Online LPN to RN programs are a practical way to take the next step in your nursing career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates job growth for registered nurses will outpace most other professions, and nearly 440,000 new openings are expected to become available between 2016 and 2026. Licensed practical nurses and vocational nurses are in a prime position to take advantage of this growth by completing an LPN to RN bridge program, building on their existing knowledge and skill sets. Keep reading to learn more about LPN to RN degrees, including top online programs, common courses, and salary projections.
Best in Class: Top Online LPN/LVN to RN Programs in 2019
With the number of online LPN/LVN to RN programs continually growing, prospective students may not know where to start when it comes to narrowing their options. Students should look for options that speak to their unique needs and aspirations. Fortunately, EduMed is here to provide information and clarity on what makes for a top program. To help start you on the journey of finding a perfect program, we’ve spotlighted several fully-accredited programs. Learn more about each school below and see which may be the right fit for you. (Read how we chose our schools >>)
|School Name||Location||School Logo||School Type||Cost||Online Programs||Financial Aid||School Information|
|Allegany College of Maryland||Cumberland, MD||Public||$$$$||1||84%|
Operating as a public community college in Cumberland, Alleghany College of Maryland serves nearly 4,000 degree-seeking learners through traditional and online means each year. The institution provides an asynchronous LPN to RN degree fully online for those looking to balance the demands of personal, professional, and academic responsibilities. Given their existing educations, students begin the program at the second-year level and complete the program in approximately 18 months.
All theory classes exist on an online learning platform, meaning students never need to visit the Maryland campus. They do, however, need to participate in a clinical component, but this can be done near their place of residence. Upon completing all requirements, graduates can then sit for the NCLEX-RN examination.
If you’re considering this school, it’s important to remember that ACM is not approved to serve students in all states. At this time, learners in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia can enroll.
Alleghany’s LPN to RN program maintains accreditation via the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and approval from the Maryland Board of Nursing and the Pennsylvania Board of Nursing.
|Clark State Community College||Springfield, OH||Public||$$$$||1||64%|
Clark State Community College’s LPN to RN transition associate degree program is available at the college’s Bellefontaine and Springfield-Leffel Lane locations. Leffel Lane students can choose between full-time and part-time (evening and weekend) study, while Bellefontaine’s program offers full-time study only. Full-time programs are designed to be completed in 2 years (2 fall and 2 spring semesters, plus 1 summer session consisting of 2 courses). The majority of non-nursing courses and all nursing transition courses are offered in an online/on-campus hybrid format. All remaining nursing courses are available only in a traditional (on-campus) format.
Applicants must meet certain minimum requirements to be considered for admission. However, class sizes are limited and admission is competitive. Therefore, meeting minimum requirements does not guarantee enrollment. Program graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam, successful completion of which is required for RN licensure. Once licensed, graduates are qualified for employment in beginning staff-level positions in hospitals, extended care facilities, clinics, and other comparable health care facilities.
Tuition costs as of summer 2019 are $155.33 per credit hour for Ohio residents and $286.66 per credit hour for out-of-state residents. Other fees may apply. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing.
|Hutchinson Community College||Hutchinson, KS||Public||$$$$||1||39%|
Hutchinson Community College in Kansas maintains one campus, two satellite locations, and a thriving online learning community to ensure it meets the needs of many different types of students. The institution’s LPN to RN online bridge program receives approval from the Kansas Board of Nursing and accreditation via the Commission for Education in Nursing.
Prospective degree seekers must possess a diploma from an accredited LPN program, provide official transcripts, hold a PN license, and possess at least 1,000 hours of documented work experience if they graduated more than three years prior.
After beginning their studies at Hutchinson, virtual students cover a broad range of nursing topics. Some of these include leadership and management concepts in nursing, complex care of the family, health maintenance promotion and restoration, and transitioning from student to professional nurse. This program also requires a number of practicum hours to ensure graduates possess the real-world experience needed to thrive as an RN. All told, you can expect to complete 69 credits, although those with approved transcripts receive 12 credits for prior learning.
|Lincoln Land Community College||Springfield, IL||Public||$$$$||1||44%|
The LPN to ADN transition program at Lincoln Land Community College is a one-year, 15-credit program that offers a transition for licensed practical nurses who are interested in becoming RNs after earning an associate in nursing degree. LPNs who complete this transition program are eligible to move on to the second year of the college’s Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. Graduates of the full ADN program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Admission requirements for the transition program include an unencumbered LPN license from the State of Illinois, a high school diploma, completion of certain college-level courses, a minimum 2.5 GPA on all previous college coursework, and at least 1 year (minimum 1000 hours) of practice as an LPN in a specific practice area. All program coursework is offered in an online/on-campus hybrid format. In addition to the coursework, students must complete an in-person clinical experience that can be completed in any number of approved practice settings.
Tuition for in-district residents as of fall 2019 is $131.50 per credit hour. Tuition costs are higher for some out-of-district and all out-of-state residents. Additional fees apply for all students. Lincoln Land’s LPN to ADN Transition program, as well as its entire ADN program, is fully ACEN accredited and approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
|Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College||Perkinston, MS||Public||$$$$||1||73%|
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and offers a hybrid LPN to RN transitional program.
Interested students must complete a variety of prerequisite courses before a May 15th deadline for acceptance to the program. Prerequisites include microbiology, English composition, general psychology, and anatomy. In addition to nursing-specific classes such as adult health, and advanced concepts of nursing practice, students also need to complete 1050 total contact hours in a healthcare facility. The associate of applied science degree requires 52 credits for graduation.
Prospective students need to submit an online application containing their official transcripts. Incoming hybrid students must have two years of documented work experience as a licensed practical nurse. Interested hybrid learners must also submit two letters of recommendation and complete the enhanced ACT exam with a score of 18 or higher. Upon completion of the program, graduates are able to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses. Students who pass the exam earned the registered nurse (RN) credential.
In 2019, students pay $1,550 per semester plus course fees, registration costs, and the cost of books.
|Sampson Community College||Clinton, NC||Public||$$$$||1||70%|
Sampson Community College’s LPN to ADN program is a two-semester program that features primarily online instruction. However, students must visit the SCC campus from time to time for specified activities, including testing and orientation. Students must additionally complete 144 hours of unpaid in-person clinical practice under the supervision of an RN for each of the two LPN to ADN courses.
Applicants must possess a North Carolina or compact state LPN license. Applicants must also be employed in nursing practice for the previous 2 years (minimum 2000 hours) in the medical/surgical unit of a North Carolina acute care hospital or skilled nursing facility. Additional admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED, proof of computer competency, completion of 8 specific support courses with a “C” grade or better, and completion of the Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exam (NACE) with a minimum score of 82%. Students who successfully complete the program graduate with an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Nursing (ADN), and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Tuition and fees for this program as of summer 2019 are $123.35 per credit hour for North Carolina residents and $315.35 for out-of-state-residents. Sampson’s LPN to ADN program is accredited by the ACEN and approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON).
Inside the Online LPN to RN Bridge
Bridge programs exist to help prepare practical nurses to undertake the advanced education needed to work as a registered nurse. Heading back to school after being in the work force for couple years can feel daunting, but interested students should know that these programs often offer maximum flexibility and short time frames. Many can be completed in fewer than two years, while some accelerated paths allow learners to move from start to finish in less than a year. Upon completing all the degree requirements, graduates can sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and take on new and exciting roles. Keep reading to learn what to expect.