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.

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Selecting Schools with LPN to RN Programs

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 have similarly high job growth 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).

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 licensed by its state and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission; otherwise, graduates may not qualify for licensure. 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.

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 pass rates before applying. The first-time pass rate recognizes the number of former students that passed their licensure exam on their first attempt; the general pass 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. 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 aging, child care, humanities, pharmacology, pathophysiology and psychology. This program may be available partially online and can lead to an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science or Associate Degree 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 by satisfying prerequisites. The curriculum includes general education classes, as well as coursework in leadership training, management and administration - all of 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.

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