A licensed practical nurse (LPN) who wishes to advance their career, earn a higher salary, and be provided with greater autonomy and additional job responsibilities may wish to enroll in an accelerated LPN to ADN program. Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs provide licensed practical nurses (LPNs) with the educational foundation to become eligible to sit for the national examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Framework of LPN to ADN programs
ADN programs are typically two years in length and are tailored more toward technical skill-set than theoretical knowledge. An added bonus is that these accelerated programs provide credit for work experience and prior coursework taken within LPN programs so that you may graduate in less time than students with no prior nursing experience or education.
Tuition fees tend to be inexpensive with an average community college program costing no more than two or three thousand dollars. Various financial aid programs exist to help defray the costs of attendance, such as grants, scholarships, and government loans. With regard to loans, there are loan forgiveness programs in which a large portion of your loan may be waived if you decide to work in an under-served area. It may also be possible to obtain tuition assistance from their current employer. In most cases you will need to remain with your employer for a certain period of time following graduation.
As noted, LPN students that enroll in an LPN to ADN program may be able to have some coursework waived depending on specific course requirements. Speak with the admission office to determine which, if any, of your courses in the LPN program may provide transfer credit. Courses for which transfer credit may be granted include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, chemistry, clinical pharmacology, as well as pediatric and family medicine. Your current work experience may also satisfy the clinical component of the program.
Locating an LPN to ADN program
The most important consideration is to attend a program that has been approved by the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC). This agency has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as official accreditation agencies of nursing education The NLNAC accredits diploma, associates, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate nursing programs, Attending an accredited ADN program ensures that your degree will be recognized by your State Board of Nursing which provides your registered nurse license and administers the NCLEX-RN exam. Contact your State Board of Nursing for a list of approved training programs. You may find the contact information for your State Board on the Web site of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN.org).
Graduation from LPN to ADN programs will typically take from two to three years depending on whether you attend classes on a full or part-time basis, along with how much transfer credit your are provided for previous academic coursework and work experience.
Admission Requirements for LPN to ADN programs
LPN to ADN bridge programs are typically selective with minimum criteria that must be met before acceptance. Such requirements may include possess of a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED), graduation from an LPN program with an acceptable GPA (usually 3.0 or higher), official transcripts, and letters of recommendation from current and former employers. Contact the Admissions Office of all schools you are interested in attending for further information.
Career Options after Graduation form an LPN-to-ADN Program
After you graduate from an LPN-ADN program, your career options are significantly improved. As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the nursing sector is expected to grow by about 22 percent through 2018, much faster than the rate for all other occupations.
Graduates of LPN to ADN nursing programs may accept employment as staff nurses with varied types of healthcare facilities including hospitals, outpatient centers, private doctor offices, as well as nursing homes. A bachelors degree will be need to advance into supervisory and management roles.
Many Registered Nurses (RN) holding an ADN degree later apply to bachelor’s programs so they may become involved with a broader spectrum of nursing practice. As with LPN to ADN programs there are also accelerated ADN to BSN programs in which students may be provided credit for work experience and prior coursework. These students may also be eligible to receive tuition assistance from their employer. Bachelor-level programs will place greater emphasis on theory and practice of nursing as they are geared toward those nurses who are seeking career advancement into leadership roles. Accelerated BSN programs typically take from three to five years for completion depending on whether you attend on a full or part-time basis.
Median salary ranges with top-paying employers: (as per BLS)
- Private doctor offices: $67,290
- Medical and surgical hospitals: $63,880
- Home health care agencies: $63,300.
- Nursing homes: $59,320
As noted above, completing and LPN to ADN program will allow nurses to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) to become fully registered nurses and play are larger role in patient care.
LPN to ADN Programs – Selected Reviews
Madison Area Technical College:
Madison Area Technical College is located in Madison, Wisconsin. MATC offers an Associate Degree Nursing Program that allows LPNs to bridge to ADNs. LPNs will receive credit for work experience to achieve advanced standing in the program. LPNs who meet the minimum requirements may begin the program in the third semester. Students must verify their work experience in a healthcare facility to qualify for work experience credit. Students must submit an application to be listed for entry to the program.
Piedmont Technical College:
Piedmont Technical College offers a program for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to transition to an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). The typical associate degree program is two years. The LPN to ADN program is just three semesters. The curriculum is designed to prepare LPNs to obtain an ADN. After completing the program the nurse will be able to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. Also, students who graduate from the program are eligible to transfer to a four-year BSN program through a university. Programs have admission criteria that must be met before admission to the clinical phase.
Richland Community College:
Richland Community College offers an LPN to Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) bridge program. The bridge program offers educational advancement for LPNs who wish to transition to Registered Nurses. After successful completion of the program the student receives an Associate of Applied Science degree in Nursing (ADN). The program allows students to get credit for their knowledge and experience to reduce the length of the program. The program prepares students for the NCLEX-RN exam to become a Registered Nurse. The program typically takes 3 to 5 semesters to complete depending on the track. Classes are flexible to allow students to work while completing the program. Richland Community College is located in Decatur, Illinois.
South Suburban College:
South Suburban College is located in South Holland, Illinois. The college offers a bridging program designed to prepare Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to enter the Associate Degree Nursing program (ADN). The ADN program provides students with the foundation in nursing skills necessary to progress. Students who complete the program are ready to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The program is a full-time daytime program offered on-campus, with some classes offered online. To qualify for the program students must have graduated from a practical nursing program and must hold a current LPN license.
Brevard Community College:
Located in Cocoa, Florida, Brevard Community College offers nursing programs including the LPN to ADN bridge program. Licensed practical nurses are able to complete their Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) by getting credit for experience and previous education. The campus offers state-of-the-art classrooms as well as clinical lab facilities where students can practice their skills. Students must have a current LPN license to join the program.
Arapahoe Community College:
Arapahoe Community College is located in Littleton, Colorado. The college has a LPN to ADN program for nursing students who are already Licensed Practical Nurses. The program provides an abbreviated way to achieve the Associate’s Degree in Nursing. Applicants are able to get credit for nursing experience and for prior education in the medical field. The curriculum includes classroom theory, lab and clinical portions to meet the approved competencies.