Many Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) think about furthering their education and training to become a Registered Nurse (RN).
Fortunately, there are hundreds of schools across the United States that offer students varied opportunities to obtain their RN degree. One way to do this is to complete a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree, or BSN.
Nurses can have fulfilling careers as LPNs or ADN RNs. Many, though, are looking for four-year degrees to help them qualify for promotions, managerial roles, and/or raises. The BSN education helps licensed nurses further their knowledge and experience in the increasingly complex field of healthcare. In addition, a four-year degree is the foundation for advanced education needed for other roles, such as nurse anesthetist, educator, nurse practitioner, researcher, nurse midwife, clinical nurse specialist, and administrator.
There are many BSN schools around the nation that accept LPNs with diplomas, certificates, and/or associate’s degrees in nursing into their program. These programs offer students the ability to earn their bachelor’s degree in a variety of flexible ways. Many schools allow students to take classes part-time, and several others have an online component available. Students who complete their BSN coursework will, like students who elect to get their RN through an Associate in Applied Science in nursing (ADN), be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.
Requirements for LPN to BSN Programs
While each program is different, some common application requirements for BSN programs include:
- Current, unrestricted LPN license in state where you plan to complete BSN degree
- Proof of LPN work experience and a set number of LPN work hours
- School transcripts
- GPA of 2.5 or higher
- A grade of C or better in core science prerequisites
- Physical and immunizations
- Physical and record of immunizations
- Advanced placement exam(s)
BSN Program Prerequisites
In addition, there are several prerequisites for BSN programs. Some schools require these to be complete ahead of enrollment, while others let students take prerequisites concurrently with program classes. These prerequisites may include:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Introduction to Psychology
- English Composition
- Public Speaking
- College Algebra
BSN programs require students to take requirements designated by the school and state. Because the BSN is a four-year degree usually offered at colleges and universities, general education classes (such as composition, algebra, and others) are required to help provide a comprehensive educational experience.
LPN to BSN Classes
Classes for LPN to BSN students typically include:
- Sciences: Different types of biology, anatomy, and physiology courses
- Social Sciences: Varied psychology courses, sociology
- Nursing: These focus not only on different types of patients and their needs, but also on specialized development courses dealing with leadership and workplace professionalism as well as ethics and patient diversity
- General Education: English composition, communication, political science, math, arts, humanities
An interesting aspect of BSN programs is that there are often different variations of the degree even at one school. For example, a state university may offer a traditional program designed for students who are getting their first degree. This university may also offer a BSN option for students who are already RNs per an ADN program. They may also offer a BSN program for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree, but in a different field. Many schools may also offer variations of part-time and full-time schedules for BSN programs that help students schedule around busy lifestyles. In general, the number of credits required for a BSN degree is approximately 120 – 130; the ADN-RN degree, by contrast, is approximately 70 credits.
LPN to BSN Online
These flexible BSN options also include versions with an online component. Many brick-and-mortar colleges offer online classes for BSN students, and there are also many online colleges that offer BSN courses. Many colleges offer the option of a hybrid program, where students take classes both online and in the classroom. With online courses, students pass assessments such as papers, tests, projects, and discussion board posts to show progress in a class. While online courses allow flexibility by allowing students to study where and when it is most convenient, it’s important to keep on task independently.
Though online learning allows students to study wherever they want and at their own place, BSN students, like ADN students, need to complete hands-on clinical hours as part of their programs. Clinical experiences vary per program, but all are supervised and evaluated by school faculty. Typically, the recommended ratio is approximately three clinical hours for every one hour of time in the classroom.
After finishing all required course work, BSN students are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam.