Becoming certified as an LPN (licensed practical nurse) offers individuals a great opportunity to quickly obtain an entry-level position within the nursing field, however because the LPN program only offers a basic understanding of the nursing field many LPN’s end up having a difficult time finding career advancement opportunities.
Those who are looking to increase their salary and find more opportunities within the nursing field will eventually want to go back to school and become licensed as a registered nurse.
The good news for those who are currently LPN’s is that there are options that will allow LPN’s to earn their registered nursing license and transfer some earned credits from their training and work as an LPN into the RN program.
The LPN to RN programs offered by accredited colleges and universities allow licensed practical nurses an opportunity to take college courses, which will allow them earn their registered nurse license faster than a student who has not earned their LPN license.
The most commonly offered LPN to RN programs offered by schools are the ASN (associates of science in nursing degree) and the BSN (bachelors of science in nursing degree).
Those looking to transition into the registered nurse program from their current position as an LPN must first take a certified LPN program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
Depending on the school offering the transition program those who work as LPN’s may be able to earn up to 1 year worth of credits towards their education curriculum in the RN program.
LPN’s are commonly required to take a 1 – 3 credit transition course which is designed to help them transition into the RN program.
Some colleges and universities may also require LPN’s to take a variety of prerequisite courses and maintain a certain GPA average before they can enter the program however each college and university varies in terms of requirements so this may not apply to all educational facilities.
The most common prerequisites need for entering the nursing program include:
- English 101
- Anatomy & Physiology I & II
- Intro to Psychology or Psychology 101
- Intro to Sociology or Sociology 101
In order to find out the exact requirements necessary for getting into the LPN to RN program at a specific school is to contact the guidance counselor of that college or university and ask them if it is necessary to take any prerequisite courses and/or maintain a certain GPA average.
It is also a good idea to find out what sort of competition that school has for the transition program to see if it is likely that you will get accepted as this may help you determine what school you’ll want to apply to.
While some people believe that hospitals are trying to transition away from hiring LPN’s in exchange for more qualified registered nurses the current job outlook for the nursing industry as a whole appears to be at an all time high and it is expected that by 2020 – 800,000 jobs will be available to those who are interested in working in the nursing field.
For those interested in becoming an LPN it is still a great way for many individuals to get their foot into the health care system and provides those who may be thinking of becoming a registered nurse an opportunity to decide if it the is right career path for them.