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. 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 2012 to 2022, but the salary for RNs will continue to be at least $20,000 more per year than that for LPNs (www.bls.gov). 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.

Further considerations when seeking a school in this field:

  • Consider what degree the prospective student would like to achieve.
  • Check to make sure a program is approved by its state and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
  • Look into the different types of schedules available to students working full-time.
  • Check a school's fist-time and general passage rates for the NCLEX-RN exam.

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

Top 10 Nursing Schools

College/University Institution Type
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Johns Hopkins University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of California - San Francisco 4-year, Public
University of Washington 4-year, Public
University of Pittsburgh 4-year, Public
Duke University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
New York University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Maryland - Baltimore 4-year, Public
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor 4-year, Public
Emory University 4-year, Private not-for-profit

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