Best LPN to RN Online Programs (2023)

Many Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LPN/LVNs) eventually wish to advance their education to become Registered Nurses (RNs). Depending on the time, budget, and educational credits already earned, the LPN may be able to start work as a registered nurse in less than a year! Most universities have nursing schools that offer specific LPN to RN bridge program pathways that take into account the student’s prior education and experience. These are much more affordable and take far less time to complete than a traditional 2-year or 4-year RN program. LPN to RN bridge students can graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) and can apply for state licensure and ultimately find employment as an RN.

2021 - Best Online LPN to RN Programs

Best LPN to RN Online Programs (1)

With many healthcare employers looking to hire registered nurses, enrolling in an LPN to RN program is an advantageous career move. While there are many LPN to RN program options, most students wish to choose the best program available to them. We have ranked our top online LPN to RN picks below, based on factors like NCLEX-RN pass rates, program attributes, and more. Whether you are an LPN looking to earn an ADN or a BSN, these highly ranked schools are sure to help you meet your RN goals. For more information on our top LPN to RN program rankings, see ourMethodology Page.


Allegany College of Maryland

Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) offers an online LPN to RN program that culminates in an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN). This highly flexible program is designed to work around the employed LPN, with lectures and coursework delivered in a fully online format with supervised clinical rotations arranged in the student's local area. Students enrolled in ACM's program take courses in Maternal/Child Nursing, Advanced Medical-Surgical Nursing, Psychiatric Nursing, and much more to bridge the gap from practical nursing to registered nursing.

Find out more:

Best LPN to RN Online Programs (2)

(Video) Best Online Nursing School? | My Experience at Excelsior College

Quick Facts:
  • Authorized in 6 states: Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Texas
  • Delivered in an asynchronous format, with 3-4 mandatory synchronous meetings per semester
  • Financial aid available


North Dakota State University

Those looking for a Spring-entry LPN to BSN program can opt to enroll in North Dakota State University's mostly online offering. NDSU's program builds upon the LPN's education and experience so that they can become baccalaureate registered nurses. Most students enroll in around 6-9 credits per semester, and the curriculum includes courses in Expanded Family Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice and Research in Nursing, and Complex Issues in Adult Health, amongst others. The clinical portion of the program is carried out in the Fargo/Moorhead area of North Dakota.

Find out more:

Best LPN to RN Online Programs (3)

Quick Facts:
  • Program length is 6 semesters (including summers)
  • Clinicals must be completed in North Dakota
  • Students outside of North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana should check with the NCSBN to see if their state accepts distance education programs


Sampson Community College

(Video) Online LPN to RN | Cost, Exams, Regrets & Overall Exp

North Carolina's Sampson Community College offers an LPN to RN pathway that currently accepts 10 lucky students each Fall. This online/hybrid program is open to LPNs with at least 2 years of employment experience in a medical-surgical hospital unit or skilled nursing facility. While most of the curriculum is delivered online, enrolled students also participate in 144 hours of clinical practice supervised by an experienced RN. In just 2 semesters of study, students will have earned an Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN).

Find out more:

Best LPN to RN Online Programs (4)

Quick Facts:
  • Clinicals are arranged in the student's local area but must take place within North Carolina
  • Applicants are selected through a documentation and testing process
  • Applications from the previous year will not be carried over to the next year; applicants must resubmit the LPN to ADN Online Packet


University of Arkansas

U of A Online's LPN to BSN program provides students with the theoretical and practical foundation needed to succeed in the world of registered nursing. This fully online program can be completed in just 2-3 years and requires 120 credit hours. Faculty and program advisors are committed to facilitating student-centered learning to produce RNs who improve patient outcomes. Graduates even have the option to have their name engraved in the U of A Senior Walk.

Find out more:

Best LPN to RN Online Programs (5)

Quick Facts:
  • Flexible degree pathways with part-time and full-time plans available
  • Most classes taught in 8-week terms
  • Clinicals arranged in the student's geographical area


Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University offers an LPN to ASN program for practical nurses looking to advance in the field. WKU's curriculum emphasizes professionalism, evidence-based nursing care, safety, and ethical behavior to prepare skilled and caring RNs. Enrolled students take courses in Medical-Surgical Nursing, Microbiology, Maternal-Newborn Nursing, and more to total 61 program hours. Upon completion, graduates are well-prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination.

Find out more:

Best LPN to RN Online Programs (6)

Quick Facts:
  • Program is delivered mostly online, with one face-to-face meeting each week
  • Program can be completed in less than one year (3 semesters)
  • Flexible scheduling allows students to continue working full-time if they wish

Should an LPN/LVN Become an RN?

The answer in many cases is "Yes! Absolutely!" Keep reading to find out why.

Phasing Out LPNs?

Many healthcare facilities, including hospitals, have already started phasing out the LPN position, with the intention of making it obsolete. Some lucky LPNs already employed for many years prior have likely been "grandfathered" into their jobs, however, they may have been asked to earn an RN degree to keep their job. This is mostly due to many RNs seeking employment and the inability to assign patients solely to an LPN, as LPNs legally require direct RN supervision. Eventually, the LPN position is likely to be completely eliminated.

Career Flexibility

RNs have a lot more options for places to work versus LPNs. Hospitals, clinics, physician's offices, insurance companies, pharmaceutical sales, education, and many more options exist for RNs. Some of these jobs may still employ LPNs, but the positions will be far less common and certainly won’t pay as well.

RNs also have the ability to specialize in certain areas. While LPNs can be found working in various areas of healthcare, RNs can gain advanced education and formal certification to find work with the patient populations they are most passionate about. For instance, RNs can work with babies as a NICU nurse, help those with mental illnesses and addictions as a psychiatric nurse, or serve their communities as a public health nurse, among many other specializations.

Learn more about

More Money

Many LPNs wish to advance to RN careers due to the increased salaries. See the below salary table outlining the increase in pay from an LPN vs RN by state.

StateLPN Annual SalaryRN Annual SalaryPercent Increase
District of Columbia$53,370$92,35073%
New Hampshire$52,510$72,76039%
New Jersey$56,290$82,75047%
New Mexico$47,560$71,73051%
New York$48,770$85,61076%
North Carolina$44,610$64,85045%
North Dakota$46,410$65,74042%
Rhode Island$59,130$78,42033%
South Carolina$40,890$64,94059%
South Dakota$38,630$58,34051%
West Virginia$36,770$61,78068%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data extracted on 12/3/2020

LPN vs RN: The Differences

The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a nurse who has completed nursing prerequisites plus a one-year LPN program. The LPN cannot work in the same settings as registered nurses and they often find themselves limited to only a few places for employment. However, the registered nurse can work in the same settings as the LPN, usually in a supervisory role, and have the training and authority to complete many more tasks.

For this reason, LPN programs may be less desirable than RN programs, but they are usually still available in most states. Many LPN programs are being phased out of schools because LPNs are being hired less and less in the healthcare marketplace. However, many choose to start their nursing careers as LPNs due to the shorter educational requirements in order to begin working sooner and then enroll in an LPN to RN bridge program later on.

(Video) LPN to RN Bridge Programs!

The LPN to RN program may be a shortcut method of being accepted into nursing school and much faster than attending traditional ADN or BSN programs. As for employment opportunities, most facilities do not require a Bachelor's degree to get hired but may require it within a set amount of years or employment. See RN to BSN.

Check out our breakdown of the twocareer paths with RN vs LPN.

What Are the Benefits of LPN to RN Programs?

When compared to traditional ADN or BSN programs, many benefits exist for the LPN to RN bridge program.

Short Waiting List

Attending a trade school or community college which offers the LPN program may be less expensive and shorten or eliminate the waiting list that is common for popular ADN and BSN programs. And once completed, the LPN qualifies for the LPN to RN bridge program. Because many students do not consider becoming an LPN as a stepping stone to becoming an RN initially, the waiting list for the bridge program is often much shorter than traditional RN programs.

Short Program

LPN to RN bridge programs typically take a year or less for students looking to graduate with the Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN), and around 2 years for the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) option. Because students have already completed a year of nursing school in their LPN program, they essentially enter the bridge program in the second year of a traditional RN program. Students then just need to meet the state requirements for clinical hours, making this program much shorter than attending the traditional ADN or BSN program all at once.

Small Class Sizes

Because this is not the traditional path most nursing students consider, class sizes may be smaller for LPN to RN bridge programs than for ADN or BSN programs. This can be helpful when trying to find tutoring or asking questions during class. Many instructors will know the students by name and be available for help when needed. Closer bonds between students are also common, which is helpful for forming study groups and building an understanding of the course material.

Healthcare Experience

LPNs are usually working in the healthcare field as nurses while adding to their nursing education in their RN bridge program. This hands-on experience in healthcare is priceless. School can teach a nurse how to be safe and understand the human body, but nothing quite takes the place of gaining actual real-world experience.

Work During School

Most LPN to RN programs are scheduled with the working nurse in mind. Students can typically choose between part-time or full-time class schedules, with evening and weekend courses often available. The goal of many of these programs is to allow students to continue working (at least part-time) while completing their RN studies.


What Are the Requirements of LPN to RN Bridge Programs?

While requirements vary with each program and each school some similarities are likely to exist.

  • High school diploma or GED
  • 18 years old or older
  • Fluent in reading, writing, and speaking English
  • US citizen or permanent resident
  • Graduation from an accredited nursing school
  • GPA of 2.5 or greater
  • Prerequisite courses satisfied with the LPN program or otherwise
  • LPN license in good standing with the State board of nursing

LPN to RN Classes and Curriculum

Many of the basics of nursing are learned during the first year of nursing school, which is the LPN program. So LPNs are already well-versed in the basics of patient care and the human body.

However, one of the hallmark differences is teaching the LPN to become a more independent critical thinker. After all, by law, the RN supervises the LPN, so the RN needs to be able to function safely and independently as an expert nurse while under the supervision of a physician.

The LPN to RN curriculum requires graduates to be experts in:

  • Advanced physical assessment
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Advanced biology
  • Critical thinking

What Kinds of Clinical Hours Can I Expect in the RN Program?

State law requires additional clinical hours to be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN.

These hours may be in totally different settings than the LPN program or maybe in the same areas. This all depends on the school's and state's requirements.

RN clinical areas may include:

  • Intensive care units
  • Medical-surgical floors
  • Telemetry units
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Community health settings
  • Psychiatric care facilities
  • Neonatal ICU
  • Pediatrics

Why Are Clinical Hours Important for Nurses?

Clinical hours are intended to apply classroom teaching to the "real world." Learning about a disease in a textbook and then actually taking care of a patient who has this disease are two very different things.

Textbooks teach the nursing student about a disease process by discussing:

  • Signs and symptoms
  • Predispositions
  • Disease characteristics
  • Nursing implications of the disease process, such as:
    • Risks for skin breakdown
    • Nutritional status
    • Airway management
    • Barriers to discharge

Clinical hours are intended to apply these abstract ideas to the practical use of patient care. The nursing student will solidify learning during supervised clinical rotations and put a human aspect to textbook disease processes.

What Happens After Nursing School Graduation?

Once the ADN or BSN is completed, the nurse may take the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for state licensure as an RN. This allows the nurse to apply for employment.

RELATED –Working as an RNandRegistered Nursing Jobs

Many students network and explore employment opportunities during RN clinicals. This is a great way to find a job post-graduation. Networking with the nurse managers by asking for contact information and permission to contact upon graduation is a great start.



  • CNA to RN
  • Medical Assistant to RN
  • Paramedic to RN
  • EMT to RN
  • Surgical Tech to RN
  • LPN to BSN
  • RN to BSN
  • RN to MSN
  • RN to NP
  • BSN to DNP


What is the shortest LPN to RN program? ›

What is the fastest LPN to RN program? LPN-RN bridge programs that lead to an ADN let LPNs become RNs in as little as one year. ADN-holders qualify to take the NCLEX-RN and apply for state RN licensure. Graduates who decide to pursue a BSN later can complete an RN-to-BSN bridge program.

What is the easiest LPN program to get into? ›

With an acceptance rate of 95%, Arkansas Tech University offers one of the easiest ADN programs to get into. The program is open to Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses who wish to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing (AAS-RN).

What is the quickest RN program? ›

An associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are the two most common fast track options. With each of these ways to receive nursing instruction, they require passing the NCLEX licensure examination.

What is the fastest LPN program? ›

Delta's Practical Nurse Advanced Certificate program features a fast-track program that is typically completed in one year not counting prerequisite coursework.

Can an LPN challenge the RN Nclex? ›

There is no state in the US that will allow people to "challenge" the NCLEX- RN . You must complete an approved (registered) nursing education program to be eligible. If an individual is an LVN/LPN with the desire to earn the RN licensure, (s)he must complete an RN bridge program and pass the NCLEX- RN .

Can a LPN take the RN Nclex? ›

In order to make the transition from LPN to RN, LPNs generally complete an accredited registered nurse program and take the national exam for RN licensure known as the NCLEX-RN. In some cases, however, LPNs are able to waive a portion of the RN program because of their experience.

Is 48 too old to become a nurse? ›

Even if you have the disposition and drive to enter a new career in the nursing field, you might be asking yourself, “Am I too old to become a nurse?” The answer to this question is no. Nurses come from all walks of life and all age groups.

What state is the easiest to become a nurse? ›

Easiest states to become a nurse – Length of licensing process
  • Maine: 1-2 weeks.
  • Maryland: 2-3 days.
  • Missouri: 2 weeks.
  • Nevada: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Carolina: 1-2 weeks.
  • North Dakota: 1-2 weeks.
  • Texas: 2 weeks.
  • Vermont: 3-5 business days.

What is the pass rate for the Nclex exam? ›

Following posting of annual rates on the BRN website each October, pass rate changes/corrections may occur.
NCLEX-RN Pass Rates - First Time CA Educated Exam Testers.
SchoolAmerican Career College
2018/2019% Pass93.1%
2019/2020# Taken68
% Pass92.65%
2020/2021# Taken84
42 more columns

Can I study nursing for 6 months? ›


As an Enrolled Nurse or Registered Nurse, you can develop your career by specialising in one or more post-basic fields of healthcare.

Can I fast track nursing degree? ›

Accelerated or shortened courses are available in certain clinical professions such as nursing and the allied health professions. Typically, these courses allow graduates to undertake training in two years instead of three or four.

Is RN school Hard? ›

Nursing requires more dedication than many other careers. However, it's one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Nursing school is notoriously difficult—and it's not for everyone. Graduate school is challenging as well.

How long is Fortis LPN program? ›

This course of study usually takes about 15 to 18 months to complete. Passing students then sit for the NCLEX-PN to become licensed. Following completion of the LPN program, you have the option to bridge to various RN programs such as a LPN-to-RN program, which offers an associate degree in nursing.

How long are most LPN programs? ›

Accredited licensed practical nursing programs usually take only 12 months to complete, including internships and coursework.

How fast can I be a nurse? ›

Depending on the specific nursing program that you enroll in, it could take anywhere from 16 months to four years to become a registered nurse.

Can an LPN call themselves a nurse? ›

Of course they can call themselves a nurse. It is in their credential: Licensed Practical NURSE. LPNs (called LVN or Licensed Vocational Nurse in California and Nevada) provide nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. They are nurses.

Are LPN nurses being phased out? ›

LPNs—alternately referred to as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs)—have been phased out over the last decade by health systems seeking higher-educated nurses who can provide a wider scope of duties.

Is bridging from LPN to RN hard? ›

It is a really HARD program. Especially mentally, coming off the high of graduating with a Practical Nurse Diploma to only then head back to school and learn how little of our hard work years of schooling and service counted towards the BSN degree.

Is NCLEX harder than LPN? ›

The National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) is the exam that nursing graduates must pass in order to become a Registered Nurse. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing provides it (NCSBN). The NCLEX-RN is more difficult to pass and needs more study.

Is becoming an LPN before RN worth it? ›

There are benefits to receiving your LPN credentials before moving forward including: Quick entrance into the workforce: A practical nursing program takes approximately half the time that a complete RN program does. This means you can enter the workforce quickly, building experience in the field early in your career.

How old do nurses retire? ›

For nurses with time to plan, the prospect of an early or timely retirement with a properly sized financial portfolio and social security benefits appeals to them when they reach the current full retirement age of about 67 years or even before at 62 years (without full social security benefits).

Is a 2 year nursing degree worth it? ›

You can earn an associate degree and become a licensed RN in about 2 years. You can gain essential work experience in the field sooner than others. You can also start building connections in nursing, and with patients, sooner. You can save money by earning an associate, rather than a four-year degree.

Why are nurses retiring early? ›

Financial possibility and desire to stop working were the most frequently reported factors contributing to both early and 65+ retirement for RNs. Financial possibility was more often reported by those who had retired early, and the desire to stop working was more often reported by those who had retired at 65+.

What state are nurses the happiest? ›

Best States for Nurses Satisfaction and Happiness
  • Minnesota (Quality of life ranking #2, Hospital rating by nurses 86%)
  • Wisconsin (Quality of life ranking #3, Hospital rating by nurses 88%)
  • Oregon (Quality of life ranking #18, Hospital rating by nurses inconclusive)
15 Feb 2022

Which state is the hardest to become a nurse? ›

Whether you're a first-time travel nurse or a seasoned veteran, the matter of obtaining licensure in a new state you'd like to work in is always a hurdle.
5 States that Take Longest to Get an RN License In
  1. Ohio (4-6 months) ...
  2. 2. California (3-6 months) ...
  3. Maryland (10 weeks) ...
  4. Maine (8-10 weeks) ...
  5. Alaska (8 weeks)
4 Oct 2018

What happens if you fail NCLEX 3 times? ›

If they fail, they'll need to wait 45 days before retesting. After failing three times, though, they'll need to complete a board-approved remediation program before the next retake. Candidates have six attempts to pass in total.

Which state is the easiest to pass NCLEX? ›

If you are looking for the best state for NCLEX or easiest state to pass NCLEX, here are the top 5:
  • #1 Connecticut. ...
  • #2 Montana. ...
  • #3 New York. ...
  • #4 Northern Mariana Islands. ...
  • #5 South Dakota.
20 Jan 2022

How many people pass NCLEX on first try? ›

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) reports 13.43% of NCLEX-RN candidates fail the exam on their first attempt. The number of unsuccessful test-takers is low compared to the more than 86% who pass the exam on their first try.

Can you fail at 75 questions on NCLEX? ›

Can I Fail the NCLEX at 75 Questions? To pass the NCLEX RN or PN, test takers must correctly answer at least 75 questions (the minimum amount). Unfortunately, that means you can also fail the exam within those 75 questions or items.

Is going from LPN to RN worth it? ›

RN's typically make more money than LPN's. Contrary to what you may hear, RN's don't automatically earn more than LPN's. A new grad RN can earn less than an LPN that has experience. However, the highest-paying nursing jobs are for RN's.

Is becoming an LPN before RN worth it? ›

There are benefits to receiving your LPN credentials before moving forward including: Quick entrance into the workforce: A practical nursing program takes approximately half the time that a complete RN program does. This means you can enter the workforce quickly, building experience in the field early in your career.

How long is Fortis LPN to RN program? ›

The program is two years, and an associate degree in nursing is awarded at the conclusion of the program. Students can then sit for the NCLEX-RN to become licensed registered nurses.

What comes after LPN? ›

There are five levels of nursing: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), Registered Nurse (RN), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Each level has different requirements, educational qualifications, and salary rates.

Why did hospitals get rid of LPNs? ›

KEY TAKEAWAYS. LPNs have been phased out of hospitals because of research that shows a BSN-prepared nurse results in better outcomes. Allegheny Health Network turned to LPNs to help fill nurse staffing gaps by creating blended teams. Units with the blended nursing model have reduced patients' length of stay.

Is bridging from LPN to RN hard? ›

It is a really HARD program. Especially mentally, coming off the high of graduating with a Practical Nurse Diploma to only then head back to school and learn how little of our hard work years of schooling and service counted towards the BSN degree.

Is LPN to RN transition hard? ›

Both LPNs and RNs have to take a demanding course load full of highly technical courses. However, the program for becoming an RN will be at least twice (or even four times) as long.

Is RN School Hard? ›

Nursing requires more dedication than many other careers. However, it's one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Nursing school is notoriously difficult—and it's not for everyone. Graduate school is challenging as well.

Is LPN School Hard? ›

LPN schooling can be very challenging at times; however, you can get the hang of it with dedication and good study habits! Furthermore, nursing is a gratifying job, motivating you to work towards it persistently.

Do LPNs have to take the TEAS test? ›

Applicants for the LVN program are not required take the TEAS exam. The TEAS exam will not be used for any admission criteria for the LVN program.

Did FORTIS lose their accreditation? ›

Is FORTIS Nationally Accredited? Yes. Each of our colleges and vocational schools are institutionally accredited by one of the following accrediting bodies: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)

Is FORTIS nursing program accredited? ›

ACEN Accreditation

All Florida nursing programs offering pre-licensure associate degree education are mandated by the state Board of Nursing to attain accreditation. All four Fortis Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs in Florida have accreditation conferred by ACEN.

Does Fortis College have LPN to RN program? ›

If you are already a working Practical or Vocational Nurse (LPN or LVN) and are looking to advance your nursing career and become a Registered Nurse (RN), the Fortis Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program has an entry path designed just for you.

Can an LPN call themselves a nurse? ›

Of course they can call themselves a nurse. It is in their credential: Licensed Practical NURSE. LPNs (called LVN or Licensed Vocational Nurse in California and Nevada) provide nursing care under the supervision of a Registered Nurse. They are nurses.

What state pays the highest LPN salary? ›

As a Licensed Practical Nurse, you would earn the highest wages an LPN in the US can earn in Alaska, where LPNs take home around $67,620 yearly. California is second, with an annual salary of $64,090, and Massachusetts is a close third, with a yearly wage of $60,400.


1. The LPN to RN Bridge program| what is it? Is it a good idea?| NurseLaly
2. Accelerated LPN to RN Program | My Experience | Passing NCLEX |Study Tips
(Anita Jones, RN)
(Katherine Ann)
4. My LPN to RN bridge update| How I’m bringing from LPN to RN BSN
(Nurse Key)
5. All about my ONLINE LPN to BSN program
(The Crystallina Perspective)
6. 10 Best Nursing Schools in Connecticut 2021
(World Scholarship Forum)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated: 20/06/2023

Views: 5239

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.