Best LPN to BSN Online Programs 2021

Upon earning their LPN-to-BSN degree, graduates take the NCLEX-RN exam to earn their RN license.

October 5, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Best LPN to BSN Online Programs 2021

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LPN to BSN Programs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects RN jobs to grow 7% from 2019-2029, generating nearly 220,000 positions. To meet the need for bachelor's-trained nurses, institutions nationwide offer accelerated nursing programs, including licensed practical nurse to bachelor's of science in nursing, or LPN-to-BSN, degrees.

Upon earning their LPN-to-BSN degree, graduates take the NCLEX-RN exam to earn their RN license. Some schools offer an RN-to-BSN program for associate-trained RNs wishing to continue their studies with a bachelor's.

This guide contains information that can help students determine whether pursuing an LPN-to-BSN program supports their current career objectives. We cover the benefits of online nursing programs, a ranking of the best LPN-to-BSN degrees, and scholarships for students pursuing online nursing degrees.

Achieving Your Bachelor of Science in Nursing

true Q. What can you do with a LPN-to-BSN?

An LPN-to-BSN program qualifies graduates for more professional opportunities and greater autonomy. A BSN also meets the educational requirements for a master's in nursing.

true Q. Are there LPN-to-MSN programs?

Before they can apply to an MSN program, LPNs must first complete either an LPN-to-RN or LPN-to-BSN bridge program.

true Q. Is it easy to go from LPN to RN?

It can take a diploma-trained LPN another 2-4 years to become an RN. They must pass the NCLEX-RN before they can assume senior nursing duties typically assigned to RNs.

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Why Get a Degree in Nursing?

Pursuing a BSN requires dedication, determination, and considerable resource investment. Nurses pursue a BSN for several reasons, even though they already endure long hours on the job and heavy workloads. We describe five such reasons below.

BSN-trained RNs typically qualify for senior floor or management positions more easily than LPNs. Employers know they possess the knowledge and skills to handle greater responsibilities. A BSN presents the holder as a knowledgeable colleague who makes a meaningful contribution to patients' diagnostic and treatment plans. Most schools offering a master of science in nursing prefer applicants who already hold a bachelor's in nursing. A BSN allows practitioners to upgrade their skills and ensure their nursing knowledge stays current and inclusive of the latest developments. BLS data show that bachelor's degree-holders earn more than associate-trained workers or employees with some college but no degree. The different groups earn median weekly salaries of $1,248, $887, and $833, respectively.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse - Nursing Timeline

A typical nursing degree can take 2-4 years to complete. Each level of nursing has its own timeline, and that timeline can vary depending upon factors like part-time vs. full-time enrollment, certification, and the type of program. 

Below is an overview of the typical amount of time it takes to complete a nursing degree, keep in mind that the length provided is for the amount of time it takes to complete that segment of the degree, not the entire academic path overall:

Nursing Timeline
Nursing Degree Level Time of Completion
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) 2-3 years
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) 1-2 years
Registered Nurse (RN) 4 years
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 4-5 years
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) 1.5-3 years
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) 1-3 years

How Much Does a Nursing Major Make?

A broad professional arena, the nursing field offers several specialization areas for nurses wanting to focus their careers or pursue a particular field of practice. Nursing specialties include geriatrics, mental health, ER, and critical care. According to the BLS, bachelor's-trained RNs earn a median annual salary of $73,300, much higher than the average of $39,810 for all professions. Master's-trained RNs, including nurse anesthetists and midwives, earn even higher median annual salaries of $115,800.

LPN-to-BSN Program Requirements

Specific requirements for admission to LPN-to-BSN programs vary between schools. Typical requirements include completion of an accredited practical nurse program, a valid LPN license and professional experience, and recommendation letters. Most schools require the completion of clinical hours while enrolled in the program.

BSN degree-holders pursue various career paths, each one with ample opportunities for professional growth and advancement. However, like many professional arenas, leadership and top administrative positions often require a master's or even a doctoral degree.

Courses in a LPN-to-BSN Program

LPN-to-BSN programs typically include foundation coursework, such as the three commonly offered courses described below. Many online nursing programs require public and community health, nursing informatics, and ethics classes. Well-developed LPN-to-BSN programs include several hours of supervised clinical training. This training helps students develop assessment and diagnostic skills and enhances their ability to relate professionally with different people.

Best LPN-to-BSN Programs 2021

North Dakota State University View School Profile Fargo, ND $6924

North Dakota State University is host to an online LPN-BSN option for students seeking licensure as a registered nurse. In order to qualify for this 2-year program, you must hold an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 grade average, a current LPN license, CPR certification and passing scores in advanced placement exams. Graduation entails the satisfaction of 122 credit hours exploring psychosocial nursing, leadership and health assessment. Online learners can utilize resources such as a writing center, tutoring services and academic advising specific to distance education.

Kent State University View School Profile Kent, OH $10012

At Kent State University, licensed practical nurses are eligible to enroll in a hybrid bridge program to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing. Applicants for LPN-BSN studies must possess a 2.75 GPA in undergraduate work. Following the completion of 120 credit hours in classes such as Health Care of Children and Nursing of the Critically Ill, students are prepared to take the National Certification and Licensure Exam. Use of the Olga A. Mural Simulation Lab will provide practice experience for graduates as they enter into the role of a registered nurse. There are options to participate in a daytime, evening or weekend cohort.

Indiana State University View School Profile Terre Haute, IN $8546

Indiana State University offers licensed vocational and practical nurses a fully online format for completing a bachelor's degree in nursing. Admissions criteria are based on grade average in nursing prerequisite coursework, Kaplan Admission Test (KAT) scores and the interview process. The LPN-BSN program requires maintenance of a 2.25 grade average while working through 120 credit hours. Students are also expected to fulfill clinical hours within their location of residency. The Career Center and the Student Nurses Association link enrollees to networking and professional development opportunities.

Clarkson College View School Profile Omaha, NE $11976

Students licensed as practical nurses can work through a combination of on-campus and online studies to earn a bachelor's degree through Clarkson College's LPN to BSN program. Following the completion of 130 credit hours, you will be equipped to pass the state exam for becoming a registered nurse. Graduates enter into positions at hospitals, nursing homes and insurance companies. Transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, a personal essay and demonstration of proficiency in English will determine admissions eligibility. The Success Center connects learners to web and campus resources.

Presentation College View School Profile Aberdeen, SD $18710

At Presentation College, licensed practical nurses looking to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing may do so online through the school's LPN-to-BSN program. All courses are delivered online and asynchronously, meaning that students may access coursework at any time that's convenient for their schedules, rather than at scheduled times. This 121-credit program provides an accelerated path for LPNs to gain credit for professional experience to expedite their bachelor's degree program as well as prepare them to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. To be admitted to Presentation College, students must enter with high school GPAs of at least 2.0 and qualifying ACT or SAT scores. Additionally, the LPN-to-BSN program requires applicants to submit completed reference forms.

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