Best Online LPN-to-RN Programs

Online LPN-to-RN programs are educational programs that qualify licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to advance their careers by earning a registered nurse (RN) degree through online coursework. These LPN-to-RN online programs typically involve online courses, simulations, and clinical experiences.

Understanding Online LPN-to-RN Programs

Online LPN-to-RN programs provide an excellent opportunity for licensed practical nurses to further their education and advance their nursing careers. These programs allow LPNs to earn a registered nurse degree through online coursework while still working in their current positions. The flexibility and convenience of online LPN-to-RN programs make them attractive for many working LPNs looking to expand their knowledge and skill sets. Through online lectures and hands-on experiences, these programs offer a comprehensive educational background that can be completed anywhere with an internet connection.


The LPN-to-RN online programs can be likened to a turbocharger, propelling your nursing career forward with incredible speed and power. By providing personalized learning experiences and top-notch resources, these programs can give you the boost you need to excel in your profession and achieve your goals. 

What Is an LPN-to-RN Program?

An LPN-to-RN program is an educational pathway designed for licensed practical nurses who want to further their nursing education and become registered nurses. These programs typically build upon the knowledge and skills LPNs have gained through their education and work experience. 

The LPN-to-RN online programs include coursework, clinical experiences, and exams that test students’ knowledge of nursing theory and practice. Depending on the program and the student’s pace, they take one to three years to finish. 

Upon completing the program, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) and become licensed RNs. 

What To Consider When Looking For an LPN-to-RN Program

From program length and cost to accreditation and clinical experiences, there are many aspects to consider to find the best online program for your needs.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements are a crucial factor to consider when looking for an LPN-to-RN program. It’s important to carefully review the admission requirements of each program you’re considering and ensure that you meet all before applying. These requirements can vary widely depending on the program and include: 

  • minimum GPA
  • test score requirements
  • prerequisite coursework
  • work experience


By reviewing the program’s course offerings, you can ensure they cover all the necessary nursing topics that align with current nursing practices and standards. 

It is important to ensure that the online platform is user-friendly and offers easy access to course materials and resources such as online lectures, simulations, and virtual labs. Also, you should consider whether the program provides hands-on clinical experience and whether it can be completed in a location convenient for you. 

Clinical experience

When researching LPN-to-RN programs, be sure to consider the amount and quality of clinical experience offered, as this can greatly impact your future success as an RN. Programs that offer extensive clinical training will allow you to gain hands-on experience and develop the skills necessary to succeed as an RN. Clinical experience can also help you network with professionals in the field and make valuable connections that can lead to future job opportunities. 


Accreditation indicates that the program meets national quality standards, assuring you receive an education that will prepare you for the demands of the nursing profession. Accredited programs are also recognized by employers and licensing bodies, making it easier to obtain licensure and employment after graduation. Check if the program is accredited by a reputable accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


LPN-to-RN programs vary in length; some take as little as a year to complete, while others take two or more years. The length of the program can impact your career plans and goals, as well as your finances and personal life. A shorter program may allow you to start working as an RN sooner. In contrast, a more extended program provides more in-depth education and training. So, when selecting an LPN-to-RN program, consider your personal circumstances and career aspirations.


LPN-to-RN programs can vary in cost depending on location, length, and whether the program is offered at a public or private institution. Calculating the program’s total price, including tuition, fees, books, and any additional expenses, is essential. Weigh the program’s cost against the potential salary and career advancement opportunities of earning an RN degree. Selecting an LPN-to-RN program that fits your budget and financial goals is crucial to succeeding in your nursing career.

Graduation rate

The graduation rate is the percentage of students who complete the program within a specific timeframe. A high graduation rate means the program provides the necessary resources and support for students to succeed and complete their education. On the other hand, a low graduation rate suggests that the program is challenging or lacks adequate student support. So, when deciding on an LPN-to-RN online program, consider the graduation rate as it serves as an indication of the program’s quality and the likelihood of your success.

Online format

The online format can be a viable option for LPNs looking to advance their education while maintaining their other responsibilities. Online programs offer flexibility for students with work or family obligations, making it easier to balance their responsibilities while completing their education. They allow students to study from anywhere, regardless of their geographic location. However, some programs require students to attend on-campus labs or clinical rotations, which can be challenging for those living far away from the program’s location.

Best Online LPN-to-RN Programs

Here is a list of the best online LPN-to-RN programs based on factors such as accreditation, graduation rates, cost, and student satisfaction:

  • University of Arkansas
  • Excelsior College
  • Indiana State University
  • Western Kentucky University
  • Allegany College of Maryland

It’s important to note that each program has its unique features and requirements. So, research and compare programs to determine which fits your needs and goals best.

University of Arkansas

The online LPN-to-RN program at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville results in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which allows graduates to apply for their RN licenses. The university offers both full- and part-time programs online, allowing students to complete their clinical hours in their local communities while continuing to work. Remote students pay in-state tuition, regardless of their residence.

Excelsior College

Excelsior University offers an online LPN-to-BSN program that allows students to learn independently. The program includes an associate in applied science (AAS) in nursing as part of the curriculum, which helps students demonstrate RN competency through online laboratory and clinical experiences at acute-care hospitals. Students can take the NCLEX-RN exam for their RN licenses after earning their AAS degree, then proceed to the bachelor’s-level portion of the program. 

Kent State University

Kent State University has an LPN-to-BSN program that consists of two parts. The first part comprises introductory nursing courses and prerequisites, which can be completed online. The second part includes BSN nursing sequence coursework and clinical experience, which requires students to attend in person. There are two options for students: evening and weekend or daytime cohort-based sessions, and they can opt for full- or part-time study. Clinical rotations at Northeast Ohio healthcare facilities are part of the program and usually occur on weekdays.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Southwestern Oklahoma State University‘s LPN-to-BSN program allows students to complete their coursework and clinical experiences online. Those who score 70% or higher on the Nursing Acceleration Challenge Exams (NACE) and complete prerequisite courses can receive up to 30 advanced standing credits. The program offers clinical experiences within 100 miles of the student’s location.

Missouri Valley College

Missouri Valley College, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church, has an online LPN-to-BSN program divided into two parts. During the first two years, students complete prerequisites and core coursework. The program’s second half is focused on nursing and professional courses, along with clinical experiences at local healthcare facilities. However, the online track is highly competitive, with only 14 candidates being chosen yearly.

The Bottom Line

Several excellent online LPN-to-RN programs are available for aspiring nurses who want to advance their careers. Each program has unique features and requirements; hence, it’s crucial to research and compare programs to determine which best fits your needs and goals. Regardless of which program you choose, it’s essential to ensure that it meets the licensure requirements in your state and sets you on a path toward a successful career as a registered nurse.

Get The Latest Nursing News In Your Inbox

Stay on top of the latest word that affects your career.

More To Explore

It's time For the next step

Whether it's a new a job, or continuing your education, is your career partner.