Are you a Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)? Are you looking to take your career to the next level and get your Registered Nursing (RN) certification? Finding the right school to fit your unique needs is something that you cannot put off. Luckily, we have compiled a list of the top 50 LPN/LVN to BSN programs in the United States.
An RN coordinates and provides emotional support and advice, education about various health conditions, and patient care. They direct the work of LPNs and Nursing Assistants. Core nursing classes, clinical requirements, and general education classes such as English composition round out the BSN RN’s education.
Many career advancement opportunities are open to RNs with a bachelor’s degree. While not all medical facilities require RNs to be BSN holders, it is strongly preferred. To get an LPN-BSN bridge degree, you must hold a valid LPN license and enroll in an accredited BSN program.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for RNs will grow by 15 percent in the decade between 2016 and 2026. Furthermore, the employment prospects for talented RNs is excellent nationally. Moreover, they estimate the median annual wage for RNs to be $70,000, which is roughly $33.65 per hour. This amount shows a steady annual increase as the demand for RNs continues to grow.
To help you find the best LVN to BSN program, we have researched and rated schools across the nation and compiled this list. The have all been held to the same metric for evaluation which uses per credit tuition, graduation rates, and NCLEX-RN pass rates.
The University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center is found in the capital of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City. Their LPN-BSN program begins twice a year – in the Spring and Fall – with application deadlines to match – October 15 and April 1. It is a 127-credit program that can be completed as one of three program options. Among the schools on this list, it has the highest graduation rate and the lowest student to faculty ratio.
Named for the town it calls home – Fitchburg, Massachusetts – Fitchburg State University began its history in 1894 as a women’s teacher training program. The LPN-BSN program here is 120 credits and carries the lowest per credit tuition cost of schools on this list. Located on 60 acres with 48 buildings comprising the campus, FSU offers cultural, artistic, and athletic events including NCAA Division III sporting teams.
Located in Hampton Virginia, the Hampton University–College of Virginia Beach began 1891 and is proudly classified as a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). The school also holds the distinction of offering the first baccalaureate nursing program in Virginia. Their LPN-BSN degree option is a 123 credit 3-year program.
Located in Omaha, Nebraska, the Nebraska Methodist College’s Josie Harper Campus first opened in 2006. The school itself began as a School of Nursing founded by the Methodist Church in 1891. Still a Christian institution, they offer a 122 credit LPN-BSN degree option at their four-year private not-for-profit school.
As the name suggests, Worcester State University is located in the town of Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1874 as a teacher’s college, their current incarnation opened on 58 acres in 1932 and gained university status in 2010. Their 120 credit LPN-BSN bridge program has an annual application deadline of February 1 and has a perfect NCLEX-RN pass rate of 100%, the highest of schools on this list.
Located in State College Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing has an excellent LPN-BSN program. In addition to educating the future of nursing, it is also a research university that is shaping the future of many areas.
North Dakota State University is located in Fargo, North Dakota. It is a four-year public institution with more than 300 student organization for participants in their LPN-BSN program – and others – can join. Their six-semester LPN-BSN program is 122 credits and offers advancement in one’s nursing career.
The town of Arkadelphia in Arkansas is home to Henderson State University. It was founded in 1890 as a private institution, today it is a four-year public school. Rated second in the state of Arkansas, their nursing programs include a 120-credit LPN-BSN bridge program. Nestled in the foothills of the Ouachita Mountains, HSU boasts 12 NCAA Division II sports teams, Reynolds Planetarium, and – most impressively – the highest non-perfect NCLEX-RN pass rates of schools on this list.
The Fullerton California campus of Cal State – as it is generally referred to – offers LPNs a two-year five-semester BSN bridge program. They boast a high NCLEX-RN pass rate as well as a sunny California campus with ample social opportunities.
Marywood University calls Scranton Pennsylvania home. First opened in 1915 by Catholic nuns, it now sits on a 115-acre hilltop in the sixth largest city in Pennsylvania. Still a Christian institution at its roots, Marywood University welcomes students of all faiths.
Pacific Lutheran University is located in the Parkland neighborhood of Tacoma Washington. Founded in 1890 by pioneers from Norway, it has turned out 100 Fulbright Scholars since 1975. The LPN-BSN bridge degree they offer is roughly 122 credits that’s covered over 5 semesters – less than 3 years – worth of study and clinicals.
Located in Huntsville Texas, Sam Houston State University is the twelfth largest university in Texas. It is a four-year public institution that offers a 120 credit LPN-BSN program.
The San Marcos campus of Cal State opened in 1989 and sits on 304 acres in northern San Diego County. They have an annual application period of October 1 through November 30 for their 33-month LPN-BSN program.
Johnson City Tennessee is home to the four-year public institution of higher learning known as East Tennessee State University. It began as a teacher’s college in 1911 and moved to their current location in 1925. Students in the LPN-BSN track are granted 23 credits for their LPN education towards the four-year program.
Ball State University is located in the midsized Midwestern city of Muncie, Indiana. It first opened its doors in 1918 and gained university status in 1965. It is a research university that boasts state of the art nursing labs in which it trains the next generation of nurses. They have been recognized by the National League for Nursing (NLN) as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
What began in 1878 as a school of the Benedictine Sisters, the University of Mary gained status as a university in 1986. Located in Bismarck North Dakota, it offers a six-semester LPN-BSN program. Still proud of its Catholic beginning, the University of Mary welcomes students of all faiths and strives to be a place of welcome for all.
The Monroe campus of the University of Louisiana is home to the Kitty DeGree School of Nursing. Their 120-credit LPN-BSN degree program trains the future of nursing in a atmosphere of cultural, artistic, and civic growth. Their on-campus police department ensures students a safe learning environment.
Indiana Pennsylvania lends its name and community to the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Opened in 1875 on 12 acres as a one building school, today it has grown to 75 major buildings on 354 acres of campus with a 280-acre outdoor recreational facility. Students of their LPN-BSN program are given credit for their previous educational experience and finish another 94 credits for degree completion.
The historically Creole community of Natchitoches Louisiana is home to Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Opened in 1884, this four-year public school is the first one to establish a baccalaureate nursing program in Louisiana. Today, its LPN-BSN program is 120 credits.
Nicholls State University occupies 287 acres in Thibodaux, Louisiana. First opened in 1948, NSU gained official university status in 1970. Their 120-credit LPN-BSN program is offered in the heart of Cajun country in the Mississippi River delta 50 miles west of New Orleans.
While the main campus of Georgia Southern University is in Statesboro, their LPN-BSN program is offered at their Armstrong Campus in Savannah, Georgia. It began in 1908 as the First District A & M School and grew until it became a teacher’s college in 1929. It became what it is today – a 268-acre “arboretum” campus – in 1935. The Princeton Review calls GSU one of the nation’s most eco-friendly campuses.
Russellville Arkansas – in the scenic Arkansas River Valley – is home to the Arkansas Tech University. It began as an agricultural high school in 1909 and today boasts a number of programs including the LPN-BSN bridge degree option. Nurses learn in an outstanding natural wonderland with 7 nearby state parks and 150 miles of nearby trails.
Opened in 1939, McNeese State University is found in beautiful Lake Charles, Louisiana. With a 121-acre main campus, 800 acres of farm research property, a 65-acre athletic complex, and 499-acre McNeese Farm, nursing student learn in a campus that is more like a community. Their 120 credit LPN-BSN program is offered with their motto of “Excellence with a Personal Touch.”
The University of North Dakota is located on the border of Minnesota and North Dakota in scenic Grand Forks, North Dakota. Established before North Dakota became a state in 1883, today it offers a plethora of degree options, including a 120-credit LPN-BSN program.
Found in the largest city in Kansas and borrowing its name, Wichita State University sits on 330 acres atop a hill overlooking downtown Wichita. Students are provided with a great education as well as more than 350 annual on-campus events and free tickets for all on-campus fine arts and athletics events.
Tarleton State University in Stephenville Tennessee joined the Texas A&M System in 1917.
The Union University School of Nursing is a private four-year Christian institution located in Jackson, Tennessee. First opened in 1823 by Baptist missionaries, the School of Nursing opened its doors in the early 1960s. Their LPN-BSN program is a 2-year 4-semester program with 132 credits.
The Orange County California campus of West Coast University is found in Anaheim and boasts a four-story campus with a central atrium that spans all four. Their LPN-BSN program begins every ten weeks and has 500 clinical partners across the nation. It has the highest per credit tuition cost of the schools on this list.
Kettering College gets its name from Kettering Ohio, the Dayton suburb where it is located. The campus is also home to Kettering Medical Center where nursing students can get clinical experience. Chartered by the Seventh Day Adventist Church in 1967, it offers a 3-year 128 credit LPN-BSN program.
The city of Jonesboro – fifth largest in Arkansas – is home to Arkansas State University. Started in 1909 as an agricultural high school, it sits on Crowley’s Ridge, formed by the great earthquake of 1812. Bradbury Art Museum adds a cultural artistic escape to students’ studies.
As the name suggests, the University of Arkansas at Monticello is located in Arkansas town of Monticello. It began – like many Arkansas universities – in 1909 as Fourth District Agricultural School. Today it has two additional campuses, 1600 plus acres, and roughly 80 buildings. The LPN-BSN program is 120 credits and 9 semesters.
The town of Hammond is the proud home of Southeastern Louisiana University. Created by a grassroots community movement in 1925, today it encompasses 363 acres and 146 buildings. In addition to their 120 credit LPN-BSN program they offer 80 student organizations for social growth.
Located in the Shenandoah Valley city of Harrisburg Virginia, Eastern Mennonite University began in 1917. Although it is associated with the Mennonite Church that started it, it is proud to have more than 30 different religious groups represented on its campus. Their nursing program boasts a 100 percent job placement rate prior to graduation.
Located near the Appalachian Trail and Chattahoochee National Forest in the northeast Georgia town of Demorest is home to Piedmont College. Begun in 1897, it is a Christian school that welcomes students of all faiths. Their LPN-BSN program begins annually in the fall.
Shawnee Oklahoma is home to Oklahoma Baptist University. Founded in 1910 by the Baptist Convention, today it boasts 46 buildings on 226 acres. Their LPN-BSN program is 130 credits and open to students of any religious background.
Lourdes University began in 1958 as a Catholic and Franciscan institution. It is found in Sylvania Ohio, offers a 120-125 credit LPN-BSN program, and was named by the Princeton Review as the “Best in the Midwest.”
Azusa California – in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, 26 miles northeast of L.A. – lends its name and community to Azusa Pacific University, one of the largest Christian universities in the nation. They offer a 120 credit LPN-BSN program on their 53-acre West campus.
As the name suggests, the University of Akron is located in Akron Ohio. It covers 218 acres with more than 80 buildings and in 1967, it opened Mary Gladwin Hall, their school of nursing. Their LPN-BSN option is offered as a 128-credit full-time program that starts in the Spring.
First opened in 1955 as Molloy Catholic College, Molloy College is located in Rockville Centre New York. They began their nursing program in 1969 and in 2016 opened the Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing. Their LPN-BSN program is 128 credits and open to nursing students of all faiths and backgrounds.
Livonia Michigan is home to the Catholic Franciscan institution known as Madonna University. Opened in 1937, their LPN-BSN program is 125 credits and four-years.
Rochester New York – also known as Flower City – is home to Nazareth College. Opened in 1924, today it boasts a 150-acre wooded campus with 23 buildings. Their LPN-BSN program is 120 credits and their class sizes are small and personal.
Martin Methodist College is in Pulaski Tennessee. Opened in 1870 as a school for young women, it offers an LPN-BSN program that is 120 credits, has a March 1 application deadline, and grants 6 credits for LPN studies. They have the lowest NCLEX-RN pass rate of all the schools on this list.
Grand Junction Colorado is home to the four-year public institution, Colorado Mesa University. It has more than 20 buildings including 8 residence halls and offers a 124 credit LPN-BSN program.
Wilkes University is located on 35 acres in a historic neighborhood of Wilkes-Barre on the western edge of the Pocono Mountain region of northeast Pennsylvania. It opened in 1947 and offers a 120 credit LPN-BSN program approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nurse Examiners.
First built in 1865, Indiana State University is in Terre Haute Indiana. Their nursing program began in 1963 and is a member of the National League for Nursing (NLN). Their campus is 435 acres with 72 buildings that include 13 residence halls. Their LPN-BSN program is 120 credits.
Louis-Clark State College calls Lewiston Idaho – at the convergence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers – home. It was opened in 1863 and now has a modest 46 acres with 4 residence halls. They have the lowest graduation rate of all the schools on this list at only 30.5 percent.
The Greenwood neighborhood of Chicago in Illinois is home to Saint Xavier University. Opened in 1915 as the St. Francis Xavier College for Women, it occupies 74 acres with 6 residence halls and 620,000 square feet of facilities. Its baccalaureate nursing program began in 1935.
On the southern shore of Lake Superior, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, lies Marquette, home of Northern Michigan University. The 360-acre campus is nestled amongst waterfalls and mountains their LPN-BSN is 122 credits. It is a “notebook campus” … meaning that all full-time students get a MacBook or ThinkPad as part of their tuition.
Dakota Wesleyan University – in Mitchell, South Dakota – is the only United Methodist university in the Dakotas. It is a private four-year not-for-profit Christian institution. Their LPN-BSN program is 106 credits and boasts 100 percent job placement.
Topeka Kansas is the home of Washburn University. It offers state of the art facilities on a 160-acre campus. Their baccalaureate nursing program was established in 1974 and is 115 credits.
If you are looking to move your nursing career to the next level by turning your LPN/LVN into a BSN, then you will need a good school. Using this list, it can be easier to find the one that fits each student’s unique needs.
The basis with which these schools were evaluated is three part:
This amount is calculated for each school to represent a per credit cost for tuition. All figures are based on full-time attendance. For those that are provided as “per term” or “per year” totals, the per credit amount is determined via a formula that assumes 2 semesters per year at 12 credits per semester – the average amount among schools in the United States.
Schools were then rated on their per credit cost of tuition from the least expensive to the most expensive.
These pass rate percentages were compared with the higher pass rates ranking higher and the lower ranking lower.
The percentage of students who complete their programs and graduate from the school is the final factor ranked for this list. The higher the rate of graduation, the higher the school is ranked. Conversely, those schools with lower graduation rates are rated lower on the scale.
These rankings were then added together to determine which schools had the most to offer overall. By using the same metrics for evaluation, they can be ranked. Those schools with higher graduation and NCLEX-RN pass rates and lower per credit tuition costs rise to the top of the list while the opposite schools – high tuition, low NCLEX-RN pass rates, low graduation rates – land at the bottom.