The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

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Updated November 21, 2022

Are you an LPN ready to move up in your career? Explore our rankings of the best online LPN-to-BSN programs to find the best fit for your professional goals.
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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

Young African-American nurse working in a clinic. Image Credit: Pixel-Shot / African / Shutterstock Credit: Pixel-Shot | African | Shutterstock

If you are a licensed practical nurse who wants to advance in your nursing career, earning a licensed practical nursing to bachelor of science in nursing (LPN-to-BSN) online might be a good option.

These flexible online bachelor programs award credit for your previous training. BSN graduates qualify for the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN), leading to greater employment opportunities.

While an associate degree in nursing also prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN exam, top-rated online LPN-to-BSN programs train you for positions in high-paying specialties and supervisory roles.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best LPN-to-BSN programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.


At a Glance: The Top 10 LPN-to-BSN Programs

  • 1. University of Arkansas
  • 2. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
  • 3. Excelsior College
  • 4. Kent State University at Stark
  • 5. Wilson College
  • 6. Kent State University at Geauga
  • 7. Kent State University at Salem
  • 8. Indiana State University
  • 9. Kent State University at Trumbull
  • 10. Presentation College


Keep reading to learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program or go straight to our ranking of the best LPN-to-BSN programs.

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in an LPN-to-BSN Program

Before choosing an online LPN-to-BSN, pay attention to important program features such as program length, clinical requirements, and accreditation. The key metrics described below, which form the basis for our rankings, can help you find the program that works best for you.

1. Admission Requirements

Schools establish admission criteria to help them select candidates with the background to complete the program successfully. Before you apply to an online LPN-to-BSN, make sure you meet the admission requirements.

2. Program Curriculum

Before enrolling in an online LPN-to-BSN program, determine how many credits you can transfer from your previous nursing training and how many general education requirements you must fulfill. Does the program offer concentrations in nursing specializations that interest you?

3. Clinical Experience

The number of required clinical hours depends on the school and each state nursing board. Find out if your intended online LPN-to-BSN program helps you find clinical placements close to home. If not, will your schedule allow you to travel to placement sites?

4. Accreditation

Accredited online LPN-to-BSN programs have met national professional and academic standards. Attending a nonaccredited program hinders your opportunities for employment, certification, and graduate studies.

You can check the accreditation status of your intended program in databases maintained by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

5. Program Length

Earning an LPN-to-BSN online often takes two to three years of full-time study to complete, depending on the program and number of credits you transfer from your LPN program.

6. School Graduation Rate

The school graduation rate shows you what percentage of students graduate in the expected time frame. A high graduation rate gives you a good indicator of the program's quality and commitment to student success. Additionally, a school's NCLEX pass rate can help indicate how well a program prepares graduates for success.

7. Online Learning Format and Requirements

Not all BSNs use the same distance learning platforms. Choose a program that fits your learning style and personal needs.

Programs that offer asynchronous courses allow you to complete classes at your own pace. Programs that rely on a synchronous schedule or that combine online and hybrid formats require fixed login times and/or in-person attendance.

8. Specializations

A BSN can prepare you for specialized nursing roles in fields such as pediatrics, emergency care, and oncology, to name just a few. An RN specialization leads to greater job and salary prospects. When comparing schools, find out if they offer specialties in areas that interest you.

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Why Is LPN-to-BSN Program Accreditation Important?

All online LPN-to-BSN programs selected for these rankings are accredited by either the CCNE or the ACEN. A program's accreditation status determines financial aid and licensure eligibility, graduate school options, and future employment opportunities:

  • Federal government financial aid may be awarded only to students who attend accredited schools and programs.
  • Credits you earn at nonaccredited schools may not transfer to accredited programs.
  • The NCLEX-RN exam and advanced practice certification exams require applicants to hold degrees from accredited nursing schools.
  • State nursing boards grant RN licenses only to graduates of accredited programs.
  • Employers and graduate nursing programs may not consider candidates with degrees from nonaccredited schools.
  • Graduating from an accredited program makes you more competitive in the job market, signaling to employers that you have received a quality education.

Learn More About the Best LPN-to-BSN Programs & Schools

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

University of Arkansas

  • Fayetteville, AR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Working nurses interested in earning their bachelor's can complete U of A's online LPN-to-BSN program in 2-3 years. Most online nursing courses last eight weeks. The 120-credit degree requires seven clinical courses. Learners complete most clinical hours at approved sites in their community.

  • Program: LPN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Fayetteville, Arkansas
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $302 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, minimum 2.0 GPA, at least 2,000 professional hours as a licensed LPN in the last 12-24 months
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.1% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,308 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,568
Out-of-state
$24,056
Retention Rate
84%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
27,559
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

  • Indianapolis, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

IUPUI offers a convenient LPN/LVN-to-BSN program. Licensed practical and vocational nurses can complete the online program without visiting campus. Students can complete clinical experiences locally. The university accepts up to 90 transfer credits. Learners must complete at least 30 credits through IUPUI.

  • Program: LPN/LVN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $438 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN or LVN license, minimum 2.25 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 93.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,015 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$8,580
Out-of-state
$29,589
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
29,537
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Excelsior College

  • Albany, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online

Formerly known as Regents College, Excelsior is a private institution that primarily offers distance learning programs. Licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses can earn an associate of applied science in nursing and bachelor of science in nursing from Excelsior. The 121-credit LPN-to-BSN program requires 60 general education credits and 61 nursing credits.

  • Program: LPN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Albany, New York
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $510 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, 200 hours of work experience, TEAS exam
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
25,245
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#4 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Kent State University at Stark

  • Canton, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

KSU provides a pathway for licensed practical nurses and other health professionals to become BSN-prepared registered nurses. The LPN and allied health-to-BSN program features a flexible curriculum designed for working professionals. Degree-seekers complete prerequisite nursing courses and a sequence of BSN nursing classes. Students undertake clinicals at hospitals or agencies in Northeast Ohio.

  • Program: LPN and allied health-to-BSN
  • Campus: Canton, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $535 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 39 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,999
Out-of-state
$14,875
Retention Rate
61%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,422
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Wilson College

  • Chambersburg, PA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A Presbyterian-sponsored school, Wilson operated as a women's college until 2012. The school offers 29 undergraduate programs, including an accelerated LPN-to-BSN program. Designed for working LPNs, the program features primarily online coursework. Distance learners complete clinical experiences through a low-residency program combining hospital and simulation experiences.

  • Program: LPN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation
  • Tuition: $25,200 per semester
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, TEAS exam
  • Minimum Time Commitment: Varies
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 80% first-time pass rate
Average Tuition
In-state
$24,450
Out-of-state
$24,450
Retention Rate
67%
Admission Rate
93%
Students Enrolled
1,618
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#6 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Kent State University at Geauga

  • Burton, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Professionals can complete ISU's LPN-to-BSN online program to improve their career prospects and prepare for graduate studies. Students progress through the online curriculum at their own pace. Learners complete six nursing courses and 450 clinical hours. ISU helps distance learners find approved clinical sites in their area.

  • Program: LPN/LVN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $438 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89.3% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,739 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,999
Out-of-state
$14,875
Retention Rate
60%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,206
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#7 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Kent State University at Salem

  • Salem, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The LPN and allied health-to-BSN bridge program from KSU accommodates the needs of working healthcare professionals. Learners progress through the curriculum in cohorts. KSU offers daytime, evening and weekend, and weekend-only tracks. Each track features unique start dates and durations. Students can choose from online and in-person formats for almost all courses.

  • Program: LPN and allied health-to-BSN
  • Campus: Burton, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $535 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 39 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $52,638 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,999
Out-of-state
$14,875
Retention Rate
64%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
1,646
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
55% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#8 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Indiana State University

  • Terre Haute, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The LPN and allied health-to-BSN degree from KSU provides a flexible and convenient way for LPNs and other healthcare workers to earn an undergraduate degree. The program prepares learners to take the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain licensure. Graduates often pursue advanced positions and graduate studies. The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based and culturally sensitive patient care.

  • Program: LPN and allied health-to-BSN
  • Campus: Salem, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $535 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 39 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
$9,036
Out-of-state
$19,960
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
12,144
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Kent State University at Trumbull

  • Warren, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Learners can pursue a bachelor of science in nursing through KSU's regional campuses. The LPN and allied health-to-BSN program admits licensed professional nurses and allied healthcare professionals. The curriculum features classroom instruction and laboratory experiences. Degree-seekers complete supervised clinical experiences at local hospitals and healthcare agencies.

  • Program: LPN and allied health-to-BSN
  • Campus: Warren, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $535 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program, valid LPN license, minimum 2.75 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 39 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
$5,999
Out-of-state
$14,875
Retention Rate
57%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,155
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
66% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#10 The Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Presentation College

  • Aberdeen, SD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A private Catholic institution founded in 1951, PC offers several pathways to a bachelor's in nursing. Learners can pursue a 121-credit LPN-to-BSN online program. During their second year, students complete a weekend clinical experience at the Aberdeen campus. Distance learners should expect to travel for clinical placements.

  • Program: LPN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $555 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of a practical nursing program; valid LPN license; minimum 2.0 GPA; residency in South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, or Wisconsin
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 48 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 35.7% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,688 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$20,995
Out-of-state
$20,995
Retention Rate
49%
Admission Rate
90%
Students Enrolled
584
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
78% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How Online LPN-to-BSN Programs Work

Both traditional and online bachelor's degrees in nursing require approximately 120 credits and take around four years to complete. BSN curriculum components include general education requirements, nursing coursework, and clinical experiences.

Depending on the number of credits awarded for previous LPN training, you should be able to complete an online LPN-to-BSN degree in less than four years.

Distance learners should expect to fulfill clinical hours in-person across a variety of practice settings. While some online programs help you find placements close to home or offer virtual clinical experiences, you should be prepared to travel to sites approved by your program.

Some programs may require you to complete more than the state-mandated number of clinical hours.

Applying to an LPN-to-BSN Program

Admission criteria vary by school. Applicants often need a high school diploma or GED certificate, a minimum GPA, and specific prerequisites. All online LPN-to-BSN programs require a valid LPN license and work experience.

Some schools may ask you to take the National League for Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exam to demonstrate the extent of your nursing knowledge.

1. Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED certificate
  • Valid LPN license and one year of work experience
  • Official transcripts
  • Prerequisites in natural science
  • Online application and payment of submission of application fees
  • Basic life support (BLS) certification

2. Admission Materials

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Essay or personal statement
  • Criminal background check and fingerprinting
  • Physical exam and drug screening
  • Immunization verification

3. GPA Requirement

  • 2.5-3.0 minimum GPA

Paying for LPN-to-BSN Programs

Earning an LPN-to-BSN online takes less time and costs less than a traditional BSN. As you compare programs, keep in mind that your ability to pay for your degree depends on several factors: program length, number of transfer credits awarded, and whether you qualify for less expensive in-state tuition versus out-of-state rates.

The workload and pace of learning some online programs require may not permit you to work while enrolled.

Prospective nursing students are often unaware of financial aid opportunities available to them. You should always begin your search for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for government-funded grants or loans.

Many schools and private organizations offer need-based or merit-based scholarships. Nursing students who agree to work in high-need areas when they graduate may qualify for federal and state government sponsored student loan forgiveness programs.

What Can You Do After an LPN-to-BSN?

RNs with a BSN degree find careers in generalist patient care and in several high-demand specialties, including public health, geriatrics, and neonatology.

Hospitals and physicians' offices rank among the major employers, but RNs can also find work in long-term care and rehabilitation facilities, outpatient clinics, and home healthcare.

Employers have a strong preference for BSN degree-holders, especially in supervisory and administrative roles. Graduate programs that prepare you for advanced practice registered nursing certification require a BSN for admission.

  • Registered Nurse: ​​RN generalists provide patient care by performing assessments and diagnostic tests, administering treatments and medications, and providing support to patients and their families. RNs find employment in every type of healthcare setting, from hospitals to home care.

    Median Salary: $77,600
    Job Outlook (2021-2031): +6%

  • Public Health Nurse: A public health nurse promotes and protects the health and safety of targeted communities. They reduce health risks and prevent disease through education, advocacy, and the direct delivery of care. These nurses often find employment in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, community clinics, and school systems.

    Average Salary: $64,910 (Oct. 2022)

  • Neonatal Nurse: Neonatal nurses specialize in the care of infants up to the age of two. They provide care to newborns and treat premature infants facing specific challenges or chronic conditions.

    Average Salary: $71,390 (Oct. 2022)

Frequently Asked Questions About LPN-to-BSN Programs


Can you become a registered nurse online?

A growing number of schools offer online BSN and LPN-to-BSN programs. Depending on the program, students can complete most coursework through distance learning platforms but often must fulfill clinical requirements in person.

What can an RN do that an LPN cannot?

RNs have a more expanded scope of practice than LPNs. They administer medications and treatments, perform diagnostic tests, start IV drips and blood transfusions, and help patients to manage their conditions. RNs also supervise LPNs, CNAs, and home health aides.

How long does it take to go from LPN to BSN?

LPN-to-BSN online programs take 2-3 years to finish, depending on specific program and clinical requirements, the number of transfer credits accepted, and whether you attend full- or part-time.

Are registered nurses in high demand?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the addition of over 203,000 RN positions each year between 2021 and 2031. Expected nurse turnover and retirements, the growing healthcare needs of the aging population, and the expansion of insurance access since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 have all contributed to the demand for RNs.


Page Last Reviewed: November 14, 2022

Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.


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