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Accelerated LPN to RN Nursing Programs

Learn about accelerated options that can help licensed practical nurses become registered nurses. Find out how these programs work as well as employment outlook and median salary data.

What Is an LPN to RN Program?

Most Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) to Registered Nurse (RN) programs lead to an associate's degree and take roughly one year to complete. These programs are designed for working LPNs; the curriculum consists of traditional courses and hands-on training through practicums or internships. Some of these programs are even offered online. However, online nursing programs often have on-campus lab requirements; you may also need to complete clinical practicums in your area.

Admission requirements for both types of programs include a high school diploma or GED and a practical nursing license. Some schools require completion of a few general education courses prior to enrollment. A reference from a nursing professional who can attest to your abilities as an LPN may be necessary as well.

Program LengthAccelerated program can be completed in about one year
Course OptionsNights and weekends available
Course TopicsPharmacology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, psychology
Job Outlook (2019-2029)7% growth (for registered nurses)*
Median Salary (2020)$75,330 (for registered nurses)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is an Accelerated Program?

An accelerated program can be completed in a shorter amount of time than a traditional degree program. Typically, you can either test out of the first semester or two of an RN program or take a single, transitional course to get up to speed. Courses are generally offered on nights and weekends to help you fulfill degree requirements around your work schedule. Accelerated programs tend to be offered by technical and community colleges; a few universities offer them as well.

What Will I Learn?

You'll take a variety of courses related to nursing, including anatomy and physiology, psychology, microbiology, pharmacology and nursing procedures. You may also take courses in specialty areas of nursing, such as pediatrics or geriatrics. At the end of the program, you'll be prepared to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed RN.

What's the Job Outlook?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of working RNs was expected to increase by 7% from 2019-2029 (www.bls.gov). During this time, an expanding elderly population and the increased availability of medical treatment may drive employment growth. As of May 2020, registered nurses earned a median annual wage of $75,330.