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Enrolling in an LPN-to-RN Program

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) can enroll in an LPN-to-RN online program to boost their earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), LPNs earn a median annual salary of $48,820. Registered nurses (RNs) earn $75,330.

Aspiring RNs first need an associate or bachelor's degree. Many LPN-to-RN programs only take two years to complete. This guide outlines the benefits of enrolling in an LPN-to-RN online program. Read on to learn about common courses and earning potential.

Frequently Asked Questions About LPN-to-RN Programs

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

Completing an LPN-to-RN program takes effort. However, many students find programs with quality teachers easier to complete.

true Q. How long is an LPN-to-RN program?

Full-time students can complete an LPN-to-RN program in two years. Part-time learners take about four years. Students enrolled in accelerated programs may only need 1.5 years to earn their degree.

true Q. Can you be an RN without a bachelor's degree?

Some employers hire RNs with only an associate degree. Most employers prefer RNs with a bachelor of science in nursing. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Why Get an RN Degree?

Earning an RN degree can bring many benefits, including a higher salary. RNs also enjoy more autonomy. They can make decisions to enhance a patient's outcome. LPNs generally follow nurses and perform basic tasks. They focus on keeping patients stable and comfortable.

Becoming an RN puts a nurse one step closer to becoming a nurse practitioner (NP). NPs gain even more freedom and job responsibilities. They can write prescriptions and diagnose patients. NPs can also start their own private practice in most states.

Nurse practitioners earn an annual median salary of $117,670. The BLS projects jobs for NPs to grow 45% between 2020 and 2030, which is much faster than all occupations.

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How Much Does an LPN-to-RN Degree Cost?

The cost for an LPN-to-RN degree varies by school. Community colleges usually charge the most affordable tuition. Public universities charge more than community colleges. However, private colleges charge the highest tuition. Prospective students can browse the top LPN-to-RN online programs to find the best fit for their budget.

When budgeting, nurses should factor in lab fees and supplies. For example, learners must purchase scrubs and a stethoscope for clinical rotations.

How Much Do RN Majors Make?

According to PayScale salary data from September 2021, RNs earn an average annual salary of $66,610. As RNs gain more experience, they earn more money.

Employer type contributes to pay. For example, RNs working at a private practice may earn a different amount than RNs working at a state-run hospital. Nurses may qualify for extra pay if they work night shifts. Nurses who work in high-risk roles, such as in a COVID-19 unit, may also earn more money.

Courses in an LPN-to-RN Program

Students build on basic nursing knowledge in an LPN-to-RN program. They learn how to evaluate patients and create care plans. Some programs allow learners to select a minor or concentration. For example, nurses who want to work with children could pursue a pediatrics concentration.

Many schools offer LPN-to-RN online programs. However, learners must complete clinical rotations in person.

Read below for three common courses in LPN-to-RN programs. Keep in mind that not every school offers these exact courses.

  • Pharmacology

    Students review how to safely administer medications. Learners discover common side effects and negative drug interactions. They also practice medication classification and how to calculate a correct dosage. Coursework helps students understand how to make informed medicine-related decisions.
  • Current Issues in Nursing

    The class covers modern challenges for nurses. Learners read case studies and discuss best practices for hard situations. Coursework highlights laws that impact the profession. The curriculum discusses contemporary threats to human health, such as drug dependence.
  • Clinical Rotations

    When completing an online LPN-to-RN program, students should plan for in-person components. Clinical rotations require onsite visits to local hospitals or doctors' offices. Learners complete supervised work and practice hands-on tasks. Most states' licensing boards require about 400 clinical hours for RNs.

How to Become an RN

Aspiring RNs must complete a higher education program. According to the BLS, most RNs need a bachelor's degree. Since LPNs have some education, they can usually complete an RN degree in just two years.

Students must complete clinical rotation hours. They then need a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination. Test-takers receive up to six hours to complete the multiple-choice exam.

Some learners participate in job shadow programs. Job shadowing allows students to gain experience in various clinical settings. This also helps future nurses make valuable professional connections.

After students complete the requirements, they can apply for licensure through their state board.

Licensure for RN Students

LPN-to-RN bridge programs online prepare students for licensure. Each state sets its own requirements. Students should select an LPN-to-RN online program in the state they wish to practice.

RNs who relocate may need to complete extra requirements. Some states participate in reciprocity agreements. This means nurses can transfer their licenses between certain states without additional requirements.

After nurses earn their licenses, they must complete continuing education hours. Organizations like the American Medical Association offer continuing education opportunities. Specific requirements vary by state. Check with your state's licensing board for specifics.

LPN-to-RN Programs

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Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

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