How to Choose a LPN to ADN Online

If you are a current RN with a diploma, you probably have a few years of work experience as an entry level nurse. For better job opportunities and salaries, you should consider earning your Associate’s Degree in Nursing, or ADN. By earning your ADN, you will have access to better jobs and more money, and you will have the door open to high paying nurse roles in the future too.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, LPNs who earn their associate’s degree can earn a median salary of $43,000 or more. After you earn your ADN and gain more experience, you will then have the ability to earn your bachelor’s degree or even your master’s degree and earn much more. And if you are working as a nurse as you earn your degrees, you may be able to have your employer pay for some or all of your education.

As you consider obtaining your ADN degree, you should know that there are more than 1,000 of these programs in the US today. You need to decide if you want to take your ADN program at a local community college or vocational school, or at an online university. Both options are great choices depending upon your specific circumstances.

Online Programs

Most associate’s in nursing programs can be done in two years and many of them are offered online. However, you will need to do some of your work in person, as there are clinical hours involved.

These online programs for ADN are sometimes referred to as hybrid programs. Completing this degree online will require you to obtain clinical experience in a local clinic or hospital. You may be able to do this with your current employer if you are already working as an RN.

These two year associate’s degree program are often offered at vocational schools and community colleges with some of them offering the programs online. However, there also are many national universities also offering the ADN online. This can be a good choice if you are busy with personal obligations in addition to your nursing work.

For example, Kaplan University currently offers as Associate of Science in Nursing. This two year degree program has classroom and online instruction and also lab and clinical work. You will need to do some laboratory work on campus from time to time, and real world clinical experiences are included in the program in your local area.

Classes in the Kaplan University program include:

  • Pathophysiology for Nursing
  • Pharmacology for Nursing
  • Medical Surgical Nursing I
  • Maternal Infant Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Leadership and Trends in Nursing

Another good option to earn your ADN online can be found at Rasmussen College. With this two year online program, you have plenty of flexibility as there are four start dates per year. All of the classes are taught in small online groups and are taught by the most experienced nursing faculty. This program can be taken either by a current RN or a professional with no nursing experience.

This program prepares you fully for the RN certification examination at the national level. Your coursework includes:

  • Nutritional Principles in Nursing
  • Dimensions in Nursing Practice
  • Health Assessment
  • Fundamentals in Professional Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Professional Nursing I
  • Professional Nursing II
  • Maternal Child Health Nursing
  • Professional Nursing III
  • Professional Nursing Leadership and Quality

You also will need to take general education courses:

  • English Composition
  • College Algebra
  • Structure and Function of the Human Body
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • General Psychology

On Campus Programs

In the past, many ADN programs were offered only at community and vocational colleges. You may be able to find a low cost ADN program at your local community college.

For example, if you live in North Carolina, you should consider North Carolina State College. This university has agreements with more than 40 four year universities so that you can go on to earn your BSN later if you choose. Some of those programs for BSN are even offered online.

While the classes you are required to complete will vary, you can expect to take ones such as these in your on campus ADN program:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Basic Concepts in Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Nutrition
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology
  • Intermediate Concepts in Nursing
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Chemistry
  • Microbiology
  • Nursing Trends and Transitions

The Importance of ACEN Accreditation

When you are choosing your ADN program either online or on campus, you should look for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or ACEN. This is the premier nursing program accreditation agency in the US.

A Pathway to a BSN Degree and Beyond

Earning your ADN degree is a wise first step to becoming a full RN. However, you should remember that you would be wise to use it as a transition to earning your BSN degree. With the quickly evolving state of health care in America, it is important for nurses to have the best credentials and experience.

It is for this reason that many hospitals across the US are starting to require nurses with an associate’s degree to attain their BSN degree. The Institute of Medicine in 2010 released a statement that set a goal for 80% of nurses to have their BSN by 2020. This statement was made in part because it was shown that nurses with a BSN provide a higher level of care than other nurses.

After you earn your ADN, you should immediately begin to consider getting your BSN. The additional classes that you are offered in a BSN program will help you to develop better problem solving skills and also will help you to develop better professionally over the long term.

Many ADN holders who earn their BSN eventually decide to earn their master’s degree and move into some of the highest paying RN positions, including:

  • Nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse midwife
  • Certified nurse anesthetist
  • Clinical nurse specialist

Nurses in those professions currently enjoy the hottest demand in the field of nursing, with a 31% growth rate anticipated by 2024.