Earning your LPN to RN can set in motion your nursing career.
Find out the many opportunities an LPN to RN program can open for you. Deciding to pursue a career as an RN is an attractive career choice with a vast number of several career opportunities.
Many registered nurses begin their careers by obtaining an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). Earning an Associate’s degree is an excellent way to enter the healthcare field in minimal time. Unlike many other careers, you do not need to spend four or even six years at a University you will only need about 12 to 18 months to complete your LPN to RN degree program.
Table of Contents
About an associate’s degree in nursing
The LPN to RN program will include hands-on training by experienced instructors helping you to master specific nursing skills also you will be required to complete clinical rotations. Your ADN curriculum program will provide you with a strong background in the principles of nursing, behavior sciences along clinical decision making.
Your ADN academic curriculum will ensure that you will be well prepared to function as an entry-level professional nurse. Once you complete your LPN TO RN program, you will need to pass the national licensing examination to become and work as a registered nurse.
An LPN to RN bridge program will be taken at your local community college or a trade school or technical college.
Why should I earn an Associate’s Degree in Nursing?
Committing to earning your ADN can offer you the maximum transfer opportunities towards a future Bachelors’s or a Master’s program.
One of the main benefits of obtaining your LPN to RN/LVN is how quickly you can begin working within the healthcare field in just 1 to 2 years. If you are looking for a career that can help bring in more income for you or your family then deciding to pursue your LPN to RN can offer you a career with financial stability.
One of the best parts of earning your LPN to RN is just how affordable it is to get your degree. You could qualify for several scholarships or even financial aid that also include loans and grants that can make earning your degree more affordable.
Deciding to go to school and earn your Associates’ Degree in Nursing (ADN) will help open up and ignite your educational path towards becoming a registered nurse.
Depending on which school you attend the credits to earn within your ADN program could be transferred over and count aid toward earning a future bachelor of science in nursing degree if you decide you want to head back to school.
Registered nurses are one of the fastest-growing healthcare fields within the United States according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and are expected to grow 9% in the years 2020 to 2030.
Earning your ADN will help you get your foot in the door and offer you a better variety of nursing specialties and educational growth opportunities.
If you are currently working or have challenges that make it hard for you to obtain your degree, many colleges, and technical schools offer flexible class scheduling. Many degree programs can fit into your busy life. Some classes can be completed during the day evening, and some classes can even be taken online.
How long does my program take to complete
An LPN to RN nursing can take 12 to 18 months to complete if you are attending school full time without any breaks within your schedule.
Many LPN TO RN programs offers comprehensive educational nursing programs geared towards helping you enter into the workforce as quickly as possible as an RN.
How do I know if I will fit well into this program?
To determine if your good fit for this program is look out how much time you can devote towards being in school along with extra time each week available to complete your assignments. You will need to know if the school you’re interested in offers schooling that can fit within your lifestyle and future financial needs.
Completing an LPN to RN program takes work and genuine commitment and sacrifices to complete the program. You may want to speak with the school to see what evening or weekend flexible learning schedules both online and offline are available for you.
Next, it is best to know what key interests you have. Once you understand what your key interests are they can serve as an educational compass, towards helping you pinpoint the best educational degree path. Every degree path can offer you the career you want as well as the salary you need. When it comes time to plan your future goals you should take a nursing program that is in alignment with your overall long-term career goals.
Nursing can be a very demanding career and to be successful in an LPN to RN program, you will need to have excellent communication skills the ability to work well under stress with the capacity to work cooperatively as part of a team.
What will I learn in my degree program?
By enrolling in LPN to RN program, you will learn the most current and up-to-date skills that include hands-on learning applications, nursing theories that will prepare you for the opportunity to develop the knowledge and expertise needed to provide safe care for patients.
During your semesters in school, your time will be divided between taking your required nursing classes but also you will be expected to participate in patient clinical rotations at nearby hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, or other clinical sites.
Be prepared as some of the clinical rotations shifts can be as early as 6:30 am or as late as midnight.
Within your nursing program, you will learn how to think critically, use evidence-based practice skills and how collaborate effectively/ communicate with other health care team members.
Courses that are typically required include:
- Concepts of Nursing
- Fundamentals of Nursing
LPN to RN Nursing programs can be available at community colleges and technical colleges that can be completed in about 12-18 months.
Your ADN nursing program will prepare and equip you with the knowledge to sit for your NCLEX-RN licensure examination so you can find employment opportunities as an RN.
An LPN TO RN degree program will give you the skills competency training you will need to master specific skills. You will be provided with a hands-on nursing program. Part of your training will involve interacting with the public through campus or community functions.
Your curriculum may be taught in what is known as “simulation labs” and you will perform tasks such as taking a patient’s vital signs, bathing patients, clerical duties, changing patient dressings, administering medication, and helping to assist the doctors and nurses during medical procedures and exams.
RNs may supervise Certified Nurse Assistants (CNA) and work under the supervision of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).
An example LPN TO RN program may include these classes:
- English Composition
- Human Physiology
- Fundamentals of Nursing
- Human Nutrition
- English Composition
In addition to taking your coursework, you will be required to spend a certain amount of hours in clinical training. The amount of time you will spend in your clinical rotations will be dependent on your school, classroom size, and location.
Your hands-on clinical training will prepare you with the skills needed to take the NCLEX-RN national examination for registered nurses.
Additionally providing you with the skills and knowledge to begin working quickly as RN within the health care field.
Finding the time to complete your ADN you may want to consider enrolling in an accredited school that offers online associates degree level programs.
What are the admission requirements to take LPN to RN classes?
Yes. Below we have listed the admission requirements for Allegany College of Maryland’s LPN to RN online program as an example.
Before applying you must meet the following:
Graduated as an LPN/LVN from an accredited nursing school with at least a, “C” average. With an overall GPA being 2.50 or above.
Have your LPN/LVN license that is up to date and in good standing.
Worked at least two years full time as an LPN/LVN
Acquired your CPR card from the Red Cross
Have already taken general education courses such as English 101, human growth and development, general psychology with a total of 33 general education credits needing to be met.
To be considered for their LPN to RN online program you will need a total of 70 credits. 18 of which could be added to your program for your LPN/LVN license previously earned.
Their classes have on-campus classes to attend with all of their theory coursework offered online. With the clinical component requirements able to be full-filled with hospitals or clinics in locations close to your home.
Here is how an Associate’s Degree in Nursing can help achieve your goals
Once you earn your ADN degree, you will be prepared to enter into various health care environments as beginning RN practitioners in a wide range of settings such as community hospitals, state clinics, or work in specialized nursing units.
Once you decide which educational path, best meets your long and short-term needs and you successfully graduate you will be able to perform a diverse range of job functions.
As an RN where you work will dictate the work and responsibilities, you will have. However, there are some basic functions you will perform more often than others are.
Below is what job duties you could expect to perform as an entry-level nurse:
- Explain treatments and procedures with patients
- Prepare medical records
- Perform wound care and dressing changes
- Assist with bathing, dressing, and personal hygiene
- Order lab work and tests as needed
- Administer patient medications/calculate drug dosage per doctors’ orders
- Oversee certified nurse assistant (CNA) duties and delegate tasks to CNAs
- Take and record patient vital signs such as weight, height, respiratory rate
One of the main functions you will learn to do is just keeping patients comfortable. RNs provide basic bedside care.
Working as an RN is an attractive career choice and will help your transition quickly due to the amount of hands-on experience you receive. The role of the RN is vital and indispensable to the medical field.
A career as an RN offers several benefits for you. Once you begin working, you will still be able to train and go to school to become an RN. Your resume will have the relevant nursing experience to help you make valuable relationships and connections with people in the medical community.
Depending on which school you attend your educational credits may be able to transfer and count towards your ADN degree program.
Due to your advanced training and education, the ADN job functions and responsibilities will differ and increase when compared to LPN to RN duties.
Below is a list of what job functions you will have once you complete your ADN program:
- Monitor, all aspects of patients, care and assist with examinations and treatments
- Perform diagnostic tests
- Administer patient medications and watch for any adverse reactions
- Establish treatment plans and modify as needed
- Supervise licensed practical nurses and certified nurse assistants
- Complete physical exams
- Maintain reports and patient medical files
- Help families and individuals with disease prevention and health education
The above tasks are basic, however; your actual duties will vary depending on what setting you decide to work in once you graduate.
For example, if you choose to pursue a career in labor and delivery once you obtain your ADN, your job duties may include educating patients about childbirth and monitoring a woman’s fetus heart rate, blood pressure, and vital signs.
By having your ADN more, career opportunities will open up to you. When deciding where you want to work it’s best to think about what interests, likes, and dislikes you may have. If you feel more drawn towards working with children then perhaps working in a pediatrics unit may be a good fit for you.
Where can I work?
After you have obtained your associate’s degree in nursing it’s best to take the time and explore the many work settings available to you.
With so many different career settings, it is easy to become confused as to which one is the best fit.
So let’s take a look at where entry-level ADN holders work:
Community or Specialized Hospitals: Working in a hospital setting will offer you the most room for growth and medical training. Working in both a community or specialized hospital your tasks will be relevant towards the unit specialty you are assigned to.
If you feel, you are more drawn to a faster-paced environment you may consider working in the emergency room, if you decide to work in the emergency room you will treat all ages and may have duties such as stabilizing the patient, performing a diagnostic test, and administering medications.
Your scope of work will be dictated by your level of experience and the unit or area you are assigned to.
Nursing Care Facilities: Your role here is to provide bedside care to older adults and to work in a nursing home is a big responsibility. A nursing home is a long-term care facility that is designed to provide around-the-clock care/rehabilitation services for elderly residents.
Your job functions here will be ensuring patients are comfortable, clean, and healthy, and their day-to-day needs are met. You may apply bandages, take vital signs, insert catheters, give injections, and, feed patients.
Physician Offices: Working in this setting you will have the option of working in a doctor’s office in a specialty that you pique your interest in best. Some physicians’ offices you could work in could be cardiology or even a dermatology office.
Within this environment, you may work directly with the doctor assisting with patient examinations and routine visits. Your duties will include clerical and telephone duties.
Patients will look to you as subject matter experts and will need post-treatment questions and answers. Some patients will need phone consultations to understand better the symptoms they may be experiencing. This environment will expose you to various clinical equipment, and you will need a computer and problem-solving skills.
Home Health Nursing: Home health RNs provide patient care within a patient’s home setting. Deciding to work in this environment you will have more autonomy. You may provide nursing care to patients who may be permanently disabled or have lifelong or terminal illnesses.
Some of the patients may have cancer or just maybe recovering from surgery or accident. Your duties here include providing home care; you may work independently or as an RN.
Some duties include administering patient medications in a timely fashion; providing wound care, light housekeeping, or even providing meals and effective care.
Will I need more Certification or Continuing Education units to continue to practice?
After you complete, you’re ADN program and legal practice. You will need to take the national council licensure examination NCLEX-RN for registered nurses (RN).
Once you earn a passing grade, then you can apply for your nursing license with your state board of nursing to legally practice as an RN and gain employment.
The NCLEX-RN examination has four categories and eight subcategories that cover subjects of:
- Patient’s essential care and comfort
- Ethical practices
- Patient safety
- Infection control
- Health promotion and maintenance
The purpose of taking the NCLEX-RN examination is to determine if it is safe for you to practice as an entry-level nurse. This nursing exam will test the knowledge that you have acquired in school. Equally important the NCLEX-RN exam will test how well you make a nurse in judgment and use critical thinking to solve problems.
Beginning your career with an ADN you will be required to be a lifelong learner of medicine and nursing. Working within the healthcare environment can often be complex. To meet the continued needs of patients you will be exposed to what is known as disruptive learning.
This approach is accomplished with continuing education classes and courses that are geared to help provide you with an alternative to traditional workplace learning. Eliminating the need for relearning skills, you previously learned. To provide room to develop new skills through continuing education units (CEU).
To keep your RN license current and in good standing, many states require that you take a certain amount of continuing education units every few years.
Many states have mandatory continuing education requirements. However, it’s best to check with your state board of nursing to find out the exact licensing renewal requirements you will need.
How do I advance in my career what are my next steps?
That amount of education that you earn will dictate the job you will have. The great benefit of entering into the healthcare profession is the room for opportunities that you can achieve.
If you are looking to advance your career, the best way to do so is to gain more experience. The more experience you have working as an RN, the greater your responsibilities may be along with the amount of money you earn per hour.
Many technical and community colleges and trade schools offer what is known as LPN TO RN bridge programs to help you train to become a registered nurse.
To advance your career after you earn your ADN is to think about working in a specialty nursing unit. A specialty nursing unit such as working in the cardiology department, pediatric department, or a specialized unit such as the intensive care unit can offer you higher pay.
The more time you spend as a registered nurse on-the-job, the more your pay will increase.
However, having an associate’s degree in nursing may limit you if you would like to move into more upper management positions. If you would like more responsibility and more upper management opportunities, then you may consider going back to school and earning your bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) degree.
If you feel like this may be a reliable option for you and you may perhaps wonder how you can manage to fit the time in to earn your BSN degree. Then perhaps you may want to consider RN to BSN nursing bridge programs. Many of these nursing RN to BSN programs can be taken online and completed in as early as 16 to 24 months.
Additionally, there are many financial options to help pay for your education Such as scholarships and financial aid. If you are currently working, you may want to look into seeing if your employer offers what is known as tuition reimbursement for you to earn your BSN.
Can I take my LPN to RN degree program online?
Discover if online or on-campus learning is right for you.
What people take online nursing programs?
Online nursing programs are tailored for anyone who needs flexibility with more convenience to earn a nursing degree. Online education is also known as white is called distance learning. Online nursing courses consist of taking classes via the internet.
If you decide to enroll in an online nursing program, you will be able to attend class sessions from the comfort of your home. Online nursing programs have become more popular than ever for nursing students who desire and want more career opportunities but need a more convenient way to attend school.
Individuals who want more job opportunities: Online nursing programs are a great way for people who would like more career opportunities. This is because online programs can accommodate your current schedule. It’s no lie that working to survive is no way to get ahead.
It is great to have work experience but unfortunately, at some point, you will need to further your education if you want to get ahead.
By enrolling in an online nursing program, you to be able to currently work but also have the opportunity to take classes and complete assignments whenever it’s best convenient for you.
Single parents: being a single parent is often one of the biggest challenges. Often many days, there are just not enough hours to get everything done. As the needs of your family increase so well your expenses. The best way to improve your quality of life with being a single parent is to gain more education.
Moreover, this is where the incredible benefits of online nursing programs could be a great fit for you. Enrolling in an online nursing program can offer you a more flexible schedule and a more convenient way to take classes. Additionally, this could be a more cost of an efficient method for single parents as you will not need a babysitter, you any need to travel to a college and you will have access to your coursework 24/7.
Career changers: this option could be a good fit for those who wish to change their career. Those who have already earned a degree in another field or have experience and technical knowledge and another area may waste to pursue a nursing degree but are not interested in the traditional on-campus way of earning your degree.
You will not have to deal with the whole classroom and face-to-face interaction you can just focus on earning your degree without all the distractions.
Nevertheless, remember no one particular person takes online classes. Online programs offer an array of online courses online degrees as well as online certifications that could help you financially and educationally.
What online nursing programs are available at this level of certification?
There are online classes for LPN to RN nursing programs. The majority of your program can be completed online however there are no completely online LPN to RN programs. There are, however, what is known as hybrid LPN to RN programs.
The hybrid online option is a blend of online and on-campus learning. These hybrid-nursing programs can offer you the convenience and the flexibility you need allowing you to complete 100% of your theory online.
However, there will be clinical rotations that will need to be completed at nearby hospitals. When you enroll in your online nursing courses, you will need to come to campus or do exams and lab activities. The hybrid programs consist of live lectures using web-based technology.
How do online programs differ from campus programs will the quality of education be the same
Online education has come to long way within the last decade. That perception of getting your degree online may seem or appear as if it does not hold the same value as receiving your degree at an on-campus college or university. However, that could be farther from the truth the stigma of earning your degree online in the view of employers is quickly changing.
Below let’s look at some concerns you may have before deciding if online education is the right path for you.
Acceptance of online nursing degrees by employers: Over the past decade, companies have become more accepting of nursing candidates that have obtained online nursing degrees. They have come to the place of understanding that earning your degree is a balancing act, and many graduates of nursing schools have taken advantage of earning their degrees online.
Many top-linked schools have even started offering more distant education options what is known as massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Earning your degree online is not a deal-breaker as many hospitals have embraced nursing students who have online credentials.
However, many employers do look down on nursing students who have received an online nursing degree from the non-accredited nursing school.
If you have decided to go to enroll in an online nursing program, make sure it is accredited. The higher institution such as The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or The Accreditation Commission has accredited the school for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The quality of Education: The quality of education that you will receive from an online nursing program is as good as taking an on-campus program. The reason for this is because many schools that hire instructors, or instructors that have Masters’s Degrees or higher that will be teaching your online class.
Many instructors not only hold master’s degrees or higher but also have work experience within their field that offers online events the added benefit of their previous learning experience within the workplace.
This experience enhances the quality of the education that you receive. Even though your class will be online, you will have assignment deadlines. The grading of your assignments and homework will be no different than if you were turning in an assignment in person.
Can I receive my Associate’s Degree faster?
Possibly. If you decide to enroll in an ADN online program, then you could double up with your classes. Some students may take one course per semester, and some other students who can handle the extra workload may take two classes per six months that finish their ADN degree quicker.
Generally, obtaining your ADN degree will take two years however if you double up on your online classes and courses you can finish and earn your ADN in a significantly lesser period. However, it’s best to check with your school as some schools may have a certain GPA level you may have to meet to be able to double up on courses per semester.
The possibilities of earning your nursing degree online are limitless, and the future of higher care education does lie with online learning. Online learning can allow you to take your nursing career path to the next level!
Check out our other Nursing School Guides.