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    LPN to RN Bridge Programs Without Prerequisites: Online & Campus

    LPN-RN bridge programs help current LPNs use their previous education and experience to take the next step in their career. But what if you don’t have the right prerequisites? If you’re looking for a program without them, you’ve come to the right place.

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    If you’re a licensed practice nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and you want more autonomy and responsibility, becoming a registered nurse (RN) is a great next step. However, you’ll need additional academic training to reach that goal, either by earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing.

    The quick option is to enroll in an LPN to RN bridge associate degree program. However, many schools won’t accept you into their bridge program unless you first complete the prerequisite courses. Depending on your prior educational background, you may have already met these requirements, but if you’re one of the many LPNs who have not, you still have options!

    There are several LPN to RN bridge programs out there that don’t require students to have completed their prerequisites before applying. Instead, these programs allow them to do so during the bridge program itself.

    LVN programs without prerequisites don’t require students to take fewer credits to become an RN, but rather they change the time frame of when some of these credits must be earned. This can be convenient for prospective RN students who don’t have time to take college classes just so they’ll be eligible to apply to their desired LPN to RN bridge program. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, keep reading to learn more about these programs.

    School Profile: Learn About a Top LPN-RN Program Without Prerequisites

    LPN to RN bridge programs that don’t require prerequisites take a convenient nursing pathway and makes it accessible to more prospective registered nurses. While non-prerequisite RN bridge programs aren’t very common, they do exist. We spotlighted a popular option below to help you get started on your search for the best program for you.

    The LPN/LVN to ADN Bridge program offered by Galen College provides a unique opportunity for LPNs to earn an associate degree in nursing without first having to complete prerequisite courses before applying or enrolling. The curriculum is set up so that the typical prerequisites such mathematics, psychology, and writing are built into the bridge program itself. Students typically complete a curriculum of 99 to 107 credits, and can expect to graduate in as little as 15 to 18 months. The exact length of time will depend on which campus the student enrolls in (there are locations in nine states).

    Because Galen College of Nursing uses the quarter system, students can choose start dates in January, April, July, and September. Coursework includes both classroom and clinical training, and fully prepares graduates to take and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

    Common Prerequisite Courses for LPN-RN Bridge Programs

    Whether you enroll in an LVN/LPN to RN program with or without prerequisites, you’ll probably need to complete several prerequisite courses. The exact courses will depend on your program’s requirements, but you can usually expect to take several of the following courses either before or during your LPN to RN bridge program. Let’s take a look at what some of these prerequisite courses are.

    Anatomy and Physiology

    This course offers a general overview of the human body. This includes identification and orientation of body parts and areas, as well as their functions. The muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems will also be examined. Delgado Community College is an example of an LPN to RN bridge program with this prerequisite.


    Biology classes are a staple of almost every healthcare program, including the Nursing LPN-to-RN Progression program at Cincinnati State. Biology provides foundational knowledge of basic life processes. Students learn about cell components and cell division, as well as topics in biochemistry, genetics, and energy transformation.


    Most allied healthcare students need to take chemistry, whether in high school or college. During this course, students learn about the basic scientific principles that explain the behavior and properties of matter. Specific topics include scientific measurements, the periodic table of elements, atomic theory, molecular theories, chemical bonds, and the states of matter. The LPN-to-RN bridge program atUtah Tech University includes chemistry as a prerequisite.


    Sometimes referred to as writing composition, this class covers the basics of writing. Topics addressed include grammar, writing structure, citations, and the rewriting process. Students interested in the Accelerated LPN to RN program offered by Texas County Technical College need to complete this class as a prerequisite.

    Introductory Nursing

    Introductory nursing (or introduction to nursing) is typically a mainstay of the core nursing curriculum, including the curriculum at Mercyhurst University. During this course, students cover the basics of nursing care and patient wellness. Students will learn about effective communication, patient assessment, and pharmacodynamics within acute and long-term care contexts.


    Microbiology, which Highline College requires its incoming LPN to RN bridge students to complete as a prerequisite, focuses on the biological process of microorganisms. Students learn about bacterial growth, genetics, metabolism, and pathogenesis. The course also covers infection control concepts, such as sterilization techniques.


    Psychology is one of the most common nursing prerequisites, as it examines human behavior, thinking, and neurological processes. As this is an introductory course, the curriculum usually begins with a history of the field, and then shifts into examination of psychological theories and ideas. This class will also look at human development milestones and concepts of human learning. The LPN to RN completion program at Stark State College lists psychology as a prerequisite.

    Options for Completing Prerequisites

    Enrolling in an LPN to RN bridge program that doesn’t require prerequisites is a convenient option for those missing the classes needed for admission. But if attending one of these prerequisite-free bridge nursing programs isn’t possible, there are several options available for completing these prerequisite courses.

    Advanced Placement Exams

    Taking Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school is probably the best way to take care of some of your LPN to RN bridge program requirements, especially for chemistry, biology, and psychology. A few things students need to keep in mind are that the necessary exam score needed for college credit may vary among schools (some require higher scores than others) and not all high schools offer the same AP courses or any at all.

    College Placement Exams

    College placement exams are tests used by colleges to determine a student’s level of knowledge in a particular subject. Some schools, such as Missouri State West Plains, will let students receive credit for certain LPN to RN prerequisite courses as long as they achieve a certain score on a college placement exam. For example, a student will receive credit for completing ENG 110 if they score an 81 or higher on the COMPASS placement exam or an 85 or higher on the ACCUPLACER placement exam.

    Dual Enrollment Programs

    Dual enrollment programs are special agreements between colleges and high schools that allow students to receive college credit for courses they take in high school. These courses typically include prerequisite courses needed to earn an associate degree in nursing, as is the case at Tri-County Technical College. While dual enrollment is not a workable option for prospective LPN to RN bridge students who have already graduated high school, it is perfect for current students who know they want to study nursing in college.

    Online Classes

    Many schools with LPN to RN bridge programs offer courses online. Sometimes these online classes are part of the nursing curriculum and other times they cover general education topics that are also prerequisites for many RN programs. This is the case for Western Kentucky University (WKU), which requires applicants to its LPN to ASN program to take Anatomy and Physiology no more than five years prior to applying to the program. Luckily, this course is offered regularly online at WKU, so current WKU students interested in the program can complete the class before formally applying to the nursing program.

    Prior Learning Assessment

    A prior learning assessment (PLA) is a type of assessment a college or university uses to see if a student may receive college credit for prior life and professional experience. At Vol State Community College, LPNs who enroll in the RN bridge program can skip the Fundamentals of Nursing class if they complete a PLA that consists of creating a care plan, attending a dosage calculation and skills review, taking a medical dosage exam, and completing a fundamentals review packet.

    Summer Courses

    Before officially enrolling in an LVN to RN program, students have the option of taking summer courses. The courses available depend on the school but often, only general education and prerequisite courses will be available, as is the case with Central Community College.

    Transfer Credits

    If you’ve taken a prerequisite course at another school, there’s a chance your current school will offer you transfer credits for that class. Galen College of Nursing offers students in their LPN to RN program credit for general education classes they completed at other colleges. How the transfer process works and what credits you receive will depend on your school’s transfer credit policy.

    FAQs for LPN to RN Program Prerequisites

    We’ve covered the major aspects of LPN to RN programs that don’t require prerequisites for admission, but you may still be curious about other aspects of how these programs work. The following FAQ section should address many questions you may still have.

    Are there any prerequisite courses I can take while I’m in the LPN-RN bridge program?

    An accredited program that trains future registered nurses will require basic chemistry, writing, psychology, and mathematics classes. However, these programs won’t require you to have completed these prerequisites as a condition of enrollment. Instead, you’ll take these classes as part of your LPN to RN bridge program. For example, students at Galen College of Nursing can take English Composition during their first semester.

    Can I retake a prerequisite course if I did not achieve the required grade the first time?

    You should be able to retake a course, as practically all schools will accept the higher grade of a class that you take multiple times. Just keep in mind that it will add time and/or money to the total cost of your LPN to RN bridge program.

    The grade requirements for the prerequisites will depend on the school. For example, at Western Kentucky University, applicants must have at least a “C” in Anatomy and Physiology while at Highline College, applicants need at least a 3.0 GPA in all the prerequisites (except for math, where a 2.7 is needed).

    I took the prerequisite courses over 7 years ago, are they still valid?

    It depends on the school and class, but it’s likely that seven years will be too far in the past to receive credit. For example, Stark State College has a three-year cut off for high school biology. After that time, you will not be able to use that course to qualify for a Prior Learning Assessment for Intro to Anatomy and Physiology. Similarly, Western Kentucky University has a five-year cut off for students who have already taken Anatomy and Physiology and do not want to retake it.

    If I’m enrolled in the prerequisite courses now, can I still apply to the program and update my transcripts later?

    The answer depends on the LPN to RN program and the type of class. Most admissions policies dictate that students need to have already taken their prerequisites before applying. However, there are some schools that will allow students to apply while currently enrolled in a prerequisite course. ,Hopkinsville Community College allows students to apply while enrolled in an ENG 101 Writing I prerequisite course.

    If I’m enrolled in the prerequisite courses now, can I still apply to the program and update my transcripts later?

    The answer depends on the LPN to RN program and the type of class. Most admissions policies dictate that students need to have already taken their prerequisites before applying. However, there are some schools that will allow students to apply while currently enrolled in a prerequisite course. ,Hopkinsville Community College allows students to apply while enrolled in an ENG 101 Writing I prerequisite course.

    Many program websites won’t specifically distinguish between completing certain perquisites to apply or to enroll. Because of this lack of clarification, it’s always a good idea to call and ask the school.

    What minimum grade do I need in my prerequisites to be accepted into the program?

    Most LPN to RN bridge programs, such as those at Delgado Community College and Missouri State West Plains, will require at least a 2.0 or “C” average in the prerequisite and/or general education courses. However, some schools can have higher minimum grade requirements, especially for particular classes.

    What should I do if my transfer credits were not accepted?

    The first thing you can do is take the required courses at the school you want to apply to (but won’t give you transfer credit for those classes). The second thing you can do is look for a different school that will accept your transfer credits. Which approach you take will depend on the availability of other LPN to RN bridge programs and how hard they are to get into.

    Beyond the Prerequisites: Additional Admission Requirements for LPN-RN Programs

    There’s a bit more to applying to an LPN to RN bridge program than meeting the prerequisite requirements. The following section discusses three other factors programs will consider when deciding whether to accept applicants into their nursing program.

    Entrance Exam

    Many LPN to RN bridge programs will require applicants to complete an entrance exam. One of the most common is the TEAS, or ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills. The purpose of this test is to confirm an applicant has the basic academic knowledge to succeed in a nursing program. Every program that requires a TEAS score will have a different minimum score standard.

    Other entrance exam possibilities include the NACE Pre-Admission Exam and the PN Predictor Exam. Unlike the TEAS, these exams test an applicant’s nursing-related knowledge. These tests aren’t always required, but some schools ask for one or the other, such as Hopkinsville Community College and Texas County Technical College.

    Other entrance exam test scores may also be accepted, such as the ACT, SAT, or Multilevel PAX, all of which Galen College of Nursing will accept in addition to the TEAS.

    LPN License and Work Experience

    An unrestricted LPN license in good standing is a definite requirement for applicants to any program, whether you’re applying to an LPN to RN bridge program that requires prerequisites or not. If you don’t currently have an unrestricted LPN license in good standing,, you may still be eligible to apply to the nursing program, but won’t receive advanced standing as an LPN.

    As for LPN work experience, most programs don’t usually require a minimum number of years, although applicants who possess at least one year of experience providing direct care to patients in certain settings may have an advantage during the admissions process, as is the case at Highline College.

    Program Interview

    Most LPN to RN bridge programs don’t require an interview as part of the admission process. However, it’s something you should be ready for when applying to certain schools. For instance, at Western Kentucky University, school officials reserve the right to ask an applicant to participate in an admission interview.