LPN to BS in Nursing Program Gives Pathway to LPNs and LVNs Who Want Career Advancement

Albany, N.Y. — Excelsior College now offers a program specifically for licensed practical and vocational nurses to earn both associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing. After earning an associate degree in nursing, students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN, become licensed, and begin their professional nursing practice before conferral of the bachelor’s degree.

“Since our students have the opportunity to become RNs midway through the program, they’ll be able to take advantage of different employment opportunities and take on the new role of a professional nurse while earning their BS in Nursing. They can also gain a significant increase in wages that comes with RN licensure,” says Nicole Helstowski, the managing faculty program director for Excelsior’s nursing associate degree program.

By enrolling in this program, LPNs and LVNs can earn two degrees in less time than it would take to complete each degree program separately. The time savings helps LPNs and LVNs to earn an associate degree, attain RN licensure, and become a bachelor’s-prepared nurse sooner than they might expect. In addition, current employers can know their practical nurses are enrolled in a program where they’ll soon earn that desirable bachelor’s degree.

Registered nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projections through 2029. The RN workforce is expected to grow from 3 million in 2019 to 3.3. million in 2029 due to an aging population, nurse retirements, health care reform, and other factors.

The LPN to BS in Nursing program provides LPNs and LVNs with the clinical skills and practice experiences they need to grow their nursing careers and expand their role in the delivery of quality patient care. All courses are online, except for two hybrid courses in which students engage in online course activities and complete a live clinical experience. This structure makes the program a good fit with the work schedules of LPNs and LVNs who are looking to balance the pursuit of a degree with their professional and personal responsibilities.

In the combined degree program, students earn an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing after completing all associate degree requirements and proceed seamlessly to the bachelor’s nursing component. They must have an active RN license to complete the bachelor’s degree requirements.

“In many instances, employers have expressed a preference to hire baccalaureate-prepared nurses or nurses who are enrolled in a baccalaureate program, and Excelsior’s LPN to BS in Nursing program expands career opportunities for LPNs and LVNs,” says Mary Lee Pollard, dean of the School of Nursing.


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Media Contact:

Erin Coufal, acoufal@excelsior.edu, 518-608-8498


Excelsior College (excelsior.edu) is an accredited, not-for-profit online college focused on helping adults complete their degrees and advance their careers. The college contributes to the development of a diverse, educated, and career-ready society by valuing lifelong learning with an emphasis on serving individuals historically underrepresented in higher education. Founded in 1971, Excelsior meets students where they are—academically and geographically—removing obstacles to the educational goals of adults pursuing continuing education and degree completion. Our pillars include innovation, flexibility, academic excellence, and integrity. Learn more at excelsior.edu.