If you've decided to pursue a nursing career, consider the benefits of enrolling in an LPN to BSN training program. Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) are only qualified to apply for entry-level positions to serve as a nurse's assistant or aide. While this can be a rewarding career path for some, many find that they want to advance in their careers to become a registered nurse (RN) or get their bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). Completing a four-year degree program in nursing, instead of a certificate through an LPN training program or an associate's degree through an LPN or RN program, can put you in a better position to earn a higher salary and enjoy more job opportunities throughout your career.

LPN to BSN Educational Track

Enrolling in a licensed practical nurse (LPN) program can be the first step towards getting an advanced degree in the field of nursing. Many students begin their career as a licensed practical nurse, complete a bridge program to become a registered nurse (RN), and pursue an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree from there.

If you first enroll in an LPN training program, you will most likely get a diploma or a certificate that takes up to one year to complete. Some training centers also offer nursing diploma programs that take three years to complete. These prepare nurses for staff positions in hospitals and other patient care facilities. If you choose to continue your educational career and get your associate's degree in nursing (ADN), you will need to complete a two-year program at an accredited community college or vocational school. This also prepares nurses for staff positions in hospitals and other patient care facilities.

Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs can take between four to five years to complete, and are typically offered by public and private colleges and universities. You may be able to transfer some credits from an LPN program or an ADN program, so your educational track for getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree may be shorter.

LPN vs. BSN

Understanding the key differences with an LPN vs. BSN degree can help you make the most informed decisions about your career and educational track. If you are planning to work in the healthcare industry and in the nursing field throughout your lifetime, work towards a bachelor's of science degree in nursing so that you can find the most attractive positions and challenging job opportunities.

Remember that a licensed practical nurse is only qualified to provide basic care and services, and will typically accompany a nurse or a physician in a medical setting. Registered nurses, on the other hand, and those who have a BSN, may work independently as registered nurse (RN) after completing all licensing requirements, and may or may not work with a nurse's aide or assistant. RN positions typically have more responsibilities and assist a physician in an emergency medical facility, surgery center, or hospital setting.

Many individuals who complete their LPN training work hard to get a few years of work experience before they enter a BSN degree program. You don't have to quit your current job when considering the LPN vs. BSN educational opportunities, because you can transition from one program to the other fairly easily and your employer may even pay for a portion of your tuition costs if you plan to stay with them for the long-term. A BSN degree can offer you more promising job opportunities, and will also increase your nursing skills and knowledge.