Online LPN-to-BSN Programs Overview

by Courtney Smith-Kimble

LPNs looking to advance their career in the nursing field can take advantage of LPN-to-BSN bridge programs. Read on to learn more about the benefits of online LPN-to-BSN programs.

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Online LPN-to-BSN Programs Overview

Professionals interested in a fast entrance to the nursing field can become licensed practical nurses (LPNs) by earning a certificate that typically requires less than a year to complete. LPNs often work under registered nurses (RNs), focusing on patient comfort, taking vital signs, monitoring patients, and collecting samples.

LPNs may advance their career by earning a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), which leads to RN licensure. RNs assess and coordinate patient care, manage medical staff, and collaborate with physicians. A BSN also creates additional opportunities, including management roles and higher salaries.

LPNs can enroll in online LPN-to-BSN programs, which require two to three years of full-time study. Students attending part time might require longer to complete the degree, but can often continue working while earning their degree. Online LPN-to-BSN programs help broaden practitioners' knowledge and skills in leadership, patient-centered care, and clinical assessment.

Online programs often follow an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete coursework on their own time. However, some courses may follow a synchronous format, which requires live virtual attendance.

View ranking methodology

Top Online LPN-to-BSN Programs

Rank School Location
1 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
2 North Dakota State University Fargo, ND
3 University of Oklahoma Oklahoma City, OK
4 Presentation College Aberdeen, SD

Featured Online Programs

Applying to an Online LPN-to-BSN Program

Each school determines their own admission requirements, so prospective students should conduct their own research to identify the admission requirements for their ideal programs. However, LPN-to-BSN programs typically require applicants to hold an unencumbered LPN certificate from an accredited program, official transcripts, and a minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA.

Schools may also require students to take an exam such as the NLN entrance exam. This exam includes 184 multiple choice questions that test knowledge of advanced nursing.

Students may also need to complete entrance essays and provide letters of recommendation. Other requirements may include a federal and criminal background check, drug testing, verification of employment, and a set number of hours worked in a professional setting.

Explore the Best Online LPN-to-BSN Programs and School Info

Indiana State University true View School Profile Terre Haute, IN

Established in 1865, Indiana State University hosts more than 100 undergraduate majors, 75 graduate degrees, and 70 online programs. Its baccalaureate nursing completion program offers an online LPN-to-BSN track in a fully distance learning format. The 120-credit program does not require any campus residency; it also allows students to complete the 495 required clinical hours close to home.

The full-time program requires six semesters and may be completed in 2-3 years, depending on transfer credits and the number of courses taken each term. Students may also choose a part-time path to degree completion that requires nine semesters. Graduates of the LPN-to-BSN online program are eligible to apply for the National Council Licensure Examination through the Indiana Board of Nursing to become registered nurses. Applicants must be graduates of a state-accredited practical nursing program and hold a 2.75 GPA in nursing prerequisites. Applicants must also complete an online admissions test.

  • Campus: Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: Varies, please inquire
  • Degree requirements: LPN/LVN license, IT course, CPR, medical check, liability insurance, transcript
  • Programs: LPN/LVN to BSN
North Dakota State University true View School Profile Fargo, ND

With a main campus in Fargo, North Dakota State University features over 25 online and blended learning programs. Its school of nursing offers an online LPN-to-BSN track, designed for practical nurses who want to complete a bachelor’s of science degree to become registered nurses. The track requires six semesters and a total of 120 credits. Students complete most of the degree online, but some courses require occasional on-campus attendance and clinical work in the Fargo/Moorhead community, usually in the summer months. Most students take 6-9 credits per semester.

The first step for admission requires successful completion of the nursing placement examination. Applicants must possess a diploma in nursing and hold 60 or more hours of college credits, an associate of applied science degree, or an associate of arts or science degree. The program also requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 and a 3.0 GPA in nursing courses.

  •  Campus: Fargo, North Dakota – Online
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Tuition: $3,822.96 for 12 credits
  • Minimum time commitment: 122 credits
  • Degree requirements: Associate’s degree, or 66 completed college credits, LPN, prerequisite courses, GPA of 3.0 recommended
  • Programs: LPN to Bachelor of Science Nursing Option
University of Oklahoma true View School Profile Oklahoma City, OK

Established in 1911, the University of Oklahoma hosts the state’s largest nursing program. The school of nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs at its Oklahoma City, Lawton, and Tulsa locations and through distance learning. The LPN-to-BSN online program, designed for licensed practical nurses seeking a bachelor’s degree for RN licensure, features a hybrid delivery format. In addition to online coursework, students must attend monthly in-person classes on Saturdays and complete their clinical rotations at sites in Oklahoma. Clinical courses require weekday attendance.

The nursing curriculum consists of 60 credits, including 30 credits earned through advanced standing examination and 30 credits through enrollment in program coursework. Students may opt for part- or full-time schedules, beginning their coursework in fall or spring terms. Applicants to the program must successfully complete the National League for Nursing entrance exam and provide documentation of one year or 1,000 hours of LPN work experience.

  • Campus: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Online
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Tuition: $137.60 per credit hour for Oklahoma residents, $563.40 per credit hour for non residents
  • Minimum time commitment: Between 9 months and 2 years
  • Degree requirements: GPA of 2.5 minimum, prerequisite courses, NLN examination, one year employment, valid Oklahoma LPN license
  • Programs: Licensed practical nurse to BSN
Presentation College true View School Profile Aberdeen, SD

Presentation College, in Aberdeen, South Dakota, is an independent Catholic educational institution offering accredited nursing programs since 1968. The LPN-to-BSN online program prepares LPNs seeking bachelor’s of science degrees to take the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses. The online program delivers courses in an asynchronous format, offering students convenient 24-hour web access. Presentation College boasts that, unlike other LPN-BSN programs, students gain hands-on training throughout the program by completing theory and clinical courses simultaneously. The program arranges clinical partnerships that allow students to complete their clinical rotations close to home.

Applicants to the program must hold an active, unencumbered LPN license and a degree from a two-year, state-approved practical nursing program with a minimum 2.7 GPA They must also document 1,000 hours of LPN work experience, complete all prerequisite courses and the National League for Nursing tests, provide two professional character references, and pass a criminal background screening.

  • Campus: Aberdeen, South Dakota
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Tuition: Varies, please inquire
  • Minimum time commitment: 4 to 6 semesters
  • Degree requirements: Valid LPN license
  • Programs: LPN to BSN

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an LPN and an LVN? The primary difference between an LPN and LVN is the name; LPN stands for licensed practical nurse and LVN stands for licensed vocational nurse. Different states use different terms, but the job duties and educational requirements are similar. Programs for both roles require about a year of study and qualify graduates to take the NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
How long does it take to go from an LPN/LVN to BSN? While students can enroll in traditional programs, students should consider LPN-to-BSN programs, which require less time to graduate. Schools typically require two to three years on average with full-time attendance. However, other factors can influence the length of a program, including enrollment status. Part-time students can calculate their anticipated graduation based on the number of credits they take.
Can an LPN/LVN take the RN-NCLEX exam? The National Council of State Boards of Nursing sets the standards and develops the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN exams. The NCLEX-RN is offered to students who earn an ADN or BSN, while students who earn an LPN or an LVN qualify to take the NCLEX-PN exam.
What is accreditation and why is it important? Accrediting institutions create minimum standards for specific programs and postsecondary schools. Employers on accreditation to determine if graduates possess the pertinent knowledge and skills required to perform well in a particular role. There are various nursing accrediting bodies, including the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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