If you’ve been wondering how to take the next step in your nursing career, then an LPN to RN bridge program in Kansas could be the perfect fit for you. LPN to RN bridge programs are uniquely designed to give licensed LPNs the education, skills, and experience they need to further their careers and education. Whether you’re interested in a higher salary, better job opportunities, or just improving as a healthcare provider, this is the next step!
So, how do you know which program is right for you? In addition to a program’s quality, faculty, accreditation, tuition costs, delivery options, and admission requirements, you’ll need to consider how a program aligns with your interests, goals, and needs. While it may seem overwhelming, we’re here to help. We’ve designed this guide to provide all the information you need to get going, starting with a spotlight on some of the top LPN to RN bridge programs offered in Kansas.
Top LPN-RN Bridge Programs in Kansas
Below we’ve provided a snapshot of some of the best LPN to RN bridge programs available in Kansas to give you a general idea of what makes a program great. While the specifics of each program will differ, you can expect similar curriculums, career prospects, and learning outcomes across the board.
Johnson County Community College
Johnson County Community College offers an LPN to RN bridge program for students with unencumbered LPN licenses who are ready to transition to careers as registered nurses. Upon completion of the program, students receive their associate of applied science (AAS) degree and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. This program consists of 56-59 credits, which includes 21-24 prerequisite credits, and can be completed in a minimum of three semesters. Students can expect to pay $6,422 for the entire LPN to RN program, not including scholarships or other financial aid. To be admitted into the program, students must register by February 1st. Applicants’ acceptance depends heavily on past GPA, their TEAS pre-admission test score, and their intake interview.
Highland Community College
The two semester LPN to RN bridge program at at Highland Community College is highly competitive, with only 30 students accepted each year. Students must hold a valid LPN license, among a host of other requirements, to be admitted. The program requires students to complete 38 credits of prerequisites and 22 nursing credits. HCC is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Tuition for full-time students is $3,870/year, which does not include the costs of books, supplies, and equipment.
Hutchinson Community College
Hutchinson Community College offers an LPN to RN online bridge program accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This program prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and to obtain jobs in hospitals, clinics, military bases, correctional facilities, and educational facilities. Students can expect to take courses in physiology, anatomy, human psychology, lifespan development, microbiology, leadership and management, and complex care of the adult. This program is made up of 69 credits, 12 of which are prerequisites. The majority of this program’s coursework is offered in an online format. Tuition is set at $2,976/year, or $124/credit hour. This program takes approximately two years to complete.
Learning Outcomes in a Kansas LPN to RN Bridge Program
Students in Kansas LPN to RN bridge programs can expect to build on their previous medical training and experience. They learn through a combination of classroom instruction, practicum experiences, simulations, and clinical work. Students hone their communication skills and deepen their understanding of human anatomy and physiology. Students further improve their skills in identifying maladies and providing treatment to clients with a variety of short-term and long-term health difficulties. They also receive education in nutrition for both children and adults, as well as human psychology throughout the lifespan. Pharmacology, including the study of relevant bacteria, viruses, and corresponding immunology, is also introduced. Finally, students learn about taking on managerial roles within a healthcare team. While each college offers a slightly different curriculum—you can browse Highland Community College’s curriculum here–you can expect to cover similar concepts. Below are a few common courses you can expect to take in any LPN to RN bridge program in Kansas.
LPN-RN Program Delivery Options in Kansas
Nursing courses can be taken either in-person, online, or in a hybrid format, depending on the program. Each delivery option has its benefits and drawbacks depending on the preference of the student taking them. Programs will often offer the same class in several different formats, so it’s important to understand the differences when deciding which fits your needs best.
A hybrid course consists of both online and in-person lectures/coursework and. Typically, a hybrid class will meet in-person one day a week make the rest of the coursework and instruction available online. This is beneficial to students who are self-motivated but also enjoy face-to-face conversations with their peers and professors.
Online programs are delivered entirely online, meaning all your lectures, readings, quizzes, exams, and coursework are found and completed through the school’s online portal. Online courses can usually be accessed anytime, giving students the flexibility of working around their current schedules. This is an excellent option for students that don’t live on campus, are highly disciplined, or need a more flexible schedule.
In-person courses are the most traditional format where you attend classes alongside your classmates on campus. Most simulation and practical education courses are in-person due to the difficulty of gaining hands-on experience through videos on a screen. Students who prefer to ask questions and be part of discussions typically prefer in-person courses over online ones.
FAQs for LPN-RN Bridge Programs in Kansas
You may still have questions before you decide where—or whether—to apply to an LPN-RN bridge program in Kansas. In this section we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions so you can make the best, most informed decision for you.
How long are LPN-RN bridge programs?
Most LPN to RN bridge programs in Kansas can be completed in four semesters (approximately two years). The length of the program also depends on whether you’ve completed prerequisite courses prior to entering the program and whether you’re attending classes part or full-time. Both JCCC and HCC offer LPN to RN programs that can be completed in 12-18 months.
What are the admission requirements for LPN to RN programs in Kansas?
While each schools’ admission requirements are different, most require a minimum GPA in general education and/or prerequisite courses, a valid LPN license, and often a minimum amount of professional experience. Each school has different requirements for admission, so it’s important to check the individual school you’re looking at. However, a few common admission requirements, at JCCC and other schools, are a minimum GPA, the completion of general education prerequisite courses, a valid LPN license, and a minimum amount of professional workforce experience. Some schools require a pre-admission test to make sure applicants have the skills and knowledge necessary for the program’s coursework. Other programs require letters of reference, admission essays, or intake interviews.
What is the cost for LPN to RN programs?
Tuition can vary significantly between schools, so when doing your research it’s important to check each program carefully and individually. We’ve given a few examples of tuition costs in the school spotlight section above, but in general tuition can range anywhere from $2,000-$20,000. Keep in mind that those numbers only cover tuition. You may also need to factor in the cost of housing and transportation, as well as the cost of textbooks, supplies, and necessary equipment. Financial aid can be a great way to help offset these costs, so be sure to look into different options.
What should I look for in an LPN to RN program in Kansas?
The most important thing to look for in a nursing program is accreditation. Programs can be accredited at the national, school, and program level, and since programs must meet and maintain certain standards to receive accreditation, it is indicative that a program is high-quality. Another thing to look for is the faculty’s education and work experience. Finally, taking a look at the published NCLEX-RN pass rates can give you an idea of how well the program prepares students for their future careers.
LPN vs RN in Kansas: A Look at Expected Earnings and Outlook
Obtaining a college degree is a lot of work, so it’s nice to know that your hard work will eventually pay off. Whether you’re interested in salary potential or job security, you can expect better prospects as a registered nurse than as an LPN. Below we’ll look over both salary growth and the projected job market for registered nurses in the years to come.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for registered nurses in the United States is $77,600. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $59,450, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $120,250. The median salary for LPNs is $48,070, which means you can expect around a $20,000 salary increase upon being hired as a registered nurse. And while the average salary for registered nurses in Kansas is below the national average, sitting closer to $60,000, it is still higher than that of LPNs.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
While both registered nurses and LPNs can expect a 6% increase in jobs by 2031, there are nearly three million more registered nurses than LPNs working in the United States, indicating more positions and need. According to the Nursing Licensure in Kansas, approximately 60,000 registered nurses are currently working in Kansas, compared to only 10,000 LPNs. This makes the job market for registered nurses six times greater than the market for LPNs, with projected growth in the future.
Source: Projections Central