Nursing Degrees: Bridging From LPN to RN

  1. 6

    The intended purpose of this article is to briefly introduce the steps that a licensed practical nurse (LPN) would take in order to become a registered nurse (RN).

    Nursing Degrees: Bridging From LPN to RN

    Licensed practical nurses (LPN) have the ability to reinforce their current skill set, acquire new skills, learn additional theory, earn a higher income, and prepare for enhanced career mobility by continuing their educations to become registered nurses (RN).

    Bridge programs have been formulated to enable LPNs to complete an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) plus training at the professional registered nursing level.

    Both educational pathways will result in eligibility to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and applicants who pass this exam will attain state licensure as RNs. These programs are sometimes known as RN bridge programs, RN mobility programs, RN fast-track programs, and RN completion programs.

    To get admitted into an LPN-to-RN or LPN-to-BSN program, the candidate must already hold state licensure as an LPN. Depending on the bridge program, admission requirements might also include an entrance exam, the completion of prerequisite courses, basic life support CPR certification, criminal background check, reference letters, work experience, negative tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray, and evidence of immunity against specific diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella.

    A typical LPN-to-RN program that results in an associate degree might be one year long after all prerequisite classes have been completed, whereas an LPN-to-BSN program might take anywhere from two to three years after all prerequisite courses have been satisfactorily completed.

    RN bridge programs cover clinical nursing skills as well as educate students on a variety of topics. After graduating from a bridge program, most graduates will be able to either work as RNs or continue their educations to train for advanced practice specialties that require masters degrees, such as the family nurse practitioner role, midwifery, or certified registered nurse anesthetist.

    The coursework in a typical RN bridge program includes classes on subjects such as leadership, nursing management, advanced patient care, nursing ethics, health assessment, advanced medical/surgical nursing, mental health nursing, OB nursing, research nursing, community health, and more. In addition, RN bridge programs usually incorporate a component that consists of hands-on clinical rotations for a specific number of hours.

    So many bridge programs are in existence today that offer LPNs the flexibility to continue their educations. Returning to school to pursue higher education might appear to be too much to handle for an LPN who works full-time in the nursing profession and juggles other responsibilities. However, the benefits of becoming an RN are definitely worth considering, especially if the LPN has many years until he or she reaches retirement age.
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 9, '15
    luckycharmSVN, Dondie, HappyWife77, and 3 others like this.

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  2. Visit  TheCommuter profile page

    About TheCommuter, BSN, RN

    TheCommuter is a moderator of allnurses.com and has varied experiences upon which to draw for her articles. She was an LPN/LVN for more than four years prior to becoming a registered nurse.

    TheCommuter has '9' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'acute rehabilitation (CRRN), LTC & psych'. From 'Fort Worth, Texas, USA'; 34 Years Old; Joined Feb '05; Posts: 29,582; Likes: 45,444. You can follow TheCommuter at My Website

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    24 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  libran1984 profile page
    5
    I have applied to one this fall at a local community college. Sadly, the competition is seemingly ridiculous. I disagree with the mobility. Another LPN I work with in the Emergency Department went on to obtain her EMT-P cert to improve her chances by applying to the straight RN program, the LPN-RN bridge, and finally the EMT-P to RN program. 4 years passed with multiple denials, finally just this past summer she was wait-listed and thankfully after a hard and depressing four years she managed to obtain a spot with the LPN-RN bridge! GET IT GURL!!

    I, personally, applied to two LPN to BSN programs and was turned away, or rather I was discouraged. Pre-nursing my GPA was a 3.76. I applied to both the RN and LPN programs (LPN as back-up). I reached a spot in the PN program. I finished. I work in an ED as a float nurse and frequently even as a primary nurse (< $15/ hr base tho). However, nursing school devoured my GPA. I now have a 2.9 and the minimum requirements for the two LPN to BSN programs is a 3.0 - one of them actually requires me to take a gym class. Seriously.

    Hopefully, this fall will bring more success with the ASN RN program since the minimum GPA requirement is a 2.0 and decisions are based off of TEAS test results and 4 main classes including Psyc, English, A&P 101, A&P102. I'm hoping with 3 A's, 1 B, and a 79.4% on my TEAS will provide me with enough lee-way to bridge over.

    The majority of the BSN programs have also done away with personal interviews and references. Currently these colleges have gone to a purely academic and measurable format that includes only test scores and academic standing. It infuriates me that some of these people are so purely smart but don't even WANT to be nurses- they just want the money or are doing this b/c its a back up. I actually wanted to be a nurse. I am a nurse. My job makes me happier with every passing day, but I am tired of always being asked, "are you going back to get your RN?"

    My response is always so complex and I'm frustrated b/c I really want to but its so difficult. Pray for me and wish me good luck this fall semester. I want to bridge over and stop hearing all those annoying questions regarding how well i know my own scope of practice!
  4. Visit  CrazyGoonRN profile page
    1
    The LPN-BSN program that I am in has changed its requirements. A few years ago it was based on your ACT score, GPA and hesi entrance exam. I would not have got in if those were still the requirements. Now admission is based on 3 areas that are weighted equally. The Hesi, GPA, and interview. Basically you can get up to 4 points in each area with a total possible score of 12. Then there are additional optional points that can only raise your score. This is for work experience that involves direct patient care. The scores are ranked and the top applicants get in. These application requirements are the same for the LPN's and general pre-nursing students.
    annlewis likes this.
  5. Visit  Glenna, LPN profile page
    2
    I live in Oregon and many colleges have become memebers of the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education (OCNE)....which they pretty much got rid of their LPN-RN bridge programs. I want my RN. So many colleges have way different requirements I swear all my credits would expire before I get everything done. I'm going to try and get into a bridge program in Washington. I really don't want to have to resort to doing this bridge program online...and it's looking like that will be my only obtain which is depressing me. Nursing is what I am meant to do. This is what I enjoy, this is where I belong. I'm not a 4.0 student but I have good grades and I passed my NCLEX-PN my first try at only 86 questions.

    I wish there were more bridge programs...at least in my area...
    Crux1024 and manim1 like this.
  6. Visit  prettymica profile page
    2
    I agree with Glenna, most schools here in Georgia also ask for different things. I narrowed down my choices of schools from four then to one. I have taken the TEAS, HESI , NET, SAT, ACT, and pharmacology trying tot into each school. I decided to focus on just one, the one I really wanted and I received my acceptance letter after many rejections. I just finished my first semster of the LPN_RN bridge program !
  7. Visit  manim1 profile page
    0
    Continue to do what you are doing
  8. Visit  annlewis profile page
    0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    Licensed practical nurses (LPN) have the ability to reinforce their current skill set, acquire new skills, learn additional theory, earn a higher income, and prepare for enhanced career mobility by continuing their educations to become registered nurses (RN). Bridge programs have been formulated to enable LPNs to complete an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science degree in nursing (BSN) plus training at the professional registered nursing level. Both educational pathways will result in eligibility to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), and applicants who pass this exam will attain state licensure as RNs. These programs are sometimes known as RN bridge programs, RN mobility programs, RN fast-track programs, and RN completion programs. To get admitted into an LPN-to-RN or LPN-to-BSN program, the candidate must already hold state licensure as an LPN. Depending on the bridge program, admission requirements might also include an entrance exam, the completion of prerequisite courses, basic life support CPR certification, criminal background check, reference letters, work experience, negative tuberculin skin test or chest x-ray, and evidence of immunity against specific diseases such as measles, mumps, and rubella. A typical LPN-to-RN program that results in an associate degree might be one year long after all prerequisite classes have been completed, whereas an LPN-to-BSN program might take anywhere from two to three years after all prerequisite courses have been satisfactorily completed. RN bridge programs cover clinical nursing skills as well as educate students on a variety of topics. After graduating from a bridge program, most graduates will be able to either work as RNs or continue their educations to train for advanced practice specialties that require masters degrees, such as the family nurse practitioner role, midwifery, or certified registered nurse anesthetist. The coursework in a typical RN bridge program includes classes on subjects such as leadership, nursing management, advanced patient care, nursing ethics, health assessment, advanced medical/surgical nursing, mental health nursing, OB nursing, research nursing, community health, and more. In addition, RN bridge programs usually incorporate a component that consists of hands-on clinical rotations for a specific number of hours. So many bridge programs are in existence today that offer LPNs the flexibility to continue their educations. Returning to school to pursue higher education might appear to be too much to handle for an LPN who works full-time in the nursing profession and juggles other responsibilities. However, the benefits of becoming an RN are definitely worth considering, especially if the LPN has many years until he or she reaches retirement age.
    I wish there was a local way here to bridge easier...should take more into account for work experience..I.e. skills exam to get in and exam...for better placement
  9. Visit  annlewis profile page
    0
    Where is this program?
  10. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    0
    Quote from annlewis
    Where is this program?
    To which program are you referring?
  11. Visit  annlewis profile page
    0
    Yours
  12. Visit  xoemmylouox profile page
    0
    Same here. Hardly ANY programs. The few programs that are here it is impossible to get into. Some of the colleges that offered the program even as of last year are not not this year as they have so many RN applicants. So if they have anyone on the waiting list you are SOL until they decide to offer it again.
  13. Visit  SE_BSN_RN profile page
    1
    Same here. I spent 5 YEARS on the wait list at a local CC, even after being an honors student in my LPN program......then when it was my turn to register, I had to retake 2 classes! I gave up on that school, CLEP'ed out of the 2 I had to retake, and went to Univ. of Phoenix. I have 7 classes left and I will be done. It is very frustrating for us as LPN's who want to go on, and with all of the RN programs so packed full and with all of the different requirements.....its no wonder we go elsewhere!

    Good luck to you!
    Glenna, LPN likes this.
  14. Visit  tkg123 profile page
    0
    I'd like to know where all of these programs are located. They seem few and far between here in Colorado. I started in an LPN program with the expectation that I would be able to bridge to an RN at the same school. Now they are changing the program and as a result are closed to new applicants for three years. I am now looking at an accelerated BSN program (I have a previous degree in Biology). Unfortunately for me, it will feel like I am repeating quite a bit of school during the first 1-2 semesters.


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