So, you’re ready to take the next step in your nursing career? Maybe you’ve been practicing as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for a while, and you feel it’s time to become a registered nurse (RN). That’s amazing.
However, it can be hard to decide which study program to choose. It’s important to consider all your options and what program best fits your needs. One option is to enroll in an accelerated LPN to RN program.
These programs let you get your RN as fast as possible so that you can jump right into your RN career.
An accelerated LPN to RN program is an education option for a specific group. These programs let people who already hold an LPN get their RN degree in a shorter period.
Accelerated programs allow you to bypass specific courses based on your previous experience and education. The main advantage is that you get to complete the program in a shorter time and get out on the field as an RN much faster.
Accelerated LPN to RN programs are also called LPN to RN bridge programs and LPN to RN transition programs. So, when searching for a fast-track program, be aware that the term “accelerated” might not always pop up in your search results.
What you need to look at is the actual length of the program. A typical LPN to RN program takes about three semesters to complete.
Earning a higher level of nursing education can increase your earning potential and employment opportunities. If you are an LPN, getting your RN can help you advance your nursing career.
Here are 15 colleges that offer an LPN to RN program that you can complete in a short time frame:
West Virginia’s Bluefield State College offers an accelerated LPN to RN program, with anatomy and physiology, mathematics, and general psychology prerequisites.
During the program, you take an LPN to RN transition course with both a lab and lecture portion over the summer. In the following fall and spring semesters, you finish the rest of the requirements for the associate nursing degree.
The coursework covers components like patient centered-care, nursing management, and nursing concepts.
Cost: Between $327.00 and $627.00 per credit hour. Prices vary based on whether you are a state resident and how many credit hours you take. Additional nursing fees may apply.
Time frame: The program is a total of 64 credit hours. After completing the prerequisites, the program covers courses over the summer and two additional semesters.
Located in Florida, Valencia College has a hybrid accelerated LPN to RN program. In other words, the program is partially online and in-person for components like clinical and testing.
LPNs must show evidence of an active Florida LPN license and pass the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TAES).
Cost: Approximately $390.00 per credit hour. This fee may be lower for Florida residents.
Time frame: Approximately three semesters, not including prerequisites.
Finger Lakes Community College in New York offers an Associate in Applied Science Nursing Degree.
They have an accelerated option for applicants who already have their LPN. LPNs must demonstrate that they already know specific clinical skills and nursing concepts.
Time frame: Three semesters and one winter session.
Cost: $2,484.00 per semester tuition cost for New York State residents and $2,978.00 per semester tuition cost for out-of-state residents. Additional fees may apply.
Missouri’s Texas County Community College offers an accelerated LPN to RN program with a summer semester and two regular semesters. There is a 93% pass rate and a 93% job placement rate for those who have completed their program.
The summer semester focuses on transitioning from being an LPN to becoming an RN. Each semester involves core nursing skills and NCLEX preparation. The program does have prerequisites.
Time frame: One year.
Cost: Nursing core tuition is $440.00 per credit hour, and General education tuition is $260.00 per credit hour. Additional clinical, labs, and textbook fees also contribute to costs. (These figures are according to 2020-2021 data).
Labor College of Healthcare is a Milton, Massachusetts, academic intuition with an LPN to RN advanced placement program.
You have to score a certain amount on competency exams that test your previous nursing knowledge before gaining admission into the program. Based on your previous academic history, you might also be eligible for additional credits to transfer.
Time frame: One year of full-time coursework.
Cost: $1,025.00 per credit hour for a professional course. Any arts and science courses you take related to the nursing program cost $675.00 per credit hour.
MACC is in Missouri and offers an LPN to RN program that takes students a year to complete. It is a hybrid program that offers online coursework with in-person components like lab and clinical.
Prerequisites include courses like sociology, anatomy and physiology, and human development. The minimum requirement for graduation is 75 credit hours.
Time frame: One year. Courses for this program start in January.
Cost: Cost will vary based on where you live. For in-district residents, the tuition is only $99.00 per credit hour, and for out-of-district residents, the cost is $176.00 per credit hour.
In Barnesville, Georgia, Gordon State college has an LPN to RN bridge program. You have to have at least one year of clinical experience as an LPN to get in.
You will have to take an LPN Validation Test and pass a clinical competency skills lab test before being accepted into the program.
Time frame: Three semesters.
Cost: Cost varies based on the number of credits you are taking. Any online classes cost $159.00 per credit hour. For a 15-credit semester, the tuition costs $1,602.00 for in-state residents. For out-of-state residents, the cost is $5,918.00. Additional fees may apply.
This school offers an LPN to RN bridge program in Dublin, North Carolina. Including prerequisites, students require 69 credits to graduate.
Prerequisites include courses in critical thinking and study skills, which will be pretty helpful in the nursing program. As with other bridge programs, you must have an unencumbered LPN license.
Time frame: The LPN to RN bridge program at Bladen Community College lasts for three semesters. In their course breakdown, your first semester is only one 3-credit class of nursing transition concepts, but they consider this a prerequisite.
Cost: $268.00 per credit hour for out-of-state residents. The cost is lower for students in-state and even lower for those in the same district as the college.
Columbia State Community College’s LPN to RN bridge option is excellent for residents in Columbia, Tennessee looking for an accelerated LPN to RN program.
The program has LPNs take a Foundations of Nursing Challenge Exam, which gives them credit for an earlier nursing class that non-LPNs need to take. Other prerequisites include anatomy and physiology, statistics, and psychology.
Timeframe: Three semesters, not including prerequisites.
Cost: Cost varies based on whether you are a state resident. The price is $171.00 per credit hour for state residents up to 12 credit hours. After this, it is $37.00 per credit hour for each additional credit hour.
It is $705.00 per credit hour for out-of-state students for up to 12 credit hours. It is $144.00 per credit hour for any additional credit hours, and other fees may apply.
Located in Kansas, this college’s LPN to RN option allows LPNs to bypass the traditional nursing program’s first year of nursing classes. You need to have between 56 and 59 credit hours already, and this number of credit hours includes your prerequisite course credits.
After taking any prerequisites, you will take two transition courses: Health Assessment in Nursing and Concepts of Nursing Care, before continuing with the rest of the nursing program.
Time frame: One summer semester and two regular semesters.
Cost: Cost varies based on where you live. The school offers a lower rate for students in Johnson county and a “metro rate” for those living in specific zip codes.
For out-of-state students, the cost is $223.00 per credit. This fee includes tuition costs and a few charges like student activity fees and parking fees.
Catawba Valley Community College in North Carolina offers an LPN to RN bridge program for nurses who graduated from a regionally accredited LPN nursing school.
The program is designed around working LPNs with evening classes or an online lecture option, with clinicals on weekends. It is highly competitive, and you will need to complete particular prerequisites before applying.
Time frame: Two semesters.
Cost: Tuition is $76.00 per credit hour for North Carolina residents and $268.00 per credit hour for students from out of state. Additional fees apply.
This LPN to RN transition program is in Hagerstown, Maryland. Applicants must take the Test of Essential Academic Skills and achieve a specific score before the college accepts them into the program.
The program tends to have more applicants than spots available in the program. So, getting in could be a little challenging.
Time frame: Three semesters. However, it takes about two semesters to complete the prerequisites.
Cost: The cost varies if you live in the same county or state as the college. The price is $252.00 per credit hour for out-of-state residents and only $123.00 per credit hour for in-county residents. There are additional fees to take specific courses. (These figures are according to 2021 data)
Tacoma Community College is in Washington. The program has several prerequisites, including microbiology, chemistry, and psychology.
Once you’re in the program, you start with courses about transitioning from an LPN to an RN. Then, you’ll move on to classes that further your nursing education.
Time frame: One year, with classes in the winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Cost: The cost varies based on whether or not you are a resident of Washington state. The cost per tuition credit for in-state residents is $116.05, and the price for out-of-state residents with a waiver is $131.27.
Georgia-based Chattahoochee Technical College offers an LPN to RN bridge program with a robust curriculum that integrates classroom sessions with practical clinical experiences.
Before gaining admission into the program, you will have to take a nursing fundamentals assessment test and complete any prerequisites.
Time frame: Three semesters, not including prerequisites.
Cost: $100.00 per credit hour for in-state residents. $200.00 per credit hour for out-of-state residents and $400.00 per credit hour for international students.
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology offers an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing (ADN) tailored to prepare students for entry-level roles in their nursing careers.
Students who graduate from the program can also take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
The Applied Science Degree in Nursing program offers two pathways to becoming a registered nurse: the traditional RN track for applicants without prior clinical experience and the transitional LPN to RN track for licensed practical nurses.
Time frame: Students can complete the program in one to two years, depending on previous education.
Cost: $192.45 for Oklahoma state residents, and $379.45 for out-of-state residents.
It’s critical to weigh the pros and cons of any education option. Accelerated LPN to RN programs have some definite pluses. Still, it’s also important to note the negatives to make an informed decision.
Accelerated programs let you finish your LPN to RN degree faster. These programs recognize that you have already gained practical experience as an LPN and that your knowledge level is different from that of someone going into a nursing program for the first time.
As an RN, you have a higher earning potential than an LPN. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for LPNs is $48,820. In comparison, the average yearly income for RNs is $75,330.
If you complete an accelerated program, you can get out there and start earning more in a short educational period.
Accelerated programs are fast, and the course load will be intense. As such, it will require dedication, discipline, and time. Plus, you will need to ensure you have your prerequisites and qualifications. Getting your prerequisites sorted can make the program stressful and demanding, but the shorter period means it’s time-saving in the long run.
An accelerated degree might seem daunting, and you may not be sure if you’re ready for it. Besides, this type of degree option is only for a specific group of people: LPNs.
If you’re an LPN, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of the hard work you have already put into your nursing career.
Programs like these acknowledge that you have practical experience and certifications under your belt. The goal is to fill in the gaps in your knowledge based on the differences between LPNs and RNs.
You don’t want to waste time relearning what you already know. You want to earn your degree to get on with your career and help people.
A typical LPN to RN program lasts for around one to two years, with many of the programs taking the equivalent of three semesters to complete. This time frame does not include the amount of time you will spend on prerequisites.
Previous college credits you have earned may cover some of what you need in prerequisites. LPN to RN programs recognize that you already have the basics of nursing and that now you’re ready to learn the differences that come with being an RN instead of an LPN.
Whether the program you enroll in is online or in-person, there are a few different things you need to consider:
Online programs offer greater flexibility but finding an excellent online program can be challenging. Ensure that whatever program you enroll in has the necessary state accreditation(s).
Remember, at the end of an RN program, you need to be eligible to take the NCLEX to become a registered nurse. You can only do this if you have graduated from an accredited school.
As an LPN, you are already doing fantastic work in the lives of your patients. But if you’re ready to step into a different role, getting your RN can help you do just that. With increased earning capacity and a broader scope of practice, you can expand your nursing career.
Consider applying to an accelerated LPN to RN program today.
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