LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed

LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed

If you are a Licensed Practical Nurse considering the next step of becoming a Registered Nurse, invest in your future by pursuing the right LPN to RN bridge programs.

In this article we’ll review:

  • the differences between LPNs and RNs,
  • how to become an RN,
  • finding the right programs,
  • and tips for success.

There are many professional and personal reasons you may be seeking out LPN to RN bridge programs.

As a Licensed Practical Nurse with increasing experience in the field, you may be ready to make the leap to Registered Nurse to become more involved.

Becoming an RN means your direct impact on patient care increases.

Let’s take a deeper look at the differences between these two nursing professions. The four main elements are:

  • Schooling requirement
  • Amount of direct and indirect patient involvement
  • Necessary fieldwork experience
  • Earning Potential and median salary

Schooling | LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed


Becoming an LPN requires a two-year associate’s degree. You can also obtain an LPN Diploma which takes only 12 months. Depending on your schooling, your LPN to RN bridge can take anywhere from one to four years.

LPN to RN accelerated programs are available as well, and we’ll cover that in detail shortly!

Patient Involvement

You may be asking yourself, “What do RNs do”? According to nurses100.com, nurses often handle the following responsibilities:

  • Identify patient requirements
  • Create and execute nursing care plans
  • Provide emotional, spiritual and psychological support to patients
  • Adheres to all standards set by state nurse practice acts and the state board of nursing
  • Maintains and clean and safe work environment
  • Resolves patient problems
  • Advocates for patient rights and needs
  • Documents all related care
  • Ensure equipment is clean and working properly
  • Administers medications and certain treatments
  • Works to resolve medical emergencies
  • Performs certain diagnostic tests
  • Consults with physicians and other members of the healthcare team
  • Supervises subordinates

Fieldwork Experience

As noted above, LPNs can enter the profession with 12-24 months of education. RNs have significantly more responsibilities and require no less than four years of education and fieldwork experience.

Salary | LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed


Salary is another motivator for people considering LPN to RN programs. How much does an RN make, you ask? According to Payscale.com, RNs can earn up to $88,812 a year! The median salary for an RN is $61,632.

An LPN can earn up to $53,152, and the median salary is $40,690.

According to Best Jobs Ranking by US News, Registered Nurses rank #17 for best healthcare job and #22 overall in the 100 Best Jobs. It’s no wonder the need for LPN to RN bridge programs continue to rise.

On top of that, Travel RNs make significantly more!

SEE ALSO: Why the Average Travel Nurse Salary Will Surprise You (In a Good Way)

[clickToTweet tweet=”An LPN can earn up to $53,152, and the median salary is $40,690. #lpn #nursing” quote=”An LPN can earn up to $53,152, and the median salary is $40,690.”]

Become an RN | LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed

How to Become an RN

Taking full advantage of LPN to RN bridging ensures that your process of becoming an RN is quick and effective.

These specifically tailored educational programs are designed for working LPNs. It makes them highly suited for motivated professionals seeking to reach the next level of licensure.

There are two types of LPN to RN bridge programs:

  • LPN-to-ADN
  • LPN-to-BSN


You can find these 1-2 year programs at community colleges, vocational schools, and some universities. Obtaining an Associate of Science in Nursing degree allows you to work as an entry-level RN.


You can find these 2-4 year programs at four-year colleges and universities. If you are interested in becoming an RN and beyond, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a strategic growth choice.

Nurses with bachelor’s degrees have more opportunities to explore specific specialties and will inevitably receive higher pay and open more doors for promotions.

Tips for Success | LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed

Tips for Success with LPN to RN Bridge Programs

Going back to school while also being an amazing LPN is the kind of commitment a highly self-motivated person makes.

The LPN to RN journey will be incredibly rewarding and takes real dedication! To support you on this path, we gathered a series of tips to help you maintain a strong work/life balance while studying to achieve your goals.

1. Disconnect During Study Time

LPN to RN bridge programs are a mix of:

  • classroom learning,
  • self-driven learning, and
  • fieldwork.

Therefore, you will have your hands full with new topics to master.

The amount of time you will spend learning about new topics means you will need to make studying a priority. They key to doing this is disconnecting.

In this tech-driven world, disconnecting might seem impossible! It’s especially difficult if you’re studying on a computer or mobile device. But trust us, the best way to comprehend and retain new information is to focus on one thing at a time.

That means no ringing phones, no social media notifications, nothing!

You will want to find a comfortable and quiet place to study where you can easily shut the distractions of the world out.

You may prefer to study in the same peaceful place or mixing up your study sessions to avoid burnout.

Consider this:

  • Libraries or local community centers make great locations for steady study routines.
  • A quiet park (or even the backyard) allow you to be outside while still enjoying peace and quiet.

2. Set Clear Expectations

It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you take on a new goal. You may want to reach the finish line as fast as possible. But, putting those expectations on yourself may hurt you, more than they motivate you.

LPN to RN Bridge Program may take up to four years by design. The school understands you are working full time.

Go into the process knowing that rushing it will work against you! As a nurse, you know that burnout can happen. With the added responsibility of schooling, setting clear expectations is a great way to stay on track without overdoing it.

SEE ALSO: Nurse Stress and Burnout: How to Deal with it Effectively Everyday

Managing the time spent on each of your major responsibilities will lower the risk of burning out.

For example:

  • Consider taking time off from your job when you have a scheduled exam.
  • If you know that certain times of year are busier for you, consider lightening your course load during this time.

Just like any new endeavor, entering the process with an open mind and realistic goals will make the journey more enjoyable.

3. Lean On Friends and Family

Your friends and family are here to support you! Enlisting outside help during this process is a great way to balance your new school responsibilities with your existing work responsibilities.

The most effective way to lean on others for help is to write down a current task list. It should include everything you are responsible for outside of work.

Some of these things may be:

  • Grocery shopping
  • General household chores
  • Lawncare or pool maintenance
  • Childcare
  • Miscellaneous errands

Hiring outside help with discretionary funds may be possible for you, but if not, you can find creative ways to offload some of these responsibilities.

A strong support system will step in when you request help. If your support system is up to their eyeballs with their own responsibilities, consider “doubling up” to help each other.

For example, grocery shop for yourself and your friend in one trip, and they can watch your children for a few hours when they had already planned a trip to the park.

No matter what, you don’t have to juggle everything at once. It won’t always be simple, but it will be worth it!

Make Time for Recharge | LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed

4. Make Time To Recharge

With the previous section in mind, you know that finding time for yourself is crucial. A quick break might seem unrealistic when you’re in the thick of things, but they are so important!

To set yourself up for success, we recommend creating a “recharge schedule” that is part of your overall plan before you even begin your LPN to RN bridge program.

You know when you’ll be working and when you’ll be in school. You also know how much time you need for personal responsibilities. Once you’ve “penciled” all of that in, you can block out study time as well as recharge time.

Taking at least one 30 minute break every day is a must! Maybe you want to watch a TV show and zone out. A 30-minute workout will surely increase your energy. Catching up on a good book might be your thing!

Whatever it is, make your break as important as everything else on your list.

The goal is simply to get into the habit of taking the time. Perhaps two 15 minute breaks feel more realistic for you. That’s fine too!

Did you know: Brief “mental breaks” are a proven way to reduce stress. In addition, scheduling these breaks will help hone strong time management skills. These short periods make a measurable dent when it comes to your work/school/life balance.

5. Keep Your Superiors In The Know

Last but not least, it’s important that your managers and supervisors know about your LPN to RN bridge program.

Because this effort will further your skill set and make you more effective at your current job, it only makes sense to share your intention of returning to school.

Depending on your manager, they may want to see your syllabus so they are completely in the know, or they may simply request brief updates throughout the process.

Of course, your schooling won’t interfere with your work since that’s your professional priority! It’s important that your superiors know that.

It is inevitable that you will have to invest some time in your schooling like taking a day off for an exam as mentioned above. Supportive managers understand these programs will help all involved and should accommodate you by allowing some flexibility.

Conclusion | LPN to RN Bridge Programs: How to Crossover and Succeed


Taking full advantage of LPN to RN bridge programs ensures you make the most of your time, money and effort while working towards your goal to become an RN.

The main differences between an LPN and RN are:

  • Schooling requirements
  • Amount of direct and indirect patient involvement
  • Necessary fieldwork experience
  • Earning Potential and median salary

There are two main ways LPN’s can become an RN:

  • LPN-to-ADN Program (1-2 years)
  • LPN-to-BSN Program (2-4 years)

Enjoy the journey of completing your LPN to RN bridge program by focusing on our five tips for crossing over with success:

  1. Disconnect During Study Time
  2. Set Clear Expectations
  3. Enlist Family, Friends and Outside Help for Support
  4. Make Time to Recharge
  5. Keep Your Manager Up-To-Date


What are some other tips and tricks that would help during the LPN to RN bridge program process?

Share with us in the comments below!



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