10 Best LPN to RN Programs in 2023

Discover the best LPN to RN bridge programs and take your nursing career to the next level. Articles Programs

Updated   Published

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) looking for career advancement, greater professional responsibilities, and higher salaries can take an LPN to RN bridge program to become registered nurses.

These programs are designed to help you earn an associate's or bachelor's degree faster than starting from scratch by building on foundational nursing skills, expanding nursing theory and practice knowledge, and providing hands-on care experiences in different healthcare settings.

However, picking which school is best for you can be difficult, considering all the options and factors when applying. To help, we've compiled the best LPN to RN programs in 2023, along with prerequisites, requirements, and salary expectations.

What Is an LPN to RN Bridge Program?

Bridge programs give LPNs credits for previously completed nursing education and practical knowledge, allowing them to skip coursework they've already learned. 

Standard bridge programs for LPNs include LPN to ADN and LPN to BSN.


To obtain an entry-level RN degree, LPNs can enter an LPN to ADN bridge program to earn an Associate's Degree in Nursing. These programs build on the LPN's nursing knowledge and teach them basic nursing skills and competencies to pass the NCLEX-RN and begin their careers.

LPN to ADN programs may be offered online or on campus. However, attending in-person practice labs and clinical experiences are usually required. Most LPN to ADN programs take about two years to complete as a full-time student. Part-time programs are less common but do exist at some nursing institutions.

Related: Best RN to BSN Programs in 2023


LPNs interested in obtaining a BSN can enroll in an LPN to BSN bridge program. A BSN degree will open many doors and new opportunities in nursing care, research, and leadership. BSN-prepared RNs often earn more money due to the additional education and greater evidence-based nursing practice knowledge.

Complete BSN programs consist of 120 credit hours, which include general education courses, nursing-specific curricula, and nursing practice hours.

Bridge programs often offer hybrid, flexible, or online program formats so that nurses can continue their nursing practice while advancing their degrees and careers. Many LPN to BSN programs offer didactic nursing courses online. However, nursing students must attend in-person clinical experiences across various settings to practice new skills in patient care.

Prerequisites and Requirements

Advancing from an LPN to an ADN- or BSN-RN requires enrollment in a nursing school that offers a bridge program. You'll need to complete an application and meet all the admission requirements. It's important to note that education requirements and nursing experience vary by nursing college.

Common prerequisites and enrollment requirements include:

  • Proof of a high school diploma or GED
  • Valid LPN licensure in the school's state
  • Proof of one to two years of professional nursing experience
  • A minimum GPA of 2.5 - 3.0 for all previous college classes (varies by nursing school)
  • Official transcripts from all previous college courses
  • Completion of the nursing school application
  • Proof of basic life support (BLS) certification
  • One to three letters of recommendation from colleagues or supervisors
  • Written personal statement explaining why you want to become an RN
  • Criminal background check
  • Fingerprinting
  • Proof of a physical exam, drug screening, and immunizations
  • Passing score on the TEAS or HESI A2 entrance exam, if required

Best LPN to RN Bridge Programs in 2023

The following nursing programs have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools. We also review NCLEX-RN pass rates, graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, price, program format, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States when ranking institutions.

Using these robust criteria, we've narrowed down hundreds of programs to the top 10 LPN to RN bridge programs.

Excelsior University - LPN to BSN

The bridge program at Excelsior University provides a pathway for LPNs to earn both an AAS in Nursing and a BSN degree simultaneously. Students learn independently during online courses and build on previous nursing knowledge and training. Students can earn up to 31 transfer credits for prior nursing school experiences toward the 121 credit hours required.

Howard University - LPN to BSN

Howard University in Washington, D.C., offers three different nursing programs. The LPN to BSN program is designed specifically for practicing LPNs who want to obtain a BSN. All prerequisites must be completed before enrolling in the nursing program with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA and a passing score on the TEAS entrance exam.

Ohio University - LPN to RN via ASN

LPNs in Ohio can attend one of three Ohio University campuses for the LPN to RN program. Once completing this program, the student can take the NCLEX-RN and obtain licensure in Ohio. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing.

Rasmussen University - LPN to ADN

In as little as 12 months, you can go from an LPN to an RN at Rasmussen University, located in six states, including Florida, Illinois, and Kansas. If your ultimate goal is a BSN, you can keep going at this nursing school to earn that and advanced degrees like a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) too.

This school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, making it eligible to participate in financial aid programs if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Galen College - LPN to ADN

You can earn your RN at Galen College of Nursing in a little more than a year. The LPN/LVN to ADN Bridge program has no prerequisites, so you'll go directly into hands-on learning in a clinical setting that helps prepare you for the NCLEX-RN. With four starts each year and many campuses across nine states, including Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida, you'll go from an LPN license to an ADN in no time.

Santa Monica College - LPN to ADN

If you have a valid California LVN license and at least one year of clinical experience within the past two years, you might want to consider Santa Monica College. This bridge program requires 18 units of prerequisites, including Microbiology and anatomy. Affordability is a selling point for this nursing program, with an estimated cost of $2000-$3000 for the entire nursing program.

Big Bend Community College - LPN to ADN

Big Bend Community College in Washington offers credits for prior healthcare and nursing experience to help you complete your ADN faster. The program is also designed for transfer students looking to continue their nursing education at all four-year colleges and universities in Washington state. New classes are offered on a limited basis, so check the application deadlines and plan ahead.

Montgomery College - LPN to ADN

This college in Maryland offers an intensive Summer course for LPNs interested in the ADN program. The course requires admittance to the college and several prerequisites before you can begin. Students must also pass the TEAS exam to become an ADN nursing student at Montgomery College.

Utica University - LPN to BSN

Utica University in Liverpool, New York, offers an accelerated BSN program that takes approximately 16 months to complete as a full-time student. This school offers three start dates per year and gives credit for previous nursing coursework. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the nursing program.

University of Arkansas - LPN to BSN

Accredited by CCNE, this bridge program requires a four-step application process. Prospective students must be admitted to the University, meet with an academic advisor, complete all prerequisites, and then apply to the nursing program. Admission requirements include proof of 2,000 hours of LPN work experience in the last 12 to 24 months and a TEAS score of 65% or higher.

Salary Expectations of BSN - RN in 2023

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses make an average salary of $89,010 per year or just over $42 per hour. BLS doesn't differentiate between RNs with an ADN or BSN, so there will be some variance in yearly pay depending on the degree completed.

The top paying RN states are:

  • California: $133,340
  • Hawaii: $113,220
  • Oregon: $106,610
  • Massachusetts: $104,150
  • Alaska: $103,310

Salaries also vary based on years of experience, specialty, and geographic location.

FAQ and Additional Readings

Continuing your education is a big decision, and it's normal to have lots of questions. We've rounded up a few of the most common questions to help you decide about your next nursing career move.

Q: Is getting an RN worth it?

A: Many LPNs wonder if advancing their education is worth it. Mainly because you're already working in the nursing profession. However, returning to school to obtain a baccalaureate degree will pay off in a few ways.

First, you'll have a larger scope of practice and more extensive nursing knowledge rooted in nursing theory. Second, your earning potential will increase throughout your nursing career. Finally, RNs with either an ADN or BSN nursing degree can specialize in areas such as public health nursing, pediatrics, leadership, or research, to name a few.

Related: Best BSN Programs in 2023

Q: Is a BSN better than an ADN?

A: It's important to point out that one nursing degree isn't inherently better than another. Each nursing professional is valuable to the healthcare team and overall patient care experience. However, a bachelor's degree might serve you better in the long run if you want to hold leadership positions or have a more comprehensive range of nursing career options.

Q: Can you take an online LPN to RN or BSN Bridge program to RN or BSN Bridge program online?

A: Most bridge programs offer courses online, so you don't have to be on campus every day. However, because nursing is a hands-on profession, you'll likely need to attend in-person lab and practicum experiences at the nursing school or a local healthcare facility.

Workforce Development Columnist

Melissa Mills has 25 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Workforce Development, Education, Advancement.

126 Articles   364 Posts

There are no comments to display.

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X