For the LPN who is ready for the next step in nursing, online LPN to BSN degree programs are the perfect solution. Here are the top schools offering fully accredited online programs for LPN to BSN:
Why Enter an LPN to BSN Degree Program?
Some LPNs may wonder why they should bother returning to school for an LPN to BSN degree when they already have the pleasure of working as nurses. While returning to school can require a significant time and monetary commitment, most LPNs who complete an LPN to BSN program, particularly an online program, find that the benefits far outweigh the challenges. An LPN to BSN program is one of several accelerated nursing programs that shortens the length of time required to complete a BSN (Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing). These programs recognize that LPNs come to the table with knowledge, skills and experience that can allow them to test out of, or altogether skip, several courses. Add to that the flexible and independent nature of an online LPN to BSN program, and the prospect of increased salary and more job opportunities make returning to school well worth the effort.
In the first year after graduation, a newly licensed RN who has received a BSN will can expect to earn around $10,000 more a year than the entry-level LPN. In addition, the RN salary averages around $20,000 more a year after 20 years of experience than does the LPN salary. The rate of salary increase is also as much as three times higher for RNs with a BSN than for LPNs.
LPNs who become RNs also find that the limitations that existed within their LPN nursing jobs are few and far between for RNs, particularly those with a BSN. There are more specialties to choose from, different facilities in which to work, and more opportunities for advancement.
When an LPN to RN Program Makes the Most Sense
Even with an online LPN to BSN program, the average length of time to complete such a program is 2.5 years. For some LPNs, even the desire to move forward in their careers isn’t enough for that kind of time commitment. For those LPNs, there are other options for becoming an RN, particularly through LPN to RN programs. In these programs, LPNs become RNs through either diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs. One advantage of LPN to RN programs over LPN to BSN programs is that there are far more LPN to RN online programs than online LPN to BSN.
Choosing the right LPN to RN program requires considering several factors. The RN salary, and salary potential, varies between the diploma, ADN, and BSN routes to becoming an RN. More advanced supervisory positions are more often open to those RNs who have received a BSN, so some RNs prepared via diploma or ADN actually go on to get an RN to BSN degree at a later date.
While the type of education plays a factor in the Registered Nurse salary, there are other variables that make a difference as well. The various RN specialties have their own peak salaries, and some bring in higher average annual salaries than others.
Making the Most of LPN Jobs
For some LPNs, returning to school is simply not an option; however, there are still ways to make the most of an LPN career and find advancement opportunities and potential for increases in LPN salary. Licensed Practical Nursing jobs, though a somewhat more limited field than that of RNs, include certain types of facilities and specialties that yield higher LPN salaries. Finding these choice jobs requires careful consideration of each LPN job description to find those jobs that provide the best fit and the best opportunities for advancement. With an LPN to BSN degree, there are also opportunities to extend beyond the realms of nursing homes and hospitals with travel LPN jobs.