ohio that features core classes and prerequisites that can be taken remotely. Some programs offer these courses asynchronously where you complete coursework on your schedule or synchronously where you must attend virtual classes at specific times. Online courses offer a lot of flexibility, especially for busy working professionals or students with other demands on their time. However, it’s important to note that all LPN to BSN programs require in-person learning for clinical hours, typically later in the program. If you’re interested in online courses, research specifics like if you’ll join a cohort or if learning takes place on your timeline and be prepared for in-person clinical hours before graduation.

For more information on what to expect with remote learning, our main online LPN to BSN program page provides a helpful overview.

Common Questions About Online LPN to BSN Programs in Ohio

Are hybrid and online LPN to BSN programs in Ohio more affordable than campus programs in Ohio?

The short answer is that it depends. At our three highlighted colleges, tuition is the same regardless of whether students take courses on campus or online. However, remote learning makes it possible to save money in other ways. Online students can take classes where it is convenient for them, meaning they can live at home versus on campus and save money on the commute.

Can I finish my LPN to BSN program in Ohio faster by taking coursework online?

Probably not. In many of Ohio’s LPN to BSN programs, students are part of a cohort where all students adhere to the same timeline. Often, courses must be taken in a specific sequence (Kent State is one example) during a specific semester, so courses can’t be accelerated.

Will earning my LPN to BSN degree online or through a hybrid program impact my ability to get licensed?

No. Your RN licensure depends on the completion of an LPN to BSN degree as well as passing the NCLEX-RN. If the school is approved by the Ohio Nursing Board, it doesn’t matter what type of classes you take.

Will employers care if I took some of my LPN to BSN classes online?

Probably not. Employers want to see that you completed an accredited LPN to BSN program, passed the NCLEX-RN exam, and have a clean criminal background check. Most BSN degrees do not distinguish whether classes were taken online, and your degree looks the same whether you took classes on campus or online. Employers will likely only know if you graduated from an online LPN to BSN program in Ohio or if you took online classes during your curriculum if you inform them.

Going from LPN to a BSN Nurse in Ohio: Step-By-Step

The Ohio nursing board website is the best source for LPN to BSN students planning for licensure. Upon successful completion of an LPN to BSN program, graduates can begin the process of applying for an RN license in Ohio. Below are the steps potential RNs need to follow:

  • Complete the Ohio nursing board application and pay a $75 fee
  • Register online to take the NCLEX-RN and pay any necessary fees
  • Schedule, take, and pass the NCLEX-RN
  • Send your LPN to BSN program completion letter or your transcript if you graduated from an out-of-state school to the Ohio nursing board
  • Pass a criminal records check

If you’re looking for the potential to make more money in a field with many opportunities, you’re in luck. Nurses continue to be in high demand across the nation, including in Ohio. Nurses with more education, like RNs with bachelor’s degrees and nurses graduating from LPN to BSN programs in Ohio, have the potential for more job opportunities and higher earnings over the next decade. Below we cover the potential salary gains you can see if you advance your education by earning your BSN.

How much more can I make going from an LPN to BSN in Ohio?

With a BSN degree, nurses have the potential to earn more money than their practical nursing counterparts. The median salary for RNs in Ohio — most of whom hold bachelor’s degrees — is just over $74,000, while the annual median salary for LPNs is almost a third less at $47,270.

Overall, Ohio registered nurses earn a similar salary to the national median of $77,600. However, this number varies depending on location. RNs in the Cleveland metro area earn $78,070, for example, while RNs in other areas of the state (e.g., Youngstown) earn less.

LPN Median Annual EarningsRN Median Annual
Annual % Earnings
Akron, OH$47,630$75,04058%
Canton-Massillon, OH$46,040$61,53034%
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN$48,150$75,38057%
Cleveland-Elyria, OH$48,860$78,07060%
Columbus, OH$48,000$75,22057%
Dayton, OH$47,570$75,00058%
Lima, OH$46,690$74,76060%
Mansfield, OH$44,900$60,18034%
Springfield, OH$46,590$64,18038%
Toledo, OH$47,000$72,74055%
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA$44,890$60,83036%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

What’s the job market like for BSN nurses in Ohio vs. LPNs?

Nurses with advanced training will continue to experience job growth over the next decade. From 2017 to 2020, northeastern Ohio experienced a threefold nursing shortage increase. Due to several factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, that shortage remains and means job opportunities and increased salary potential for years to come. When it comes to job openings, RNs have a real advantage with an expected job growth rate of 7.1% through 2030, three points higher than the job growth rate for LPNs.

New Jobs
Job Growth Rate
Average Annual Openings
LPNs in Ohio1,7204.2%3,310
RNs in Ohio9,3807.1%7,990

Source: Projections Central