How to Choose a CNA to LPN + Bridge Programs

This article will give you information about how to choose a CNA to LPN degree program. You also will learn a lot of new information about various related degree programs.

Further, we will explain why you should think about getting your LPN degree so that you can work in the nursing field. We also will tell you about how to go about earning your CNA to LPN degree in your area.

Why Get a CNA to LPN Degree?

As a Certified Nursing Assistant or CNA, you will provide basic nursing care services to patients and families. They usually work in hospitals and long term care facilities and are basically entry level nurses. Many people who are CNAs eventually want to move up and become a Licensed Practical Nurse or LPN. This level of nurse earns a higher salary and has more career mobility.

This is a nurse who is an RN, and usually gets either their associate’s degree (ADN) in nursing or a diploma of nursing. LPNs are a higher level of nurse than a CNA, and also provide basic types of clinical care to patients. Some of these nursing duties include the following:

  • Monitor the health of your patients by checking their vital signs, including blood pressure and pulse
  • Administer the basic types of patient care, such as inserting a catheter and changing bandages
  • Discuss care that is needed with the patient and listen to all of their concerns
  • Report the status and concerns of patients to RNs and doctors
  • Keep careful records on patient health

The exact duties of the LPN will vary depending upon the facility in which they work and in which state, as well. Some states will allow LPNs to do some things that other states may not allow. For example, an LPN in a certain state will be able to help to start an IV, while other states will not allow it.

What An LPN Degree Can Do For You

The biggest reason that people earn their LPN degree is that they will be able to earn a higher salary, and eventually move up into higher level nursing.

Government statistics show that the employment of LPNs is going to increase by at least 16% by 2024, which is much faster than average. People are going to be living much longer than they were years ago, and this means that they will need more nursing care.

Specifically, there are many chronic conditions of older people that are more common as people age. Caring for these types of patients will grow greatly in the future, so there will be more need for LPNs and RNs.

Also, the median wage for an LPN today is $43,170, with the top 10% earning almost $60,000 per years. If you want to earn the highest possible salary as an LPN, we recommend that you work for state or local government; the median salary there for LPNs is $44,550.

How to Become an LPN

All LPNs must complete an approved associate’s degree or diploma in nursing program. Most of these programs take one or two years. Most commonly, you can earn your ADN or diploma at a local technical school or community college.

Common courses that you will take in most LPN programs include:

  • Nursing care of vulnerable populations
  • Pharmacology
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

Typical Admission Requirements for CNA to LPN Program

You will need to check with your LPN program in your area at your vocational school or community college, but you usually will need to fulfill the following requirements to be admitted:

  • You usually must be at least 18 years old for admission
  • Certificate of completion: You will need to show that you have your CNA certificate or your diploma to show that you have completed your previous education
  • Transcripts: You need to show each class that you took in your CNA class, and you will usually need a GPA of at least 2.0.
  • CNA license: You are required to have a certain number of hours of work as a CNA before you can become an LPN. It will vary depending upon your school.

With a CNA to LPN bridge program, you will be able to use some of the credits from your CNA program towards your LPN degree. This can save you some amount of time as you earn your next degree.

After you complete your educational program, you then are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN examination. All states require that you pass this examination to work as an LPN. LPNs after they pass the exam may eventually gain more experience and someday certify in a speciality, such as gerontology or pediatrics.


As you are looking for your CNA to LPN program, be sure that you confirm that the program has been fully accredited by a respected nursing program accreditation body. The most common one is the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or ACEN. This organization most commonly accredits LPN programs.

CNA to LPN Program Duration

Most CNA to LPN bridge programs can be finished in approximately one year. Most of these programs are divided into two sections:

  • Hands on internship program
  • Campus based theory and classes

Where to Earn Your CNA to LPN Degree

Many nursing professionals will choose to earn their LPN degree at a local college, hospital or vocational school. However, there are now some online LPN programs where you can take at least some of your classes online. Below are some of the best options:

#1 Rasmussen College

This is a popular online degree program at Rasmussen College that will allow you to earn your LPN in approximately one year. If you choose the CNA to LPN bridge option, you may be able to do some in less than a year. You will be able to take the majority of these classes online, and then you can do your clinical hours either near the campus or in your own area:

  • Fundamentals of Practical Nursing
  • Introduction to Practical Nursing
  • Structure and Function of the Human Body
  • Basic Pharmacology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Nutritional Principles in Nursing
  • Family Nursing
  • Practical Nursing Capstone

Rasmussen College also has an online bridge program for LPNs who want to come back to earn their BSN degree, which will improve your career prospects and salary even more.

#2 Itasca Community College

Most community colleges will require you to take your entire program online, but you will find some state community colleges that allow you to take at least part of the program online.

One of them is at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids MN. You will be able to take the majority of classes online, and then you will be able to do your clinical hours in the area of the campus. You will need to visit the campus several times, so this is a program that you would want to select if you lived in the Minnesota area.

Remember, as you are selecting your CNA to LPN program, you generally will need to find a community college, vocational college or possibly a hospital in your area that offers the program. The above online options offer some limited ability to take your classes online, but large portions of the program must take place at the campus or facility.