If you want to enjoy some of the best nursing career positions, the most important decision you can make is to earn your Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree. Earning your BSN allows you to qualify for your NCLEX-RN examination and to become a full RN.
While becoming an LPN was a good first step, you will always be better off in the nursing field to earn your BSN. First of all, you salary as an LPN will max out at approximately $45,000 per year on average. Second, the statistics prove that with the way healthcare is evolving in the US, nurses who have an BSN possess the best credentials and experience.
Further, because of the research that has been conducted on the advanced nursing skills of people with their BSN, more hospitals across the country are mandating that nurses who are an LPN earn their BSN in the near future. This position was backed by the Institute of Medicine in 2010 when they stated that 80% of nurses should obtain their BSN by 2020.
As a BSN holder, you will have more advanced skills and will conduct more sophisticated care:
- Administer medication and treatments to your patients
- Coordinate complex plans for care of patients
- Perform diagnostic tests and analyze the results
- Instruct patients on ways to manage their illness
- Oversee LPNs and other health care workers
Additionally, with your BSN, you are just a step away from obtaining your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and working in the most advanced nursing roles:
- Nurse practitioner
- Certified nurse midwife
- Certified nurse anesthetist
- Clinical nurse specialist
Tips to Choose the Best Program
As you look around online, you will probably find many possible LPN to BSN programs. How to know which ones are the best? We advise that you look at these factors:
- Specialties: You should think long and hard about the specialty that means the most to you, whether it is geriatrics, neonates, pediatrics or some other type of nursing. Once you have determined which is your favorite, you should then seek a good BSN program that fits your needs.
- Size of the school: If you want closer attention, you should consider a smaller school. Generally, if you are taking an online program, the smaller the class size, the better.
- Clinical rotation: You want to work with an online program that offers the best and most flexible clinical hour rotations. Much of what you learn in your BSN program will come down to what you do during your clinical rotations. You want to be sure that your advisor at your university works well with the supervisor at your job site.
- Pass/Fail rates for NCLEX Exam: You should ask the school for this data from at least the last five years. Ideally, you want to see a pass rate of at least 90%.
- Accreditation: As we mention below, you should make sure your program has ACEN accreditation, which is the most recognized accreditation body.
- Tuition: While it is an individual decision on how much tuition you are willing to pay, you should remember that the median salary for nurses is in the $60,000 range. If you are going to have to take out loans, you should keep your debt load in mind.
Available Online LPN to BSN Programs
Fortunately, transitioning from LPN to RN by earning a bachelor’s is a very popular path. This means you have many online LPN to BSN degree programs from which you may choose. We have reviewed many of the available online degree programs, and these below are ones you should review:
North Dakota State University
If you want to advance your nursing career to the next step on the ladder and continue to work, this online degree program was designed with you in mind. Admission requirements:
- Completion of associate’s in nursing
- Active LPN license
- GPA of 3.0 in associate’s work
- GPA of 3.0 in microbiology, anatomy and physiology, psychology, sociology and English.
- CPR certification
- Two references
Your classes include:
- Nursing as a Scholarly Profession
- Transition from LPN to BSN
- Leadership and Ethical Reflection
- Health Assessment
- Integrated Family Nursing
- Psychosocial Nursing
- Public Health Nursing
- Complex Issues in Adult Health
Like many online nursing programs, you will need to come to the campus a few times. First, to be admitted, you must take the validation examinations which are only offered on campus. Validation exams are in adult health, mental health, care of the child, and care of the client during childbirth.
You also must come to campus during the program’s first week. And you need to come back for clinicals at the end of the program.
This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Indiana State University
This highly regarded online LPN to BSN program is open to any practicing LPN who has completed an associate’s degree and holds an active LPN license. The three year program allows you to transfer all applicable credits to this university and to complete the program online.
After you finish the BSN program successfully, you are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination in any part of the country.
Required coursework includes:
- Human Anatomy for Allied Health Professions
- Human Anatomy Lab
- Human Physiology
- Chemistry and Society
- Transition from LPN to BSN
- Comprehensive Health Assessment
- Nursing Care of Adults
- Nursing Leadership
- Reflective Nursing Practice
- Community Health Nursing
This program is accredited by ACEN.
Wayland Baptist University
If you want to expand your work opportunities by earning your BSN online, consider this program from Wayland Baptist University. This program is designed for the student who is already an LPN or LVN. Students who already have this active license are granted 22 hours of class credit.
At the end of the 21 month program, you will have earned your BSN degree and will be ready to take your NCLEX-RN examination.
- 5 GPA
- Active LPN license
- CPR certification
- Proof of health insurance
- Immunization records
- Drug screen
- Background check
Required classes include:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- General Psychology
- Developmental Psychology
- Childbearing Family
- Professional Nursing Role
- Pediatric Nursing
- Mental Health Nursing
- Nursing Theories and Research
Most of the classes can be completed online, and the required clinicals are done in hospitals in the San Antonio TX area. This LVN to BSN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
The Importance of ACEN Accreditation
As you choose your online BSN program, you should look for accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or ACEN. This is the top nursing program accreditation agency in the US. The ACEN seal on the program assures you and future employers that it has met the highest standards for quality.
For a complete list of all of the programs across the US that offer an LPN to BSN program, please consult this list provided by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.