Licensed practical and licensed vocational nursing can potentially be a highly rewarding career field, and job satisfaction can get even higher in the roles that nurses take on as they move forward in education and experience. The knowledge and perspectives learned in LPN to BSN degree programs can help nurses enhance their skills and take a big step toward their goals.
While the specific tasks of nursing jobs may be hard to predict, the additional training provided by LPN to BSN programs does often allow graduates the clearance to undertake some general responsibilities not covered in basic LPN/LVN training:
- Operating and monitoring high-tech medical equipment
- Performing diagnostic tests and interpreting results
- Consulting with doctors and other healthcare professionals to determine effective treatments
- Setting up or contributing to patient-centered care and treatment plans
- Administering medicines and treatments to patients
Hundreds of thousands of new positions in the nursing field are expected to open up in the next several years, and employers are likely to prefer graduates of LPN to BSN programs over candidates with nursing certificates, associate degrees, or other nursing programs. Employers may also require a bachelor's degree or higher for positions in nursing leadership or administration.
Coursework in LPN to BSN Degree Programs
Each college or university offering an LPN to BSN program will structure its program slightly differently, but some core concepts in nursing or general education tend to appear on the curriculum of most programs:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Health assessment
- Nursing research
- Women's health
- Nurse leadership
- Critical care nursing
- Community-focused nursing
- Mental health
The length of different LPN to BSN degree programs tends to depend on the amount of general education credits earned previously. Students who completed an associate degree in nursing before starting work as an LPN/LVN are likely to need fewer courses in the general sciences and humanities than those holding just a nursing diploma.
Career Outlook for Professionals with BSN Degrees
Employment of registered nurses is projected to increase by 19 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While some employers may only require an associate degree or diploma from candidates for registered nursing positions, graduates of LPN to BSN degree programs are expected to have better job prospects than candidates with less academic experience.
According to the BLS, registered nurses (RN) reported a median annual salary of $66,220 in 2013. General medical and surgical hospitals were the highest paying employers of RNs in 2013, offering median wages of $70,590 per year, but the reported annual salary of $62,850 at physician offices in the same year was not far behind.
Students who continue their education after graduating from LPN to BSN programs and go on to earn a master's degree in nursing might find work as nurse midwives, nurse practitioners or nurse anesthetists. Graduates who take a slightly different tack with their master's education can go on to become physician assistants, who earned a 2013 median salary of $92,970.
"Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm
"Registered Nurses," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm
"29-1141 Registered Nurses," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 13, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm
"Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
"Physician Assistants," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 13, 2014, www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm
"29-1071 Physician Assistants," Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 13, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291071.htm