Becoming an LPN/licensed practical nurse is a great chance to obtain an entry-level healthcare worker job quickly.
However, the LPN program only offers essential training, making it difficult to find career advancement opportunities.
The LPN to RN program offers a bridge for those pursuing careers in higher positions.
It enables healthcare workers to increase their salaries and find more employment opportunities within the nursing field.
As a result, this program benefits LPNs who want to return to school and become licensed registered nurses.
The good news for existing LPNs is that opportunities exist that allow them to earn their registered nursing license.
These programs enable LPNs to transfer some credits from their training and work into the RN program.
The LPN to RN Overview
The LPN to RN programs allows licensed practical nurses to enter the nursing program quickly.
As a result, they can earn their registered nurse license faster than a student who has not obtained their LPN license.
Aspiring LPNs looking to transition into the registered nurse program must eventually take a certified LPN program.
They must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops the NCLEX.
Passing this exam enables LPN graduates to operate as licensed practical nurses.
From there, LPNs may look for work to develop their career experience before pursuing an ADN or BSN degree.
Transitioning into The RN Program
Depending on the school offering the transition program, LPNs may earn up to one year’s worth of credits for their education curriculum.
LPNs must take a 1 – 3 transition credit course to help them transition into the registered nurse (RN) program.
Some colleges also require LPNs to take several prerequisites and maintain a certain GPA average to enter the program.
Nevertheless, each college and university varies in terms of requirements, so this may not apply to all educational facilities.
The most common prerequisites needed for entering the nursing program include the following:
- English 101
- Anatomy & Physiology I and II
- Intro to Psychology or Psychology 101
- Introduction to Sociology or Sociology 101
To find out the exact requirements for getting into the LPN to RN program at a specific school, contact the guidance counselor of that college or university.
Ask them what prerequisite courses are necessary and what GPA average they need to achieve.
It is also a good idea to find out what sort of competition that school has for the transition program.
It will help you determine whether you’ll likely get accepted and what schools you want to pursue.
LPN to RN Pathway Example
Every nursing school has specific requirements LPNs must meet to transition into the RN program.
This section includes an example of possible steps a student may need to complete to join the RN program, as an example.
- Possess a current LPN license.
- Complete a school admissions application.
- Receive administrative council
- Meet the requirements for the TEAS entrance exam
- Finish the necessary prerequisite courses
- Maintain a good GPA
1. Possess a Current LPN Licensure.
To qualify for the LPN to RN program, students must possess a valid and current LPN licensure.
Accordingly, nurses with an expired or revoked LPN registration cannot apply for the LPN to RN bridge program.
Those with invalid licensure will want to get it reinstated before applying for the bridge program.
2. Complete a School Admissions Application
The next step to enter the bridge program is to complete a school admissions application.
This application enables schools to screen students to determine their interests and identify whether they qualify to join.
Students who do not meet the admissions requirements may consult a counselor to determine what is needed to gain acceptance.
3. Receive Administrative Council
Consulting a counselor or administrative member is beneficial for ensuring applicants meet the school’s requirements.
These experts help students understand if they need to complete further paperwork, take extra courses, or other actions.
4. Meet the TEAS Entrance Exam Requirments
The TEAS entrance exam is a common part of the admissions process.
This exam tests students’ academic potential to determine whether they’ll perform well in nursing school.
As a result, many educational settings use the TEAS entrance exam to identify potential program candidates.
4. Finish Prerequisite Courses
Some schools require LPNs to complete additional prerequisite courses to enter the program.
However, whether taking additional perquisites is necessary depends on the school and the student’s prior education.
Students who’ve completed prerequisites in High School, College, or the LPN program usually won’t need to retake them.
Nevertheless, ensuring that the previously completed prerequisites transfer properly and haven’t expired is important.
5. Maintain a Good GPA
In addition to satisfying the required prerequisites and taking the TEAS entrance exam, students must retain a good GPA.
Most nursing programs have a GPA requirement that students need to meet to qualify for the program.
As with the TEAS test, a student’s GPA helps schools determine whether they’ll perform well in the program.
Students with low GPA scores may need to retake some prerequisites or additional courses to boost their scores.
Is Becoming an LPN Before an RN Worth it?
There are numerous advantages to becoming an LPN before pursuing a career as a registered nurse.
Firstly, becoming an LPN is much faster than becoming a registered nurse.
As a result, aspiring nurses can quickly enter the field, gain vital experience and earn a living.
LPN also learn about bedside care without spending multiple years and lots of money in an ADN or BSN program.
Becoming a registered nurse can be expensive and timely for people who need to earn money quickly.
It can also be risky for those unsure whether nursing is the right career.
For LPNs who become registered nurses, the experiences they gain help them determine a career specialization.
There are over one hundred specializations for registered nurses with domains in direct care and non beside professions.
As a result, getting hands-on experience and learning from different specializations enables LPNS to be more prepared for roles as registered nurses.
Becoming an LPN is excellent for those who want to enter healthcare quickly, earn money, and gain experience while pursuing an ADN or BSN degree.
However, students who want to focus solely on schooling to become registered nurses may pursue an RN program directly.
It enables them to dedicate their full attention to becoming registered nurses without first starting a career as an LPN.
Can an LPN Take the NCLEX-RN Exam?
In short, no LPNs cannot take the NCLEX-RN exam.
This examination is designed specifically for registered nurse graduates who’ve passed the ADN or BSN program.
Instead, these healthcare professionals must pass the NCLEX-PN examination.
The NCLEX-PN exam is specifically designed to test the competencies of LPN graduates.
It ensures that LPNs understand the fundamentals of nursing and can perform their duties expertly.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) creates the NCLEX-RN and NCLEX-RN exams.
Is RN School Harder Than LPN?
Whether the RN program is harder than LPN school depends on the individual.
The RN program is more comprehensive than the LPN program and takes much longer.
As a result, students must study for longer, understand more complex topics, finish class labs, and complete clinical.
Those who’ve struggled through the LPN program may find becoming a registered nurse just as difficult and tiring.
Yet, those with a good GPA, study ethic, and routine may find that the RN program requires further study and time.
There are numerous career opportunities for those pursuing careers as LPNs and RNs.
However, some believe hospitals are partly transitioning from LPNs in exchange for more qualified registered nurses.
LPN hiring remains strong in several healthcare settings.
It includes nursing homes, long-term care facilities, private homes, physician offices, and some hospital settings.
The current job outlook for the nursing industry appears to be at an all-time high.
Job growth for registered nurses will be 9% over the next decade.
Employment growth for LPNs is slightly lower, with an expansion rate of approximately 6%.
Nonetheless, an aging population and a growing number of nurses retiring leave many careers unfilled.
The result is an expanding nursing shortage that creates significant demand in certain locations.
Those interested in becoming an LPN will have numerous opportunities to get well-paying and secure jobs.
It is still an excellent way for many individuals to get into the healthcare system and acquire work experience.
For those who wish to transition from an LPN to RN, the job prospects are even better as there are over one hundred career specializations for registered nurses.