The Process of Bridging Between an LPN and an RN

Posted by Athena Career Academy on Oct 28, 2016

If you are interested in a nursing career one of the quickest ways in is to become an licensed practical nurse (or LPN). This requires less training, education and hands-on experience than becoming a registered nurse (or an RN). However, LPNs do make less money and have less upward mobility. If you start off as a LPN you can later become a RN by enrolling in a bridge program. Otherwise, you can directly enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program which will take four years to complete, after which you will be eligible to take the national council licensure examination required to become a registered nurse.

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LPN Vs RN: Schooling and work

The difference between LPN and RN nurses starts with the schooling process. Licensed practical nurses must study for approximately 12-18 months with their courses focusing on hands-on skills for offering patient care. On the other hand,  registered nurses use between two to four years to earn their degrees while learning about the skills necessary for directing patient care. Once they graduate RNs have more benefits compared to LPNs, as well as better pay, the possibility of promotion to supervisory and management positions and more independence at work. Knowing these differences can help you decide which role will be right for you, which will determine the school program you purse.

Considering an LPN bridge program to RN?

bridging between an lpn and an rn - LPN to RN Bridge ProgramIf you are a working LPN, the decision to advance your career to become an RN is a personal one. Being an RN broadens your job opportunities and flexibility of work, but many LPNs enjoy their position and do not wish to change it. If you are satisfied in your current career path there is no reason to trade up.  Furthermore, you will need to consider if becoming an RN will justify the time, money and resources required for successful completion of the necessary program. However, given that RN positions have higher earning potential, an eventual return on your investment will be virtually guaranteed. You will have some options to choose from in terms of position and specialization which will give you a chance to do what you like most. Becoming an RN opens doors to the advancement of your nursing career and significantly improves your long-term job security.

Education options for LPN bridge program to RN

The general LPN -to- RN requirements that schools require before admission include:

  • Accredited LPN license
  • Meet the minimum number of LPN experience required by the state
  • A high school diploma
  • A pass in LPN -to- RN entrance exam
  • Completion of certain prerequisite courses like general chemistry, biology, English composition, anatomy, and physiology.

An LPN bridge program to RN takes 1 to 2 years depending on whether you want to attain an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. Either can be done either or by class attendance with either option having its own advantages and challenges. An LPN program is the quickest way to become a nurse. However, at this level you cannot enjoy the benefits that registered nurses have earned. To climb the ladder, you will need to enroll and successfully finish a bridge program to become an RN. Whether or not that transition is worth it is up to you, but if it is a leap you would like to make there is no better place to do it than Athena Career Academy.

Schedule a Campus Tour at Athena Career Academy. We are the leading nursing school located in Toledo, Ohio.


To learn more about a career as a Practical Nurse, and whether it’s the right fit for you, schedule an appointment with Athena Career Academy today. One meeting with our Admissions counselors could help put you on the path to a successful new career that could change your life for the better. 

Athena Career Academy is located at:
5203 Airport Highway
Toledo, Ohio 43615
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:30AM to 4:30PM
Phone: (419) 329-4075

Topics: Nursing School