Lorry Schoenly, PhD, RN is a nurse writer and educator with over 25 years of experience. She has been certified in five different clinical specialties including critical care and emergency nursing. Starting as an associate degree registered nurse, she continued her schooling in traditional and distance-learning settings to obtain a BSN, MSN, and PhD in nursing while working full-time and raising a family. Lorry teaches nursing in a variety of settings including webinars and online nursing courses.
An LPN to RN program incorporates current nursing experience at LPN licensure level while expanding your understanding of nursing practice and leadership at the RN level. RN’s have greater career mobility and greater autonomy of practice.
There are both classroom and online options available to make this transition. The time commitment may be as short at 18 months or extended out if your life situation requires part time attendance. Most programs are flexible to encourage enrollment of working nurses.
Look for a program that will maximize the nursing education and experience you already have. If you are only a few years into your LPN career, check back with your LPN school to see if they have an affiliation with any RN programs. Affiliation agreements greatly benefit you, as they smooth the way between schools and speed the acceptance process.
LPN to RN programs most often start at the Associate Degree level. Coursework strengthens anatomy and physiology understanding while improving microbiology and chemistry knowledge to interpret basic laboratory and diagnostic tests. Courses will also include leadership development, communication skills and aspects of professional nursing practice. Many LPN to RN programs have a clinical component. If enrolled in an online program, this may require seeking out a clinical experience on your own.
Completion of an LPN to RN program is the first step toward an RN license. With careful selection and planning, you can meet your career goal.