An LPN to BSN program allows a licensed practical nurse to earn a bachelor of science in nursing. Typically, an LPN earns their diploma in a one year program. To earn a BSN, the student must complete two sets of curriculum: the core of general education studies, and the nursing requirements. Many students get their general education done before they take time to push through the nursing courses in their last year. The BSN opens up many opportunities that a typical LPN would not have available to them.
The schools that offer the LPN to BSN program will all have slightly different criteria. However, many share criteria in common. The applicant usually has to have their general education requirements completed before being accepted to the program. The GPA for these classes must meet expectations. The LPN must hold current licensing in their home state. Some schools require students to go through an interview process. Many schools have a waiting list so the applicant may not be accepted the first semester.
Why should an LPN take the time and effort to get a BSN? The BSN opens up the possibility of working as a registered nurse. Also, with a BSN, there are opportunities available that are not available for registered nurses with an associate degree. BSN holders often hold higher levels of responsibilities. Some medical organizations will not hire an RN without a BSN. A BSN opens up administration jobs. It also opens up the possibility of gaining a graduate level degree in the future.
Typically, starting salaries for BSN holders working as an RN is the same as those with an associate degree. However, within a few years, the BSN generally makes more than their RN counterparts. The BSN holders take on more responsibilities and thus get higher pay. Salaries vary across the country, but a typical BSN holder can expect to make 20% per year more than an RN. Those with specializations make even more.
A big reason to make the leap to the BSN is the opportunity to go in different directions. A BSN provides options to work in areas like pediatrics and the emergency room. It also provides opportunities for a future with a higher degree or in administration. There is a push to require all registered nurses to gain their BSN within 10 years of becoming an RN.