Online LPN to RN Bridge Programs

Being a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is a great occupation choice for a multitude of reasons. However, without a college education or advanced training, there are limits to how far one can be promoted in the field of nursing. Management positions on nursing teams, and other leadership positions within healthcare organizations are most often reserved for those who have completed advanced degree studies and bridge programs, in addition to having passed numerous certification exams.

It is a great idea to consider an LPN to RN bridge program to improve one’s career prospects while gaining new knowledge and skill sets in the field of nursing. These programs are tailored specifically for LPNs, and therefore offer a fast-track path to an exciting registered nurse career. Our guides outline several nursing bridge programs and key information, including:

Degree Description and Requirements

There are many online options available for LPN to RN bridge programs, but there are always clinical requirements that must be completed in-person. All graduates of these programs should have been given the information needed in order obtain RN certification by passing the NCLEX-RN examination, which is required in order to begin practicing as a registered nurse. Specific courses required in the program vary by academic institution, but some popular courses students might need include:

  • Human Anatomy I and II
  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry (Inorganic and Organic/Biochemistry)
  • General Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Pharmacology
  • Humanities electives (English, performing arts, history, etc.)

LPN to RN bridge programs generally take around two years to complete. This time can vary depending on the amount of prior college credit earned. Most colleges will confer at least an associate’s degree upon graduation, but others may offer a bachelor degree. It should be noted that a bachelor’s program typically requires more course hours.

How do LPN to RN bridge programs work?

An LPN to RN bridge program offers an accelerated path for obtaining a registered nurse licensure. Previous training is often applied to the prerequisites for an RN licensure. In some cases, college credit towards a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is also awarded. Classes can be taken online, but the exam for the RN licensure is usually only available in person at a testing site. These programs are designed for Licensed Practical Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses and can take 2 to 4 years to complete, depending on the desired outcome.

  • Designed for : Licensed Practical Nurses or Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Typical program outcome : Eligibility to sit for RN licensure exam, BSN awarded in some cases
  • Typical program length : 1.5 to 2 years for RN licensure or 3 to 4 years to obtain BSN

Some schools offer online bridge programs for students pursuing their RN licensure, including:

Indiana State University
  • HLC
The LPN to RN program offered by Indiana State University has excellent curriculum that gives students the ability to further their education without requiring them to quit their day jobs. This program is created for nurses that have busy schedules by offering the program online giving greater flexibility than other more traditional programs. This online RN/BSN training program is the only one of its kind, and offers distance learning courses enabling nurses to earn their baccalaureate job without requiring a full time commitment.
The College Network
  • AACN
  • ACEN
The LPN/LVN to RN (ADN) program offers an exciting new way for nurses to earn their ACEN accredited degree in half the time and cost of traditional programs with NO Campus Attendance. Nurses can earn their degree in 12-18 months with no waiting list and local clinicals. The College Network has worked with the National League for Nursing to develop and deliver these programs to assure they are up-to-date with current standards and regulations.

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Other Online Nursing Bridge Programs

LPN to RN bridge programs are far from being the only accelerated paths for nurses. In fact, there are accelerated programs for every point in a nurse’s career, including RN to MSN, BSN to MSN, and MSN to DNP degrees. The programs outlined on this site, however, are designed for students new to the nursing field.


LVN to RN programs give licensed vocational nurses an accelerated pathway to becoming RNs. LVNs are often LPN equivalents in states like California and Texas.

  • Great for : Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Typical program length : 1 year
  • Program outcome : Prepare to sit for RN licensing examination


LPN to BSN programs are designed for students with their LPN licensure that are motivated to get their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

  • Great for : Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Typical program length : 3 to 4 years
  • Program outcome : Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Paramedic to RN

Paramedic to RN programs are for paramedics (excludes EMTs) that want to obtain their registered nurse licensure.

  • Great for : Paramedics
  • Typical program length : 1 to 1.5 years
  • Program outcome : Prepare to sit for RN licensing examination


RN to BSN bridge programs are for RNs who want to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

  • Great for : Registered Nurses
  • Typical program length : 1.5 to 2 years
  • Program outcome : Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Nursing in Various Environments

Hospitals and clinics make up the largest place of employment for nurses. However, nurses can still find many jobs in other fields, organizations, or locations. Responsibilities can vary greatly from research to providing patient care to giving medical advice or consulting.

Nurses are able to provide patient care outside of hospitals and clinics. Some go into the military, providing care to soldiers around the world. Domestically, nurses can work at VA hospitals. Many work in nursing homes or provide family/home healthcare services. Also, some nurses work at correctional facilities, like prisons, or at rehabilitation centers.

Nurses can also choose to work in the research field. These nurses often work with educational researchers or pharmaceutical companies in order to improve the healthcare delivery process. They often study various aspects of health, illness, and health care. This role is often quite rewarding, as these nurses discover ways to nursing practice and achieve better health outcomes.

Many nurses work in positions where they provide medical expertise. For example, some nurses help with legal cases and community/public health issues where nurses work with other healthcare professionals on issues affecting a community or populace, or educational environments where nurses teach students, clients, and even other nurses.

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