Licensed Practical nurse (LPN) works under the supervision of Registered nurses (RNs) and doctors. California and Texas have a different term for LPNs as they call them Licensed Vocational Nurses.
A GED or high school diploma is enough qualification to pursue an LPN education program. It takes a short period of 9-18 months compared to the two years for an ADN degree and four for a bachelor’s degree. After passing a state licensing assessment exam, newly graduated, LPNs can start working. LPNs perform less stringent duties, including:

  • Taking vital signs
  • Ensuring patient comfort
  • Reporting the status of patients to nurses
  • Administering medicine

RN: An RN is a person with an associate or bachelor degree from an accredited nursing school. An RN has more opportunities for employment and earning a higher degree. Registered nurses are also more likely to get to leadership positions.  These are enough motivations to upgrade from LPN to RN guide. 

Pathway for LPN to RN 

LPN to RN programs are in two forms. LPNs can become RNs by pursuing an ADN and BSN degree. Each teaches competencies of nursing together with patient care. An ADN completed in lesser time of 12-24 months while getting a BSN takes four years. The reason is that a BSN program exposes students to a broader range of programs. Because of this BSN degree holders have more opportunities for leadership, research, education, or policy.


LPN to ADN is a program for nurses who want to pursue an Associate’s degree in nursing. It takes two years and becoming eligible for an entry-level registered nurse position.   After earning an LPN degree, the former LPNs can pursue a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. LPN ADN programs are available at the community colleges, vocational schools and online.

Licensed practical nurses can become registered nurses by pursuing one of the LPN-RN programs. These programs are customized for LPNs who want further their education and advance their career use your education and experience as the starting point if you are an LPN. After completing this program, an LPN earns the qualifications to sit for an RN licensing exam.  

The practical knowledge helps many LPNs through RN coursework while the program lessons fill the nursing theory that is not in the LPN programs. The number of credit hours required pursuing an ADN degree by an LPN depends on the academic institution and state, but the average number is 60-72. LPN to ADN programs takes around half time and cost than the BSN programs. Many nurses after acquiring the ADN degree, still return to schooling and get a BSN.

The purpose of an ADN degree is providing both theory classes and practical training.  Subject such as Biology, anatomy, physiology, and nutrition are some of the subjects that make up the coursework.

 Students during their practical sessions spend time enhancing the mandatory clinical nursing skills for the profile of an ADN.  The subjects that LPNs learn in the course means that they will not repeat learning subjects covered in an LPN program such as emergency care, nutrition, physiology, and obstetric nursing.


LPNs can complete a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree program in 2-4 years.  These programs have more rigorous coursework than ADN. The advantage is that graduates have wider choices in specialties where they can work. It also opens up opportunities to advance into the leadership and management positions. They also get more chances to pursue an MSN degree after acquiring a BSN. LPN-BSN programs are available at 4-year colleges and universities.

Institutions offering LPN-BSN programs have a method to determine if the applicants the basic nursing competency then award credit. The amount and process vary between schools. Well-qualified LPNs will receive credit for up to 30 hours after validation. Schools might look at the recent practice for people who do not graduate in recent years.  Licensed Practical nurses who aim straight for BSN may also need to prepare for several tests. The testing process can be challenging, but schools provide registration while several organizations publish test preparation guides.

Online LPN to RN Guide 

Advancement in technology has brought a new convenient way to acquire knowledge. LPN -ADN and LPN-BSN programs are now available online for students to study their subjects through the internet.  It is a methodology that saves time and allows flexibility to study at the most convenient time. Online classes help LPNs who are working to manage their schedule for attending work and studying. Accredited nursing schools, universities,   community colleges, and vocational schools offer online courses.

The coursework for the online program is well-compiled in live chats, video simulations, and emails. Student can access an online database of a program 24/7.

Another big advantage to enroll in an online program is an ability to test the general education classes by taking exams for class credit. Taking these exams helps to expedite the learning process cutting down the time that LPNs take to earn a degree. They will not spend hours studying courses that will not directly contribute to the practical aspects of nursing.

LPN-RN Bridge Programs Guide 

A bridge program between LPN and RN comprises of classes that fill up the gap between the two career levels.  The purpose of the LPN-RN bridge program is transitioning to professional nursing. The education includes some non-nursing courses. 

A bridging program has various prerequisites comprising of specific courses depending on the educational background. The prerequisites to complete also affect the length that someone spends on the program.  They might include English composition, physiology, anatomy, biology, and general chemistry. Many schools do not consider these courses valid for people who studied them more than five years ago. Other schools allow students to use some of the LPN experience as credit and shorten the length of the program.

These are some of the classes for   LPN-RN Bridge Programs.

  • Transitioning to professional nursing
  • Health assignment
  • Nursing research
  • Pharmacology
  • Women health
  • Adult health nursing
  • Community-based nursing

Clinical experience usually follows classes such as women and adult health for students to apply classroom learning in a real-world setting.

Taking LPN-RN classes and passing examinations allows nurses to get more opportunities for getting more roles, advancing their careers, and earning more. The median income of LPNs is $44,090 while registered nurses earn $68, 450. It is a program worth pursuing.

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