LPN to RN Schools in the U.S.

A licensed practical nurse (LPN) may want to advance his or her career by becoming a registered nurse (RN). For this person, there are accelerated program options that can expedite the process of obtaining an associate's or bachelor's degree in nursing.

Selecting Schools with LPN to RN Programs

LPNs who would like to become RNs can find LPN to RN programs at community colleges, nursing schools and 4-year colleges and universities.

Summary of Important Considerations

  • Average salary
  • Degree options
  • Accreditation
  • Scheduling options
  • Licensure exam passage rates

Average Salary

LPN to RN programs allow an LPN with a current license to further his or her career through additional classroom instruction and supervised clinical experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected LPNs and RNs to have similarly high job growth rates from 2008 to 2018, but the salary for RNs will continue to be at least $20,000 more per year than that for LPNs (www.bls.gov).

Degree Options

The first thing for prospective RNs to consider is what degree they'd like to achieve. LPN to RN programs are usually available through 2-year community colleges or vocational schools, but options also exist at 4-year universities. The former track leads to an associate's degree, while the latter results in a bachelor's degree.


Regardless of program level, students should look into the school's accreditation. A college's nursing program should be approved by its state and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; otherwise, graduates may not qualify for licensure.

Scheduling Options

Potential students may also want to consider scheduling: Some programs offer night classes or accelerated summer terms that may be more suitable for those who are currently employed full-time.

Licensure Exam Passage Rates

Upon completing an LPN to RN program, it's necessary to pass the NCLEX-RN to obtain one's license. Therefore, aspiring RNs may want to know a particular program's first-time and general passage rates before applying. The first-time passage rate recognizes the number of former students that passed their licensure exam on their first attempt; the general passage rate includes those who passed after multiple tries.

Overview of LPN to RN Programs

LPN to RN Associate's Degree

This program qualifies an LPN to take the NCLEX-RN and become an RN. This program may be available partially online and can lead to an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science or Associate Degree Nursing. The advanced track consists of one semester or summer term of study that's just for LPNs. These individuals then join non-LPN students for the next two semesters, and the cohort graduates together at the end of that year. Nursing classes traditionally cover:

  • Microbiology
  • Human anatomy and physiology
  • Adult nursing

LPN to RN Bachelor's Degree

Although a Bachelor of Science in Nursing typically takes four years to achieve, LPNs who would like to qualify for the NCLEX-RN can earn this degree in about half the time. The curriculum includes general education classes as well as coursework in management and administration, which can help a nurse advance his or her career. A bachelor's degree is commonly the minimum requirement to pursue work in administrative positions. Regardless of previously held licensure or experience in the field, prospective students need to meet all general admissions requirements for the college or university. Bachelor's degree students are required to complete a clinical practicum. Courses could include:

  • Nursing leadership
  • Maternal/child nursing
  • Mental health nursing

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