For Licensed Practical Nurses interested in advancing to Registered Nurse status, an Associate’s Degree in Nursing is the next step. Thanks to the large number of online LPN to ADN programs, you can achieve your goals without setting foot in a traditional classroom.
What to Expect
Many Licensed Practical Nurses aspire to move up to Registered Nurses, where the pay and responsibilities are greater. The first step in this career move is getting an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), which prepares you for the next phase—the Registered Nurse licensing exam.
With such a high demand for RNs, many LPNs are looking to progress as soon as possible. But LPNs often work long, exhausting hours that conflict with traditional classroom hours. Online degree programs allow the LPN to do coursework from home, whenever time permits.
Most online LPN to ADN programs take up to two or more years to complete. Be prepared to commit to up to three years of coursework, as well as clinical experience, in order to get your ADN.
It is important to note that your state licensure board may have a say in what degree programs qualify for RN licensure. Check with the nursing licensure and regulation board in your state before beginning your online degree search to learn what will be required to get your license once you’ve completed your education.
Choosing the Right School
If you’re planning to advance to RN by taking the NCLEX exam, your first priority should be finding an online program that is approved by the state in which you plan to take that exam. Check the school’s ADN to RN rate to make sure once you get your ADN, you’ll have the support you’ll need to continue to progress.
Accreditation is also important. Many online schools will claim to have some kind of accreditation, but all accreditation is not equal. The U.S. Department of Education has set up a site to help you determine if your online associate’s degree in Nursing program has the accreditation you’ll need to progress in your career. Once you’ve determined your learning institution’s level of accreditation, research that particular accreditation to make sure it will be accepted in your state.
Once you’ve narrowed your list down, look at factors that directly affect your situation. What are your financial limits? While you definitely shouldn’t skimp when it comes to something as important as your education, cost should factor into your choice.
Also consider flexibility when choosing between colleges. Some online schools require you attend classes in real time, which may not be convenient for you. Look for an online ADN program that conducts lessons via video chats and reading that leads to assignments with deadlines. Both of these can be done at a time that works with your schedule. While any ADN program will likely be time-consuming, it’s important you be able to work when you have free time, rather than having to be at your computer at a specific time.
Which Online School?
One place to start is with your local nursing schools. Some have online nursing degree programs that result in a degree from that institution. Many community colleges and trade schools also have online learning options, in addition to their weekend classes geared toward working professionals. Some of these schools will require you to do work study at local medical facilities for credit, allowing you to get class credit for work you’re already performing.
The University of Rio Grande in Rio Grande, Ohio, has an online nursing program with courses you can take toward your associate’s degree. Several students have given this online college favorable reviews online.
Chamberlain College of Nursing has an online associate’s program in nursing, as well as a campus in St. Louis. Kaplan University has online associate’s degrees in nursing, designed for aspiring nurses with no experience, as well as working nurses looking to advance to RN. Not all Kaplan University locations have associate nursing degrees, and those that do expect you to complete clinical at a location nearby, so check with your local Kaplan campus for specific offerings.
Based in Florida, Keiser University has an online associate’s degree in nursing, with an online degree program that ranks in the top twelve nationally, according to the institution’s website. The university provides live online help to answer any questions you have about degree programs.
The College Network is a college portal, sending you to an online school that meets your needs. Using the Comprehensive Learning Module, the College Network connects you with an ADN program that will prepare you to take a college equivalency exam. This choice may not be for everyone, but it’s available should you choose to go that route.
If you’re interested in online LPN to ADN programs to help you achieve your goal of getting your Associate’s Degree in Nursing, it might be best to look at your future career goals to find a school that will put you on the right path. Thanks to modern advances in technology, it is becoming easier for Licensed Practical Nurses to earn the degrees that will help them advance in the medical field.
ASN vs ADN What is the Difference?
Different states and colleges use different names. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is the same as the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). This is similar to how an LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) in Texas and California is the same as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) in all of the other states.