LPN to RN-ADN Programs

For many Licensed Practical Nurses, the next step is to become a Registered Nurse, which is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States. Many schools have avenues available for students to graduate from being an LPN to being an RN. One way to accomplish this is to obtain an Associate of Applied Science in nursing education, or ADN. Because they already have much of the required education and training, LPNs are able to take advantage of an advanced placement option to become an RN via the ADN.

The ADN is designed to prepare students to deliver patient care in a wide variety of health care settings and facilities, and is traditionally offered at community and technical colleges. Through these programs, students learn to integrate their nursing skills with further health education to provide holistic care to a patient. Because the ASN is an Associate’s Degree, these programs include general education courses that help students develop their critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills, as well.

Because most programs allow LPNs to transfer credits into an ADN program, advanced placement options allow qualified LPNs to complete their ADN courses in as little as one calendar year, depending on a student’s schedule and availability. Once a program is completed, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) to be licensed as a Registered Nurse.

ADN Nursing Prerequisites

Prerequisites for ADN programs vary state to state and program to program, but many common application requirements include:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Current, unrestricted LPN license in state where you plan to complete ADN degree
  • LPN work experience (generally within last two to three years)
  • School transcripts
  • Physical and immunizations
  • CPR Certification
  • Minimum assessment levels in core classes, such as reading, writing, and math; these can sometimes include ACT or SAT scores if they are fairly recent, otherwise a TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) is administered fairly often
  • Some prerequisite courses that may include high school or lower-level college biology, psychology, math, and/or English courses – these often need to be passed with a grade of C or better

Students in ADN programs take the classes and meet the requirements designated by the school they attend, which will be in line with state requirements. In addition, certain classes need to be taken as prerequisites to or concurrently with others. Finally, these programs also require students take general education classes to help round out their education and experience. Students in ADN programs can expect to take approximately 70 credits to complete their program, as opposed to about 120-130 credits to complete a BSN.

Classes for LPN to ADN students typically include:

  • Sciences: Different types of biology, anatomy, and physiology courses
  • Social Sciences: Varied psychology courses, sociology
  • Nursing courses: These focus not only on different types of patients and their needs, but also on specialized development courses dealing with leadership, ethics, and workplace professionalism
  • General Education: English composition, speech, political science, math, humanities

Near the end of formal coursework, students in ADN programs will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on learning in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and/or community-based agencies. Under the supervision of faculty and staff members, students learn best practices, current trends, and further develop practical and critical thinking nursing skills. Often, students will rotate through clinicals in areas that include medical-surgical, acute care, community health, pediatrics, mental health, gerontology, and health assessment. While clinical hours vary per program, students can expect to spend about 10-15 hours per week in these settings, and another 4-6+ hours doing classroom course work.

LPN to ADN Online

Increasingly, students are looking at online options to add flexibility to their schedules. Fortunately, many schools have recognized this need and offer flexible programs that include online courses. With online learning in an ADN setting, students learn foundational topics through online course work including required reading, discussion boards, video or slideshow lectures, and other media. While many programs offer the flexibility of taking courses online, clinical experiences must still be done in person.

After completing all required course work, ADN students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.