Applicants in LPN-to-BSN program must be licensed practical nurses. The coursework takes place in in both the classroom and the lab, and internship opportunities with local hospitals are common. Programs are typically two years in length and provide credit for prior education completed, although the amount of credit awarded varies by institution. Some LPN-to-BSN programs require students to have at least one year of clinical nursing experience, though requirements vary from school to school.
Bachelor of Science in Nursing for a Licensed Practical Nurse
LPN-to-BSN degree programs offer life science, nursing and healthcare courses. Students learn to take care of patients, diagnose minor medical disorders and work with other healthcare professionals. Students go over ethics, medical terminology and assessment of patients. Graduates should be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Common courses include:
- Advanced patient care
- Healthcare systems
- Special needs nursing
- Nursing pharmacology
- Anatomy and physiology
- Health assessment
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
After completing BSN programs, students can pursue careers as registered nurses. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for RNs is expected to increase 16% from 2014-2024. As of 2015, RNs earned a median salary of $67,490.
Continuing Education and Licensure Information
All aspiring RNs are required to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Individual states may have additional criteria. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers voluntary specialty certifications for RNs who meet work experience and continuing education requirements. Possible specialties include pediatric and medical-surgical nursing, among others.
Beyond the bachelor's degree level, RNs interested in becoming advanced practice nurses (APNs) can pursue a Master of Science in Nursing. APNs have primary care duties similar to doctors, and they can pursue certification as clinical nurse specialists or nurse practitioners through the ANCC. Doctoral programs in nursing are also available for nurses interested in academic or research-based careers.
LPNs wishing to become RNs can enroll in a special bachelor's degree program in nursing for licensed practical nurses. These programs are often shorter than traditional bachelor's programs, taking just two years to complete. Job growth for registered nurses far exceeds that of other careers, with a 16% increase in job openings projected for the 2014-2024 decade.