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Top LPN to RN Bridge Programs in Indiana: Campus & Online

A guide to finding the best LPN to RN bridge programs that Indiana has to offer. Read on to learn about common courses, program delivery formats, answers to FAQs, and career and salary outlooks.

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WRITTEN BY: Kyra Sutherland
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/28/2023

Editorial Values and Practices

Have you ever felt, as an LPN, that you’re consistently undervalued and overlooked? Do you get the sense that the major players in your field, from RNs to physicians, don’t see your potential? Well, we have good news for you: you’re in a profession full of bridges. Bridges that help you quickly and efficiently get from where you are to where you want to be. As an LPN you have access to a lifechanging one — the LPN-RN bridge program, and the state of Indiana has several of them waiting just for you. These bridge programs allow you to skip over the rapids of minimal pay, respect, and opportunity. The education you earned while pursuing your practical nursing license, and the skills you’ve gained while working as one, can convert to college credits.

Rapids: skipped. Nothing but smooth sailing ahead.

If you want to take your career a step further, take what you have and step onto the bridge. We’re here to help you. In this guide we’ll give you a sneak peek into the available programs in Indiana that you can consider, discuss program delivery formats, common courses you’ll be expected to pass, and sum things up by answering some of the most pressing questions you may have.

FIND PROGRAMS NEAR YOU:

Top LPN-RN Bridge Programs in Indiana

Taking the first step on a new path can be difficult, and we want to do as much as we can to remove that barrier of entry for you. Below we’ve highlighted three wonderful LPN to RN bridge programs Indiana students can consider. Feel free to use them as a springboard to help get you started in your search for the program that best fits your situation.

Indiana State University

Indiana State University has one of the best online nursing LPN to RN bridge programs Indiana has to offer. This ACEN-accredited program helps students transfer related credits and experience to Indiana State through course-equivalency examinations. All coursework is available online with students gaining their hands-on experience by completing clinicals in their local communities. Not only will students be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam by the end of the program, but they’ll also complete their bachelor’s degree at the same time, making Indiana students more qualified for higher earnings and additional responsibility in the workplace. Admission requirements include being a resident of the United States and completing the LPN Transcript Evaluation by the application deadline. Students admitted to the program will be charged full non-resident fees and are encouraged to apply for financial aid.

University of Saint Francis

Indiana LPNs looking to complete their associate degree in nursing will find a flexible bridge program at the University of Saint Francis. Courses can be taken at either of the two campuses and are available on a part-time or full-time basis. Hands-on labs can be completed at either available campus, and clinicals are available through partner sites throughout the state. The program also awards college credit for previous education and experience, allowing students to complete the program in as little as three semesters. Once students earn their degree and pass the NCLEX-RN exam, they’ll be prepared to pursue a career in community health centers, hospitals, physicians’ offices, home health agencies, public health agencies, rehabilitation centers, and urgent care centers. Students who complete their ASN degree will also have the option of continuing on to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Learning Outcomes in an Indiana LPN to RN Bridge Program

Though LPN and RN duties overlap, there are several distinct skills and responsibilities that set them apart. While an LPN may prepare a patient for certain treatments in a hospital or clinical setting, RNs are the ones creating the nursing plan of care for each patient. While an LPN may process specimens, RNs are the ones to interpret them. RNs also work more closely with physicians, enjoy relative independence, and delegate specific tasks to LPNs.

During an LPN to RN bridge program students will learn to transition from the role of a pseudo-assistant to that of an independent worker. Students will take general education courses to create a foundation upon which they can build, additional nursing/healthcare courses to expand their knowledge, and clinical training opportunities at local partner facilities.

Below are several courses that are taught within Indiana LPN to RN programs.

Common Courses

Pharmacology for Nurses

This course examines the properties of commonly prescribed drugs in each of the major drug classifications and teaches students how to apply the nursing process to the pharmacologic aspects of patient care. Dosage calculations are discussed as well as the national standards for safety in pharmacologic therapy.

Medical-Surgical Nursing

This course examines the differences between the roles of the licensed practical nurse and the registered nurse when it comes to the healthcare needs of adults experiencing non-complex health changes within the context of select medical-surgical concepts. Students learn to apply the nursing process and implement the ordered plan of treatment.

LPN to ASN Transition Course

In this course, students learn about the main components of the nursing program philosophy and study the differences between LPNs and RNs as they prepare for their transition. The assessment component is emphasized. The class reviews etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and the diagnostic testing of common health issues within the context of all body systems.

Child Health Nursing

Instructors use students’ knowledge of etiology and pathophysiology to help them understand the healthcare needs of children and families. Students are introduced to growth and development concepts and how they impact therapeutic communication and interventions, as well as family development theories, principles of family nursing, and teaching-learning techniques.

Mental Health Nursing

This nursing course builds upon students’ previous knowledge of mental health concepts to provide a more in-depth understanding of mental health disorders. Students learn how to use problem-solving and critical thinking in providing nursing care in mental health settings. The course discusses typical plan of care orders for mental health disorders and identifies the nurse’s responsibility for the legal and ethical issues related to mental health nursing.

LPN-RN Program Delivery Options in Indiana

At first glance, it may seem like a hands-on degree like nursing should only be completed in person on a campus somewhere, but luckily with more and more education moving online, there are three different, equally effective, delivery formats that you can choose from in Indiana. We’ll discuss them below.

Hybrid

LPN to RN courses that are delivered in a hybrid format take in-person and online learning and mesh them together. For example, nursing lectures could be attended on campus, while all homework and discussions are completed online. Clinical hours are always completed in person at local partner sites.

Online

Online LPN to RN programs are carried out entirely through the internet—lectures are often pre-recorded so students can watch them on their own time during the week, assignments open at the beginning of the week for students to complete by the assigned due date–even quizzes and tests are taken online. Online programs often require teachers to have virtual office hours each week to discuss difficult concepts and answer questions. Hands-on learning, often referred to as “clinicals,” happens at partner clinics local to students.

In-Person

In-person courses require students to attend both lectures and labs on campus. If an entire program is on-campus, students might want to consider dropping their employment (if they’re currently working) down to part-time to be able to put in the required on-campus hours. Lectures, tests, and practice labs will happen on campus at the same time each week, with clinical rotations available at nearby care facilities.

FAQs for LPN-RN Bridge Programs in Indiana

There are always a few similar questions that students seem to have, and we’ve answered several of them below. These answers will give you a quick glimpse at some of the most important aspects of an in-person or online LPN to RN bridge program. We’ve done our best to link to various programs throughout Indiana so you can see relevant examples.

How long are LPN-RN bridge programs?

Indiana LPN-RN programs have different lengths depending on the program. If you’re looking to earn an associate degree in nursing (ASN) then you can complete your degree in as little as 3 semesters at schools like the University of Saint Francis, while those pursuing a bachelor’s of nursing degree (BSN) will take closer to 2 years at schools like Ivy Tech Community College. Some programs also offer part- or full-time study options. If you choose to study part-time, then it will naturally take you longer.

What are the admission requirements for LPN to RN programs in Indiana?

The following list of common admission requirements was pulled from several LPN to RN bridge programs in Indiana. Each program noted that admission into its LPN to RN program is competitive, so consider the following requirements as the absolute minimum.

  • Verified LPN license in good standing
  • Completed pre-requisite courses
  • LPN transcript evaluation
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75 (preferably 3.5+)
  • Kaplan admission nursing test score of 70+ (preferably higher)

What is the cost for LPN to RN programs?

The cost of LPN to RN programs varies throughout Indiana, but typically community colleges and state universities are more affordable than private universities. Below are three example programs throughout Indiana and their corresponding costs.

What should I look for in an LPN to RN program in Indiana?

The LPN to RN bridge programs Indiana offers are accredited—meaning their curriculums have reached or exceeded a set standard—or are in the process of reapplying for accreditation. You should always look for programs that are accredited by the ACEN or the NLN CNEA. Other things to look for include LPN transcript evaluations (to receive credit for prior education), where clinical experiences are offered, and if courses are available in various formats.

LPN vs RN in Indiana: A Look at Expected Earnings and Outlook

Even if you’re just starting to consider an LPN-RN program, looking at the numbers might open your eyes to the possibilities that being a registered nurse might provide. If you’re on the fence about making the change from an LPN to an RN, check out some of Indiana’s statistics to see just how many benefits you can get from a little more work (ahem—higher pay, higher employability).

Earnings

In most cases, more education means more compensation, and it’s that way for LPNs and RNs. Those who complete an LPN to RN bridge program in Indiana will be able to increase their salary from an average of $48,070 per year to over $62,000. The bottom 10% of nurses in Indiana will make around $46,000 and the top earners can make up to $75,000 (Kokomo, IN). Unfortunately, registered nurse salaries in Indiana fall short of the national average by about 16%.

LPN Annual Median Wage RN Median Annual WageEarnings Increase
Bloomington, IN$47,270$61,34030%
Columbus, IN$46,950$60,99030%
Elkhart-Goshen, IN$48,000$61,79029%
Evansville, IN-KY$47,610$61,03028%
Fort Wayne, IN$47,090$61,03030%
Indiana$48,070$62,40030%
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN$49,220$64,99032%
Kokomo, IN$48,310$75,00055%
Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN$49,190$64,20031%
Michigan City-La Porte, IN$47,640$60,55027%
Muncie, IN$46,690$60,55030%
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI$47,490$62,39031%
Terre Haute, IN$46,640$60,81030%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

Job Market

There’s been a nursing shortage for years in the United States, with an average of fewer than 10 nurses per 1000 people. Indiana has only 66,800 employed nurses for its state population of over 6.7 million, indicating a great need for nurses throughout the state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for nurses is good, with a projected growth of 6% from 2021-2031 and over 58,000 positions available each year.

New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth Rate
(2020-2030)
Average Annual Openings
(2020-2030)
LPNs in Indiana11808.21250
RNs in Indiana52107.84120

Source: Projections Central