As an LPN, you possess a wealth of experience and passion for patient care. But you might still be wondering, “What’s next for me? How can I maximize my potential and achieve even greater heights in my nursing career?” An LPN to RN program may be the answer. Becoming an RN opens doors to enhanced responsibilities, advanced skills, and increased job prospects.
We understand that life can be hectic, and commitments can’t always be put on hold. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the top LPN to RN programs available online in West Virginia. This guide is dedicated to LPNs like you, who are eager to embrace the convenience of online education while maintaining your work-life balance.
Throughout this guide, we’ll detail several online bridge programs, each of which offers a unique blend of flexibility, quality education, and clinical training.
Get ready to embrace the transformative journey ahead and unlock the empowering possibilities that await you as a registered nurse (RN) in West Virginia.
Program Spotlights: Top LPN-RN Programs in West Virginia
We’ve highlighted some of the top LPN-RN programs in West Virginia that will allow you to further your education while also saving you time and money. These programs offer online components, accelerated pathways, and more. Use this list as a starting point in your search for the program that fits your needs and professional goals.
Bluefield State University
Bluefield State University offers an accelerated LPN to RN program which you can complete in just one calendar year. Bluefield State students begin their nursing instruction with a 10-week summer transition course and progress into the third semester of the Associate of Science in Nursing program. The program is 64 credit hours in total.
Like other programs, applicants should have an unencumbered LPN license, completed prerequisites (including human anatomy and physiology and general mathematics), and a proficient score on the ATI TEAS Admission test, among other general requirements. The program gives preference to applicants that have at least one year of acute care facility experience as an LPN.
Fairmont State University
Fairmont State University is another excellent choice for prospective LPN to RN students. This non-traditional one-year program is best for LPNs who have completed their support courses for nursing. Students who complete this program graduate with an Associate of Science in Nursing degree and become eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.
The courses are taught asynchronously online, making it an excellent option for nurses balancing work and other commitments. The online coursework is supplemented by two days of clinical experience per month. Some of the key features of this program include small class sizes and state-of-the-art skills and simulation labs.
West Virginia University
West Virginia University offers an accelerated LPN to RN program to help you earn your Associate of Applied Science in Nursing as quickly as possible. The program is designed to take 16 months and equips students to sit for and pass the NCLEX-RN exam. The curriculum provides students with classroom and clinical experience to meet the community’s diverse and changing healthcare needs.
Clinical nursing experiences are offered under faculty supervision at Marietta Health System, WVU Medicine: Camden Clark, and Highland Psychiatric Hospital in Clarksburg, WV.
The nursing program at West Virginia University at Parkersburg is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
What to Expect From LPN-RN Programs in West Virginia
LPN-RN programs in West Virginia offer licensed practical nurses the opportunity to advance their nursing careers by providing them with the additional skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to excel in the expanded role of an RN.
There are two common types of bridge programs available for LPN students: an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The specific coursework and program length depends on the degree path you choose.
In this section, we will explore what you can expect from an LPN-RN program, including common courses with examples from programs in West Virginia.
LPN to RN programs in West Virginia include a well-rounded combination of clinical training, nursing/healthcare classes, and general education courses. In the clinical training component, students engage in hands-on experiences, gaining practical skills through supervised patient care in diverse healthcare settings. This direct application of theory allows students to refine their clinical decision-making, communication, and critical thinking abilities.
Here’s a look at some common courses you’ll take in an LPN to RN program:
Courses vary slightly from program to program, but the fundamentals are still the same. Regardless of the program you enroll in, you’ll receive an introduction to the basics of patient care in both classroom and clinical environments. Be sure to check each program’s website for detailed course information (you can browse the academic map for the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg here) and take a look at the following list of common courses below.
Online vs Hybrid vs On-Campus: Know Before You Go
As you embark on the next step of your academic and professional journey, it’s important to consider the different delivery options offered by West Virginia LPN to RN bridge programs. Each option comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on your unique learning style and personal preferences. Let’s explore the key characteristics of each delivery option to help you make an informed choice.
Hybrid programs offer a balanced blend of online and in-person instruction, providing flexibility and convenience for those with busy schedules. Students can expect to complete a significant portion of their coursework online.
The in-person components often involve hands-on clinical training and simulated lab experiences, allowing students to practice their nursing skills in real-life scenarios. Hybrid programs are an excellent option for those seeking the convenience of online classes and the benefit of face-to-face interactions.
Online LPN-RN programs provide the utmost flexibility for learners, allowing them to complete most of their coursework remotely. Lectures, assignments, and discussions take place online, enabling students to study at their own pace from the comfort of their homes. However, clinical training is typically conducted in person at affiliated healthcare facilities. These programs suit self-motivated individuals who can manage their time effectively and are comfortable with technology-based learning.
Traditional in-person LPN-RN programs offer a classroom-based learning environment where students attend lectures and participate in hands-on lab sessions on campus. Clinical experiences take place at various healthcare facilities, where students provide direct patient care under the guidance of experienced instructors. In-person programs foster a sense of community among students and allow for immediate interaction with professors. If you prefer a structured learning environment and face-to-face interaction, an in-person program might be the best fit for you.
Common Components of LPN-RN Programs in West Virginia
As an aspiring LPN-RN student in West Virginia, you’ll notice that each LPN-RN bridge program has its own unique features and requirements. When exploring these programs, keep in mind the factors that are most relevant to your career goals and personal preferences.
LPN-RN programs in West Virginia, like the one at Davis & Elkins College, typically require applicants to hold a valid LPN license and meet certain GPA requirements. Additionally, prospective students may need to complete prerequisite courses and submit letters of recommendation or personal statements. Some programs also conduct interviews and/or require entrance exams as part of the admission process.
A program’s cost will likely be a significant consideration as you start your search and, ultimately, make your selection. Tuition and fees can vary according to whether your school is public or private and whether you have residency in the West Virginia. Regardless, you can benefit from exploring potential financial aid opportunities, including grants and scholarships available specifically for nursing students in West Virginia.
For example, the West Virginia Nursing Scholarship program offers scholarships to LPN and RN nursing students who agree to complete a service obligation in the state upon graduating. Be sure to check your program’s website (see West Virginia University’s School of Nursing’s website as an example) for a detailed list of what you’re eligible for.
The duration of LPN-RN programs can vary, but most in West Virginia take around 1 to 2 years to complete. However, some schools, like Bluefield State University, offer accelerated options, allowing you to earn an RN degree in a shorter time frame.
Consider your personal circumstances and career timeline when selecting a program length that suits your needs.
LPN-RN programs in West Virginia often have specific prerequisite course requirements. These prerequisites usually include foundational science courses such as anatomy, physiology, and microbiology. Additionally, programs like the one at Fairmont State University may require specific coursework in areas like English and psychology.
It is important to carefully review the prerequisite requirements of the programs you are interested in and ensure you have completed the necessary coursework — or make plans to fulfill those requirements before starting the program.
LPN vs RN in West Virginia: Job and Earnings Outlook
Becoming an RN will guarantee you more job opportunities and higher pay. No matter where you are in West Virginia, furthering your education and receiving your RN licensure is guaranteed to pay off. We’ve highlighted both the salary increase you can expect and the job market outlook for West Virginia RNs below.
An RN in West Virginia can earn on average between $10,000 and $20,000 more per year than an LPN. Some of the areas with the biggest earnings jump are Morgantown and Charleston. In Morgantown, for example, the average annual median wage for an LPN is $37,170 and the annual median wage for an RN is $75,480—a 103% salary increase.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), RNs in West Virginia earn on average $74,160, with 10% of workers earning $96,470 or more — slightly below the national average. By comparison, LPNs in West Virginia earn $44,410 on average, with 10% of workers earning $57,660 or more.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021
Nursing jobs are in high demand and are only expected to grow in the next decade. The BLS estimates a 4-7% increase in available RN jobs in West Virginia between 2021-2031, just above the national average.
The West Virginia Board of Registered Nurses released a detailed report on the job outlook for the state. Being able to earn your RN license ensures that you can take advantage of this growing demand and the career opportunities that come with it.
Source: Projections Central