Exhaustive guide for LPN to RN program | why the transition from LPN to RN?

Guide for LPN to RN

Every healthcare professional has some way to advance their career and get more knowledge, expertise, and opportunities. The process to reach the next level of education is different for every profession and highly depends on the current job title, professional goals, and level of education. lpn to rn program is an educational path designed to gain advanced education in the nursing profession. This program uses licensed practical nurses (LPN) education as the starting point and offers an in-depth curriculum. 

The next step for licensed practical nurses in their career is registered nurses (RN). Despite the integral part and essential role of LN in healthcare settings, salary and career opportunities are limited. On the other hand, registered nurses have more significant career opportunities and good salary packages. With practice settings ranging from hospitals to clinics, registered nurses strive hard to improve patients’ health and give them the best care and support. 

The responsibilities of LPN and RN and almost the same, but RN always work on an advanced level. The primary duties may expand to include making healthcare plans, monitoring patient recovery and progress, and administering medication. To transition from licensed practical nurse to registered nurse, you have to complete the accredited nursing program including ADN and BSN, then take a National Exam for RN licensure. 

What is a licensed practical nurse (LPN)?

An LPN is a nurse responsible for providing primary but essential care to the patients. LPN assist doctors and registered nurses in maintaining the records, performing the necessary procedure, assuring clear communication between the entire healthcare staff, patients, families, and relatives, and telling the treatment procedures to patients. The duties performed by LPN are taking vitals, recording recovery, and helping patients eat and get dressed. 

How to become a licensed practical nurse?

  • Get a high school diploma and equivalent education, including a bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) and an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN).
  • Complete the training program that prepares to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for licensed practical nurses. The program for LPN typically takes one year to complete. 
  • After this, you can start practicing as a licensed practical nurse to gain experience. In some states, you have to take and pass a state-administered licensing exam. 

What is a registered nurse (RN)?

Registered nurses play an essential role in planning treatment procedures and providing advance care and support to patients. A registered nurse takes the patient’s history, thoroughly assesses the patient’s condition, gives medication, and sometimes performs a diagnostic procedure. Registered nurses play an essential role in coordinating healthcare and ensuring everything is running smoothly, and patient health is progressing in the healthcare setting. 

How to become a registered nurse?

  • Before BSN or ADN degree candidate must complete liberal arts, maths, and science prerequisites. 
  • Gain a four-year BSN degree or two-year ADN degree. BSN is an in-depth detailed program while ADN covers all the fundamentals and provides a faster path. 
  • Take and pass National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurse NCLEX-RN. This exam is six hours long, and you have to complete a minimum of 75 questions. 

What is LPN to RN?

Both LPN and RN work for the betterment and welfare of patients for their whole life and have a goal to ensure that each patient is getting quality healthcare. There are two paths of becoming a registered nurse from a licensed practical nurse; one is the lpn to rn program, and the other is the lpn to rn program. Both programs use the previous knowledge you had gained in the licensed practical nurse’s program and take it to the advanced level. Both paths have their benefits, and you can choose either according to your preferences.

Why choose lpn to rn program?

Many reasons can motivate you to transfer from licensed practical nurse to registered nurse. The responsibilities, duties, and practice setting may be easy for LPNs, but career opportunities and better salary packages are with RNs. If you want to specialize in one specific area and take care of a patient-related to that specialty only, becoming a registered nurse is the best option. 

After completing the LPN program, you have two choices: online ADN and the other is BSN. Licensed practical nurses enrolled in ADN take two years to complete the program, while those who registered in BSN take four years. You can also opt for an online program if you want to work and study side by side. On the other hand, the BSN degree takes four years but provides in-depth education and knowledge. Some universities also offer the option to remove some subjects from the course according to previous knowledge and experience.

As the demand for nurses grows continuously in a healthcare setting, the competition has also become very tough. Most hospitals, agencies, and clinics want registered nurses (RNs). Therefore, becoming a registered nurse will open more doors to the job and increase your ranking at the workplace. The knowledge, experience, and skills you gained while working as a licensed practical nurse also help to make you a strong candidate. 

How to go from the lpn to rn program?

The education requirements highly depend on the program candidate decides to choose. Generally, the student has to complete school with the required GPA criteria. Typically every university or school set their criteria. Some educational institutes also require the candidate to complete certain hours of clinical practice to get admission. There are no fixed hours mentioned for every student; clinical hours depend on the state licensing board. As mentioned earlier, there are two paths to become RN from LPN, so both courses have different educational requirements mentioned below:

  • ADN route: Most ADN programs require two years of education after passing high school. The course of ADN mainly focuses on topics related to Anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology. After completing the required courses and gaining experience, an ADN student can pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses.
  • BSN route: As the competition increases, most employers want nurses with a higher degree like BSN. Bachelor’s of Science in nursing typically takes four years to complete and mainly focuses on a broader approach to education. This program covers administration, leadership, critical thinking, and communication skills. 

Salary difference of lpn to rn

Salary difference of LPN and RN

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the entry-level salary difference between LPN and RN is approximately 17,500$. A licensed practical nurse earns roughly 34,000$ annually whereas, a registered nurse earns around 50,000$ annually. Private institutes offer different salary packages according to experience. Nurses who hold specialty certificates will offer higher salaries. In addition, registered nurses who have BSN degrees get 7,000$ to 10,000$ more than the nurses with an associate degree. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly salary difference between LPN and RN, according to the Bureau of labor statistics, is 13$ to 20$. The salary paid to nurses also depends on the facilities given by the institute; more facilities usually means less salary. These prerequisites include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and shift differential. Many other factors contribute to the salary, like years of experience, area of specialty, and specialty certification. The average hourly pay of LN is 23$, while the average hourly wage of registered murse is 37$. 

The difference in salary between LPN and RN dramatically depends on geographical area, years of experience, and place of specialization. Nurses who are specialized to work in emergency rooms, surgery rooms, and intensive care units often get higher salaries because of greater risk in this job. The average salary of the LPN is 41,808$ annually, and for a registered nurse (RN) is 79,760$ annually.

What is the best online lpn to rn program?

Finding the best LPN to RN program can mean everything for your professional life. It opens the doors towards gaining experience, developing skills, making a connection, and getting the confidence you need to excel in your career. If you want to get higher education and continue your job side-by-side, online LPN to RN programs are the best choice. Following are some best online programs ranked based on NCLEX-RN pass rate and estimated tuition rates:

  • The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center College of Nursing is the best and most affordable online nursing program. This university has a 97% of NCLEX-RN passing rate. Candidates have to complete 60 credit hours course.
  • North Dakota State University: The coursework provided by this university is entirely online, but candidates still have to spend some time in the clinical area to gain experience and develop skills. The pass rate of the NCLEX-RN exam is 97% in this university. Online LPN to RN courses consists of six semesters.
  • Presentation College: This college offers a Bachelor of Science in nursing to become a registered nurse (RN) licensed practical nurse (LPN). Presentation college has an 88% passing rate for the NCLEX-RN exam. You can become a registered nurse by an online course of 4-6 semesters. 


The transition from a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse (RN) is a good career choice that allows more career opportunities and higher salary packages. The duties and responsibilities of nurses changed when they transit from lpn to rn. Registered nurses have more autonomy in making decisions and providing care to the patients. To keep the license of RN active, you have to take continuing education courses. While enrolling yourself in a program, ensure that the program is accredited, preventing potential pitfalls during employment.

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