LPN to BSN Programs

How Does an LPN get a BSN?

BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, is the most comprehensive of the three options for LPN to RN bridge programs. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Bachelor prepared RN's account for 40% of total RN's. ADN is the second most popular choice, followed by the waning popularity of the Diploma RN. Many RN's have Masters of Nursing or other advanced degrees. There have been pushes for many years by various forces to make BSN degree mandatory for all RN's. To date these attempts have not been successful, however the popularity of the BSN degree continues to rise.

  • 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.

Bachelors prepared nurses have a stronger knowledge base and a broader overall education. In addition to the core nursing classes and clinical requirements there are general education credits required. Classes such as English composition and social sciences classes must be taken. In addition there are often pubic speaking classes, leadership classes, or similar. Having a Bachelor’s degree opens many opportunities that are not available to nurses that are not as educated. Critical thinking and problem solving skills allow BSN RN's to work in many different healthcare settings. Hospitals, nursing homes, and the other normal employment facilities for nurses are valid options. In addition specialties such as endoscopy centers, cancer treatment centers, and administrative positions open up. Nurses of this high caliber are also able to educate patients and promote healthy living and management of existing medical conditions. When a RN earns a BSN there are opportunities to work in broader settings than Associate or a diploma RN. Specialties like pediatrics, wound care, critical care, or school nurse can be chosen. Some hospitals, especially magnet hospitals, have chosen to hire only BSN RN's. Once a BSN is obtained, further specialization can be obtained such as school nurse certification, critical care nurse certification, diabetes educator, and more.

One important thing to remember when bridging from LPN to RN is that your roles will change. This is because legal scope of practice changes. This is often addressed in transitions classes that are built into the LPN to RN Bridge program curriculum. The degree of change in daily responsibilities and legal limitations depends on the state in which you are practicing. Some states are very restrictive with the scope of practice for LPN's.

bsn

How Long Are LPN to BSN Programs?

Usually a Bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to earn. It encompasses general education requirements such as math, English, science, humanities, etc in addition to the required nursing credits. Some LPN to BSN RN Bridge programs are shorter than this. Length of the program can vary based on any previously earned college credits, if applicable. BSN degrees usually require 120 credits. This may be higher depending on the education institution.

Before admittance to a LPN to RN Bridge program there is almost always entrance testing and sometimes an interview is required. A minimum 2.0 GPA for LPN education and any college credit obtained is required as well. Once admitted, the student will enroll in classes either part time of full time. LPN to RN Bridge programs are offered by universities and community colleges. Average tuition at a community college starts around $17,000 for a 3 year LPN to RN Bridge program. At a regular college or university the cost can be higher. Financial aid is usually available. Worried about paying for LPN or RN school? See our guide on cost of LPN school. We not only discuss the cost of LPN school but financial aid and the financial aid process.

Selecting the Best LPN to BSN Program

With a wide array of educational opportunities available, selecting the right BSN program for you may seem like a daunting task. Here are some options to consider when choosing a BSN program which will meet your needs best.

  • Is the university and nursing program well established? How long has it been around? Is the program well recognized and fully credentialed? What percentage of graduates find work quickly after graduation? What percentage of graduates pass their RN boards on their first attempt?
  • How is the education provided? Is it on campus or mostly online? Does the school follow a regular semester schedule or is it possible to begin courses at any time? How available are instructors or advisors?
  • Find out how long the program lasts. Is there a bridge program which results in an earlier graduation date? Do you have the option of obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing and sitting for the RN boards while you complete the requirements which lead to a bachelor’s degree in nursing?
  • What will your education cost? If you currently work at a health care facility and you are planning to take advantage of a tuition reimbursement benefit, are there any restrictions on schools which your employer will reimburse tuition for? Are scholarships available? Does tuition have to be paid in full at the beginning of each course or semester or do you have the option to spread out payments?
  • If you are considering a program which is not local; find out if there is an on campus commitment. If there is one, learn how frequently to you have to be on campus.  Are low cost housing and meals available when you are required to be on campus?
  • What is the average class size? How many students are usually supervised by each instructor during clinicals? Smaller classes afford you the opportunity to get extra personalized attention. What resources are available if you need extra help on a subject? If you have special needs; ask what accommodations are available.
  • What health care facilities is the college affiliated with? Are they the top hospitals in your area? As an LPN you likely have an idea of what type of nursing that you enjoy. Does the program offer opportunities to work in settings which interest you? If it is a distance learning program, how involved are you expected to be regarding setting up practicums?
  • Is there an on campus nursing simulation laboratory conveniently located? If you tour a campus, be sure to take a careful look at the laboratory. The best nursing simulation labs contain state of the art medical equipment. You will have opportunities to document on electronic medical records and learn how to handle medical emergencies. Learn how the laboratory is utilized as that is as important as the equipment which it contains.
  • Find out if there is an opportunity to communicate with current students. They can tell you what the programs assets and shortcomings are.

It is important that you enroll in a nursing program which meets your needs. Many universities offer top notch programs. The key is finding the right fit for you. Enrolling in the right program will make learning easier and prepare you for an outstanding career as an RN with a BSN degree.

Browse LPN/LVN to RN Programs in Your State

Select the state below to see a full list of LPN/LVN to RN bridge programs.

LPN to BSN Classes & Courses

LPNs who pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing will find that a vast majority of the early coursework is based on the theoretical understanding of the biological and behavioral sciences and less on the practical curriculum that LPNs start with.  As a counterpoint to the heavily book-oriented course of study, clinical experiences do begin early in each program. These clinical learning environments will be familiar to LPNs who are changing career tracks, and take place in schools, clinics, senior citizens’ centers and care facilities. What LPNs may notice however is the greater responsibility and autonomy that is expected of students pursuing their BSN.  While course curricula and timelines may vary greatly between institutions, programs will include the following:

  • Discuss the contents and roles of various genomes along with their identification and implications
  • Review of the Human Genome project and the tools used in discovering and identifying sequences in a particular genome
  • Become familiar with the analysis of gene expression
  • Study development of plants and animals at the organism and molecular level
  • Study sequential morphological changes and gene expression during development, sexual maturation and the aging process in humans, animals and plants
  • Analyze biological synthesis of commercial products and its relation to the genetic engineering of plants and animals
  • Survey the diagnostic tools and production of recombinant vaccines
  • Understand the organization and structure of the immune system including immunological techniques
  • Learn about the molecular and cellular foundations of immunity, histocompatibility antigens, autoimmune disorders, and the role of sanitation
  • Understand the various bodily systems (integumentary, reproductive, skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine, digestive, urinary, cardiovascular, lymphatic and respiratory).
  • Develop an overview of the cellular and molecular mechanisms in a cell.
  • Understand evolution, diversity and ecology and the roles that each have on the human physiology.
  • Discuss the diversity of living organisms as it relates to evolutionary processes.
  • Explore evolution including mechanisms of speciation, extinction, adaptive radiation, and phylogenetic
  • Study the structure, physiology, development, and classification of animals - beginning with protozoa and ending with vertebrate mammals
  • Understand and endorse practices associated with person- and family-centred care
  • Develop empowering partnerships with patients and families
  • Survey the healthcare system in current and theoretical models, as well as the role of hospital, insurance and regulatory stakeholders
  • Understand and emulate workflow best practices for nurses in various kinds of medical environments
  • Assess popular ethical and decision making models to give students a framework for patient care and professional behaviour that upholds medical standards.
  • Participate in a range of clinical settings with mentors and partners, first as an observer, and then with greater opportunities for autonomy as experience and skillsets develop
  • Analyze and evaluate the many 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.

BSN Careers

As an LPN, you provide care in many patient areas. Unfortunately, some of the most interesting areas of nursing require that you are a registered nurse.

Cardiovascular Intensive Care (CVICU) Nurse

Limited opportunities exist for LPN's who desire to care for critically ill cardiac patients. Greater opportunities for working in a cardiovascular intensive care unit, CVICU, exist if you become a registered nurse, and obtain your Bachelors of Science, BSN, Degree in Nursing. Getting your BSN, in addition to obtaining licensure as an RN, will open many doors for you as you pursue a career in cardiovascular nursing.

Case Management Nurse

One expanding field which needs RNs who have a BSN is case management. Due to regulatory issues, case management is the domain of RNs; particularly RNs with Bachelor’s or higher degrees. If you desire to work as a case manager becoming an RN with a BSN degree will open doors which were previously closed to you. Learn more about Case management careers. Learn more about a career as a case manager.

Critical Care Nurse

While limited opportunities exist for LPN's who desire to care for critically ill patients; your likelihood of working in critical care will be vastly improved if you become a registered nurse. Getting your BSN in addition to obtaining licensure as an RN will broaden your career opportunities in critical care even further. Learn more about a career as a critical care nurse.

Diabetes Nurse Educator

As an LPN, you work with many people who have diabetes. You know that people who are diagnosed with diabetes have complex medical needs. It is challenging for you and your patients to keep abreast of all of the ongoing recommendations and changes in care that people who have diabetes require. Research a career as a diabetes nurse educator as well as the education needed.

LPN Instructor

Have you ever thought about how interesting it might be to become a nursing instructor? If you would like to educate people and help to prepare them to become LPNs or CNAs, you need to become a Registered Nurse and obtain your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Since you are already a Licensed Practical Nurse, you have firsthand knowledge about what students need to know. Being a nursing instructor can be a great career option. It offers many professional and personal perks. Research a career as an LPN instructor.

Military Nurse

Military nursing provides benefits which are unmatched by private industries. Nurses are officers in the military. Only Registered Nurses who possess their Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing are eligible to serve as military nurses. If you are an LPN, and you want to help the exceptional men and women who serve this country, consider obtaining your Bachelors of Science in Nursing, BSN, degree and becoming a Registered Nurse. Read about a career as a military nurse.

Nurse Coach

Have you heard about the growing opportunities for nurse coaches? Nurse coaching is an exciting and growing nursing specialty area. Nurse coaches work in a vast array of health care settings. Many nurse coaches go into private practice; which is unusual among nursing careers. LPNs are not employed as nurse coaches. If you want to become a nurse coach, you must be a Registered Nurse and obtain your Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Learn more about a career as a nurse coach.

Pain Management Nurse

You became an LPN in order to help people optimize their health and quality of life. Unfortunately, you see many individuals who are unable to live well because they suffer from poorly managed pain. As an LPN, your ability to help relieve their suffering is limited. If you become an RN you will be able to do more to comfort them. While some pain management opportunities exist for RNs who do not possess Bachelor’s degrees; more opportunities are available for nurses who have obtained their BSN degrees.   I encourage you to obtain your BSN degree and become an RN if you want to enter the exciting field of pain management. Research a career as a pain management nurse.

Perianesthesia (PACU) Nurse

Perianesthesia (PACU) nurses provide care to patients who undergo surgical or other medical procedures which require sedation. They work in hospital and outpatient settings. PACU nurses are registered nurse experts who ensure that patients recovering from anesthesia are safe and comfortable. PACU nursing is a critical care nursing specialty which offers nurses many benefits while they provide high quality patient care. Learn more about a career as a PACU nurse.

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Nurse

Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, PICU, nurses provide lifesaving care to very sick children. If you would like to work in a PICU you must first become a Registered Nurse. Potential employers may hire you directly into a PICU or they may require that you gain experience working with children in another setting first.

Employers prefer that you are a Registered Nurse who possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing if you want to work as a PICU nurse. Read on to explore a career as a PICU nurse.

Public Health Nurse

The majority of public health nursing positions are only available to RNs who have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. LPNs who seek to work in public health may want to investigate nursing programs which offer credit for prior course work and professional experience so that they may make a smooth transition from being an LPN to becoming a registered nurse in the field of public health.  Explore a career as a public health nurse.

School Nurse

A school nurse may work in one school or several. Some districts utilize emergency medical technicians or other health care professionals. The registered nurse provides supervision and serves as a resource to those health care providers. Be prepared to earn your BSN and become an RN. Learn more about a career as a school nurse.

Other LPN bridge program options:

  • 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.

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.