So, you’ve decided it’s time take the leap and go from LPN to RN! Nursing at all levels play a major role in making sure patients get the care they need, and becoming an RN is just another way to take the skills, compassion, and knowledge you have to change even more lives. But exactly how do you transition from LPN to RN? We’ll take you step-by-step on how to be a registered nurse and get you closer to your healthcare career dreams.
Step 1.) Enroll in an LPN-to-RN Program
The great thing about transitioning to an RN is that there are programs designed to build on your education and experience as an LPN. These programs break down into two paths: LPN-to-ADN (Associates Degree in Nursing) and LPN-to-BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). While each school is different, there are general requirements you’ll need to be accepted:
- Highschool Diploma or GED
- An LPN license in good standing
- Proof of a minimum number of clinical experience hours or working hours
- Proof of a current BLS/CPR certification
- Proof of completion of specific general education courses.
- Proof of completion of specific nursing courses
- Passing score on entrance exams, which may include the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam.
Both programs typically offer in-person and online learning, but make sure you do your research so you know which schools offer courses that align with your needs.
Step 2.) Complete Training Requirements
The requirements to get your degree really comes down to the school and program that you choose. LPN-to-ADN programs normally take 1-2 years to complete, while LPN-to-BSN can take anywhere from 2-4 years. Depending on the state, you also may be required to complete a certain number of clinical hours before you have that degree in your hands.
Step 3.) Apply for Your State License
You might think that once you’ve graduated you’re ready to sign up for the NCLEX (National Council Licensing Examination for registered Nurses); but there’s one extra step to check off your list first. Before you can take your exam, you need to apply for a nursing license in the state you plan to work. There are different licensure requirements for each state, and these must be completed in order you to be considered to take the exam.
Step 4.) Take the NCLEX-RN
After you’ve been approved by the state board that you’re getting a license from, it’s time to take the NCLEX-RN! Your courses are designed to help you be prepared, but it never hurts to take a review or prep course. Once you’ve passed, you’re ready to jump in and find a job that’s the right fit for you.
Step 5.) Gain Experience in Your Specialty
Even if you have experience being a travel LPN, the responsibilities of an LPN and RN vary from each other, especially if you’re going into a certain specialty. Those hiring you will want to make sure you have enough experience in that area before you’re ready to jump in. While each hospital and healthcare facility is different, typically the experience requirement for travel nurses is 1-2 years. Although, it’s never too early to search jobs just to get an idea for what kind of assignments are out there.
Going from LPN to RN might not be a fast or easy transition, but it can certainly be a rewarding one! You’ll have the ability to make an even greater impact on patient care and have more career opportunities for you to explore. When you’re ready to begin your journey as a travel nurse, we’ll be right here to connect with you care.