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?

A bridge program offers an accelerated path for obtaining a registered nurse licensure or earning a more advanced degree like a BSN or MSN. It is designed for students who already have a background in nursing whether that is an LPN/LVN or RN license or an ungraduate degree like an ADN. Typical program lengths are anywhere from 2 to 4 years, all depending on previous experience, credit, and desired educational outcome.

Some schools offer online bridge programs for students pursuing their RN licensure or BSN degree (though the actual exam for licensure can usually only be taken in person at a testing site). Below are we have listed accredited options:


South University

  • SACS

The MSN programs in General, Adult Health, and Nurse Education at South University provide excellent curriculum for top notch medical care. The adult health program focuses on providing adult health care for a wide range of medical needs while the nurse education program develops teaching and coaching skills to train future medical professionals. The school also offers RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs. These programs advance students' understanding of complex medical theory and also give the skills necessary for advancement into management. To find out more, contact South University.

Kaplan University

  • HLC

Kaplan University's RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs allow students to accelerate their degrees to the next level. The MSNs in Nurse Administration or Nurse Education teach advanced skills in nursing. Graduates of these programs pursue management or teaching positions. Kaplan is also among the largest online educators in the world. To find out more, contact Kaplan University.

Liberty University

  • SACS

Liberty University provides a RN to BSN program for registered nursing seeking to obtain their Bachelors of Science degree. This program goes beyond the framework taught for the registered nurse certification and gives a competitive edge that will enable advancement in health care fields. The MSN program in acute care develops the framework to provide health care services in more complex patient issues that arise. To find out more, contact Liberty University.

Chamberlain College of Nursing

  • HLC

At Chamberlain College of Nursing, the RN to BSN program gives registered nurses the education and knowledge they need to advance beyond their coworkers and become leaders in their organization. Masters of Science programs in Nurse Education and Nurse Management are developed to provide an excellent knowledge of nursing's complex health care areas necessary to lead and teach the future nursing talent that will provide healthcare in the nation's health care facilities. To find out more, contact Chamberlain College of Nursing.

For even more nursing degrees, click here.

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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