Online LVN to RN programs allow students who've already earned licensure as vocational nurses to apply previous course credit toward nursing associate or bachelor's degrees and prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). These programs typically combine online coursework with in-person clinical requirements.
LVN to RN Associate Degree (ADN)
Practicing LVNs may be able to apply for advanced standing in ADN programs and allowed to forego some of the introductory nursing courses. The curriculum is approximately 60-70 credit hours in length and includes lecture courses completed in a virtual, asynchronous environment. Students must also participate in up to 24 weekly hours of mandatory clinical experiences at local healthcare facilities. Successful completion of these programs qualifies students to sit for the NCLEX-RN.
ADN programs include a combination of English and science courses, which are integrated with core nursing coursework. Required courses often include the following:
- Family nursing
- Adult nursing
- Nursing leadership
LVN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
An LVN-BSN program offers a more advanced course of study for LVNs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses who earn a bachelor's degree in nursing could face more favorable employment prospects than those with only an associate degree.
Some programs include online coursework completed at two or more colleges, which partner to provide a comprehensive educational experience. Degree requirements also include supervised clinical experiences, which are arranged at local healthcare facilities. Students living outside of a college's immediate vicinity might be able to arrange clinical experiences near them or complete these requirements at school-area clinics over the course of a few days. As with ADN programs, successful graduates of BSN programs can sit for the NCLEX-RN.
These programs often include around 120 credit hours of coursework designed to enhance students' professional competencies as well as cultivate managerial skills. Sample core courses are listed below:
- Nursing leadership
- Community health nursing
- Developmental psychology
- Mental health nursing
- Health assessment
- Public health nursing
Regardless of whether students choose the LVN to ADN or LVN to BSN route, both programs prepare students for the NCLEX-RN examination required to be a registered nurse. Students should keep in mind that a bachelor's degree in nursing could open the door to more employment opportunities.