From LPN to RN: How to Advance Your Nursing Career

Jan 2, 2020
Healthcare Career

The Journey from LPN to RN

As a nurse, you understand the vital role you play in providing quality healthcare. If you're currently working as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and looking to take your career to the next level, transitioning to a Registered Nurse (RN) can open doors to new opportunities and higher earning potential.

The Steps to Becoming an RN

Becoming an RN requires dedication and commitment. Here are the essential steps you need to take to advance your nursing career:

Earn Your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

One of the common paths to becoming an RN is through earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN). ADN programs typically take two to three years to complete and provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as an RN.

Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam

After completing your ADN, you will need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). This comprehensive exam assesses your competency to practice safely and effectively as an entry-level RN. Preparation is key, so make sure to study thoroughly.

Consider Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

While an ADN can qualify you to become an RN, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can further enhance your career prospects. Many healthcare facilities prefer hiring candidates with a BSN, as it demonstrates a higher level of education and commitment to the field.

Obtain Licensure and State Certification

After passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you will need to obtain licensure from your state's nursing board. Each state has its own requirements, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations. Additionally, some states may require additional certifications or specialized training for certain nursing roles.

The Benefits of Transitioning to an RN

Advancing from an LPN to an RN offers numerous benefits for your nursing career:

Expanded Job Opportunities

As an RN, you'll have access to a broader range of job opportunities. RNs can work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, home healthcare, and specialized units, such as pediatrics or critical care.

Increased Earning Potential

RNs generally earn higher salaries compared to LPNs due to the increased responsibilities and advanced nursing skills required. Transitioning to an RN can lead to significant income growth and financial stability.

Professional Growth and Development

Advancing your nursing career to an RN allows for continuous professional growth and development. RNs have more opportunities for specialization, leadership roles, and further education, such as pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

Greater Autonomy and Decision-Making Abilities

RNs often have more autonomy in patient care decisions and can play a significant role in treatment plans. With increased responsibility, you'll have the chance to make a direct impact on patient outcomes and contribute to the overall healthcare team.


Transitioning from an LPN to an RN is a rewarding and transformative journey. It requires dedication, hard work, and a commitment to lifelong learning. By following the necessary steps, you can advance your nursing career and open doors to new opportunities in the healthcare field. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the fulfillment that comes with providing quality care as a registered nurse.

Maitreyee Mahajani
Solid guidance! 📚
Oct 14, 2023
Pete Perez
Clear steps for advancing.
Oct 6, 2023