LPN to ADN Programs

How Does an LPN get an ADN?

LPN to ADN is another option for LPN's who would like to obtain a nursing degree.  Associate degree Registered Nurses are considered entry level positions. An Associate of the Arts (AAN) or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree sets the foundation for successful practice as a RN and prepares students to take and pass the NCLEX-RN examination. While Associate degree programs are not as comprehensive or time intensive as Bachelor's degree programs, they do prepare registered nurses for entry-level RN positions.

  • LPN to RN/BSN Online - Achieve Test Prep

    *Must Be a LPN/LVN

    LPNs earn your ADN or BSN degree online in up to 1/2 the time and cost of traditional programs. With No Waiting List to get started, Free Books, and Low Cost financing options available, this is the perfect way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn your Associates Degree in Nursing and your RN license. Our convenient, instructor led test-out program allows you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which then is eligible to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100's of universities nationwide.

ADN programs are offered by many community colleges as well as universities throughout the country. Required number of credit hours varies depending on location and educational institution; average number of credit hours required varies from 60 to 72. LPN to ADN programs usually take about half the time and half the money of BSN programs. However, many ADN nurses later return to school and obtain a BSN. This can be for a career change or for a promotion and higher pay scale.

What Is the Difference between an LPN and ADN Education?

The candidate attending an LPN program will not graduate with a degree in nursing but will rather achieve a license to practice nursing within a particular state provided they pass the NCLEX-PN exam, whereas; the graduate from an Associate Degree in Nursing will graduate with a degree in nursing.  The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) are 2-3 year programs and are considered the entry level for nursing.

Do I Need to Be an LPN before I Can Get My ADN?

You do not need to be an LPN to get an ADN/ASN degree.  However, if you are an LPN many ADN programs will give you credits toward your associate degree. LPN to RN bridge programs build on the experience obtained by working as a LPN.  LPN to RN programs are structured with the knowledge that LPNs are already trained in these areas and are seeking more advanced knowledge and greater autonomy.  Many programs offer transition courses specifically to assist the LPN in transitioning to the ADN program. Most LPN to ADN programs allow the LPN to complete the program in 3 semesters, giving credit for Fundamentals of Nursing and Med/Surg 1 or the equivalent.

Should I Get My ADN or Should I Work toward a BSN?

In 2010 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported on the future of nursing recommending nurse leaders to facilitate and support lifelong learning in nurses to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020 (Institute of Medicine [IOM], 2010).  However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start with an associate degree and be working while going on for your baccalaureate.  More BSN nurses will be necessary to expand competencies in areas such as community and public health, leadership, systems improvement and change, research, and health policy; and to provide a pool of potential candidates to move on to master's and doctoral education in nursing (Stokowski, 2011).

Are ADN Programs Being Phased Out?

ADN degrees are not being phased out, however, there is a strong encouragement for nurses to continue education to BSN and further.  The ADN degree is an important entry point for many nurses, a portal to get into nursing as a career, but it shouldn't be a terminal degree (Stokowski, 2011). The IOM recommends health care organizations encourage nurses with ADN to enter baccalaureate nursing programs within 5 years of graduation (IOM, 2010).

Are There Online ADN Programs Available?

  • LPN to RN/BSN Online - Achieve Test Prep

    *Must Be a LPN/LVN

    LPNs earn your ADN or BSN degree online in up to 1/2 the time and cost of traditional programs. With No Waiting List to get started, Free Books, and Low Cost financing options available, this is the perfect way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn your Associates Degree in Nursing and your RN license. Our convenient, instructor led test-out program allows you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which then is eligible to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100's of universities nationwide.

There are online LPN to BSN and ADN to BSN programs that are becoming increasingly achievable and appealing because of the flexibility they offer to the non-traditional working student. Online learning offers students who are trying to balance a family, career, and other commitments the opportunity to earn a degree without sacrificing their other interests and obligations. Another benefit of online learning is the asynchronous learning environment. In an asynchronous learning environment, students can participate in discussion boards and post their homework at their convenience instead of being limited to participating at the designated location and the time when a class is offered.  This works well for working students and particularly those who work shift work that would potentially exclude them from attending classes. Keep in mind while online classes are convenient and while it is possible to take one class at a time in the online setting, some states require completion in 5 years.

LPN to ADN Classes & Courses

Many LPNs commit to ongoing professional development in their field and for many, professional development means additional courses at college while employed as a practical nurse in order to become a certified Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN).  ADN certification is a popular way for LPNs to attain their RN status, leaving only the nursing license exam after graduation.  Many nurses choose to enter the profession as an LPN and then use tuition reimbursements from their employer to further their professional and career goals. For LPNs who are committed to a course of study, achieving their ADN can take as little as one year once LPN schooling has been completed – shortening the typical 2-year associate’s degree by half. While ADN programs do vary from institution to institution, candidates will cover the following concepts:

  • Examine all information through the perspectives of the individual, healthcare system, and nursing profession
  • Learn about medication administration, assessment, nutrition, ethics, interdisciplinary teams, informatics, evidence-based practice, individual-centered care, and quality improvement
  • Analyze the concepts of acid-base, metabolism, cellular regulation, oxygenation as they affect bodily systems
  • Recognize the impacts of infection, stress/coping, health-wellness-illness paradigm, and sanitary measures on patient outcome
  • Examine the significance of patient-caregiver communication, caring interventions, appropriate care management on patient outcome and systemic health goals
  • Analyze care management models, personal and systemic safety information, quality improvement cycles, and informatics
  • Examine the concepts of oxygenation, sexuality, reproduction on the human body
  • Assess the psychological-physical continuum of grief/loss, mood/affect, behaviors, development, and family on patient health
  • Examine the role of sensory perception, cognition, and development of the self and their role in healthcare and wellness
  • Understand the importance of an interdisciplinary team dynamic, the model of clinical decision-making, assessment and ethics
  • Learn and promote practices associated with care models that suit both the patient and his or her caregivers
  • Understand the body's defence mechanisms
  • Understand the importance of exercise.
  • Understand the role of the nursing staff as integral to the medical team
  • Examine the feedback of the nurse as a critical part of the quality feedback cycle relating to care
  • Analyze the healthcare system, hospital, insurance and policy stakeholders in place
  • Evaluate workflow for nurses in various kinds of medical environments
  • Assess leading ethical and decision making models to guide students toward patient care that upholds medical standards
  • Experience a variety of clinical settings, closely supervised and then with greater periods of autonomy as experience and skillsets develop
  • Analyze and evaluate various aspects of clinical experience
  • LPN to RN/BSN Online - Achieve Test Prep

    *Must Be a LPN/LVN

    LPNs earn your ADN or BSN degree online in up to 1/2 the time and cost of traditional programs. With No Waiting List to get started, Free Books, and Low Cost financing options available, this is the perfect way for LPNs, LVNs, and Paramedics to earn your Associates Degree in Nursing and your RN license. Our convenient, instructor led test-out program allows you to learn at an accelerated pace and earn college credit-by-examination which then is eligible to be transferred to an ACEN accredited nursing school or 100's of universities nationwide.

Other LPN bridge program options:

Daniel Bair, LPN

Daniel Bair, LPN is a 2012 graduate of practical nursing school. Being relatively new to nursing he offers a different point of view and a fresh take on nursing and related topics. He likes to spread the word about issues pertinent to nursing. He loves to dispel myths and misinformation about healthcare and nurses through medical writing. Experience caring for geriatric populations in acute and long-term care settings has provided invaluable experiences and has increased his appreciation and fondness for the elderly population. In addition to geriatrics, patient advocacy and holistic nursing care are areas of special interest.